The Family Together: Worshiping God

“Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.” Charles R. Swindoll, Evangelical Christian pastor

The church I go to is having a dilemma…from what I understand, they’re trying to figure out how to have a children’s church service/teaching during the main church service; apparently because there are some who don’t feel that the children are capable of maintaining for the length of the service. I truly feel like the odd woman out on this subject because I believe that it’s so very important for the children (at a fairly early age – 5 or so years old), to learn to worship our Heavenly Father with their physical family and their church family. It’s important that the children learn from an early age to appreciate the reverence and the splendor of worship. During church service, they will see not only their parents, but people of all ages who are gathered together for the “Glory of God”!

Sunday School is for teaching the stories, singing the fun songs with all of the hand motions, coloring of pictures that bring Bible stories to life and it’s the time to commune with friends that they may only see at church (which in itself sets these friends apart from the secular school friends). However, when Sunday School is over and church begins, this is an entirely different setting. Church time is when children along with their family show their love and appreciation for Heavenly Father…this is a bonding time with their family as well as the family of God. I sincerely believe that separating them from their family at this time isn’t good for them or for the church body as a whole.

I’d like to say that the worship of God, our Heavenly Father, should just come naturally, but most need to learn how to worship and the earlier the child begins the learning process the better they become at showing Heavenly Father and the world how much Love they have inside for God and and their brothers and sisters in Christ.

“Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate.” anonymous quote.

Sure! You’ll hear them say from time to time that they’re bored, but think of what they’re actually taking in…familiarity with the songs and the procedure of the service. Even if the sermon seems to be deeper than their understanding, hearing the word is vital and seeing the congregation in worship will make a lasting memory…so much so that when they grow up, even if they fall away for awhile, they will never forget. Even when the service goes a little long and they get restless, they’re still learning.

Think of this…from the time a child is 5 years old until they graduate from High School (usually 18 or so), if they spend just that one hour a week with their family in sincere worship that adds up to 52 weeks X 13 years = 676 hours spent with Mom and Dad bowing their heads in prayer, singing hymns and worship songs with zeal, solemnly taking part in the call to worship…modeling after their parents and learning the awesome value they place on Heavenly Father. I can’t think of an example that can bring more Glory to God than anything else. This may be the only time during the entire week that the family spends together in worship as not all families take or make the time.  Being in church together paints an indelible picture on the mind of a child of what a family should look like.  

When we’re in church together as the children of God, we’re in the presence of Heavenly Father, Jesus -Yeshua and the Holy Spirit, we shouldn’t take this gift of devotion and closeness away from our children. I understand that thinking of a structured children’s church which will possibly teach more Scripture, but sometimes the best lessons are learned from experiencing something wonderful like being a part of the human and spiritual worship of God. On a personal note, seeing the families sitting together in the pews, generates a tremendous fullness of spirit that’s inexpressible.

Jesus makes it very clear in Matthew 19:13-15 “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.”

Are YOU on the Side of GOD?

God means what He says and says what He means! My hermeneutics are “literal”, however, that being said…study the scriptures yourself and make up your own mind! Pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit…

Okay…You say that you’re a Christian! Do YOU study your Bible ~ God’s PLAYBOOK?

The WORD: the BIBLE is the supernatural inspiration of God and written down by 40 different writers…some are anonymous. Each reveals to us a version or a nuance of the same account: Creation, Fall and Redemption. Each account is a layer of God’s Truth woven into a tapestry that narrates history, faith and sacrifice. The Old Testament or the Tanakh informs and prepares us for the first coming of Jesus Messiah – Yeshua Ha Mashiach; it also eludes to the 2nd coming (especially in Zachariah). The New Testament tells about HIS arrival on earth, His mission and His Sacrifice; throughout it tells us of the second coming of Jesus and lays down the rules for the final conflict between HIM and HIS followers and Satan and his followers. In the meantime, In both Testaments, we are warned throughout Scripture and especially in the New Testament about the “god of this world” who is Satan the devil!

2 Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

If you haven’t chosen sides yet, you’re running out of time as we’re in the countdown to the end. Heavenly Father doesn’t want you or your church to be a fan club because we’re ALL Players here…NO FANS! Heavenly Father doesn’t want any bench sitters! HE doesn’t want the grandstands full! He wants to see us ALL out there sharing the Gospel of Jesus – Yeshua with everyone we meet until He comes!

Everyday, we’re all embroiled in a battle between good and evil. Every time we choose evil, we’re giving our life over to Satan and creating a rift between us and the Father. To be straight out honest, we’re choosing death instead of life.

Jesus already won the war on the cross! Now it’s a final battle for all of the souls that haven’t chosen sides yet and Satan will not admit defeat as long as there’s one person left on this earth for him to destroy; this is why when Jesus comes He awakens His dead and changes His living into Spiritual Beings. Once this has occurred, Satan can no longer hurt those who belong to Jesus .

Not only does mankind face this battle on a moment to moment basis, there’s a spiritual war that’s been going on since Adam and Eve chose to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge. Satan and his angels have been in a non-stop spiritual battle with Michael and his angels…a battle that we can’t physically see, but it’s been going on since Lucifer (Satan the Devil) was cast out of Heaven and it’s still going on all around us!

Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Is your church your social club? Is Sunday the day that you go to the refueling station to get your sermon fix and then go right back to living the life that you’ve grown comfortable with – maybe a life that is ebbing away at your salvation and robbing you of the promise? Then, in my book, it’s time to make a change, it appears to me that you’re a bench sitter or a fan! Are you too “nice” to tell you family or friends about Jesus – Yeshua? Are you so “nice” that because of your silence, you’re willing to stand by and watch them die and go to Hell?

Don’t you know that you’re in a battle for your life and the lives of everyone you come into contact with? That’s why you need to stand up today and proclaim Jesus as your savior! You need to put on the armor of God and pray like you’ve never prayed before! There’s only one way for you to present yourself to Jesus. You need to demonstrate your faith by speaking up and sharing your testimony of Jesus – Yeshua:

John 16:8 When He comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment:

Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

There’s NO TIME like the present time for you to be BOLD! Look this world straight in the eye and show the world that you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, then repent from your sins and start living your life for Jesus! Fall and your knees in LOVE and WORSHIP and ask HIM to show you THE WAY, THE TRUTH and THE LIFE!

We have to make a stand for Jesus and choose to be on God’s side in this great battle of God vs. Satan. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that God is the equal of Satan, what I’m saying is that Satan represents intrinsic evil and GOD is incomparable and HIS GOODNESS is something that we cannot fathom. God is HOLY and JUST and when we make the decision to live as God has taught us to live, HE saves us from the “power of darkness” and because of HIS SON, our redeemer, HE welcomes us to be part of “the Kingdom of the Son”.

https://jesusamazinggrace.com/2020/05/03/the-plan-of-salvation/

The Passion of Christ

God means what He says and says what He means! My hermeneutics are “literal”, however, that being said…study the scriptures yourself and make up your own mind! Pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit…

Nisan 14 – the Passover lamb is Sacrificed

It was the custom since Moses gave the law and the statutes that 3 in the afternoon is the time of the day that the Jewish Priests sacrificed the Passover lamb. It’s no coincidence that this is the time that Jesus – Yeshua said “it is finished” and died on the cross. Nisan 14 is preparation day for the High Sabbath which is the 1st day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, commemorating the time of the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt.

John 19:28-30 After this, when Yeshua knew that all things were now completed, to fulfill the Scripture He said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar full of sour wine was sitting there, so they put a sponge soaked with the sour wine on a hyssop branch and brought it to His mouth. 30 When Yeshua tasted the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

All four of the Gospels in the New Testament give an account of the time from the arrest to the crucifixion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Messiah – Yeshua Ha Mashiach: Matthew 26:36—27:56, Mark 14:32—15:41, Luke 22:39 – 23:49, and John 18:1—19:37.

I’ll be taking scriptures from all 4 Gospels to paint a picture of what happened, but equally important is why…

The passion of the Christ was prophesied by Isaiah in the Old Testament:

Isaiah 53:4—12 Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our pains. Yet we esteemed Him stricken, struck by God, and afflicted.But He was pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities. The chastisement for our shalom was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.We all like sheep have gone astray.Each of us turned to his own way. So Adonai has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.He was oppressed and He was afflicted yet He did not open His mouth. Like a lamb led to the slaughter, like a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He did not open His mouth.Because of oppression and judgment He was taken away. As for His generation, who considered? For He was cut off from the land of the living, for the transgression of my people—the stroke was theirsHis grave was given with the wicked, and by a rich man in His death, though He had done no violence, nor was there any deceit in His mouth.10 Yet it pleased Adonai to bruise Him. He caused Him to suffer. If He makes His soul a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, and the will of Adonai will succeed by His hand. 11 As a result of the anguish of His soul He will see it and be satisfied by His knowledge. The Righteous One, My Servant will make many righteous and He will bear their iniquities.12 Therefore I will give Him a portion with the great, and He will divide the spoil with the mighty—because He poured out His soul to death, and was counted with transgressors.For He bore the sin of many, and interceded for the transgressors.

Here’s the WHY:

Isaiah 53:5 But He was pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities. The chastisement for our shalom (peace) was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Scriptures from the TLV – Tree of Life Version (TLV is a new Bible translation produced by Messianic Jewish and Christian Scholars.) I have just recently become acquainted with the Tree of Life Version, so far what I appreciate the most is that is that Jesus is called by His Hebrew name Yeshua.

Here’s what Happened:

John 3:19-20 “Now this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world and men loved the darkness instead of the light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil hates the light and does not come to the light, so that their deeds will not be exposed.

Matthew 27:45 Now from the sixth hour, darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour.

Mark 15:33 When the sixth hour had come, darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour.

Luke 23:44-45 It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45 for the sun died out.

I marvel at the miracle of darkness that covered the land (earth). It became dark at noon and it wasn’t an eclipse (The darkness cannot have been a solar eclipse, because the full Passover moon is always on the wrong side of the earth for that to be possible). After solemn thought, I recognized that there can only be one reason for the darkness. Jesus – Yeshua is the Light of the world and when He became sin for us and He bore the weight of the sin of the entire world as he hung on the cross, His light was momentarily gone as he was clothed in our dark hideousness called sin. Throughout the Bible, we are told that Sin is darkness and the only light in this world is found in Christ.

Doesn’t it chill you to think of what this world will be without the Light of Christ?

1 John 1:5 Now this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you – that God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all.

He endured the wrath of God:

2 Corinthians 5:21 He made the One who knew no sin to become a sin offering on our behalf, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.

Because of our sin, the Father couldn’t even look upon His own Son! However, thankfully for us, Jesus’s death on the cross satisfied the wrath of God. He swathed Himself in our sin and paid the price in full! When we believe that He’s the Son of God, we are covered in His blood – His righteousness and Heavenly Father can’t see our sin! In order to continue in His light, we must all repent (turn away from) our sin and trust in the blood of Christ. In Christ we can truly see the light and there is NO darkness anymore…that is unless we seek it out!

Matthew 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Doesn’t the pain of Jesus’ anguish when He cried out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” cause you to fall to your knees and beg forgiveness? Doesn’t it make you want to Live for Jesus – Yeshua because HE died for you?

Before the trial and His crucifixion:

Luke 22:44 And in His anguish, He was praying fervently; and His sweat was like drops of blood falling down on the ground.

Matthew 26:39 Going a little farther, He fell face down and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me! Yet not as I will, but as You will.”

In the beginning Jesus – Yeshua and the Father, who are one, agreed on this plan, because They are “ALL KNOWING”, and They new that man would be tempted and therefore fall away. Jesus – Yeshua had walked this earth as a human and he fully understood what lie before Him! It wasn’t that His pleas fell on deaf ears, it was that once God says this is how it’s going to be, he doesn’t change his mind.

Isaiah 40:8 The grass withers, the flower fades.
But the word of our God stands forever.”

Malachi 3:6 “For I am Adonai. I do not change, So you, children of Jacob, are not consumed.

John 1:1-5 In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were made through Him, and apart from Him nothing was made that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overpowered it.

Hebrews 13:8 Yeshua the Messiah is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

The new man who lives for Yeshua:

Romans 6:6-8 knowing our old man was crucified with Him so that the sinful body might be done away with, so we no longer serve sin. For he who has died is set free from sin.Now if we have died with Messiah, we believe that we shall also live with Him.

Romans 12:1–2 I urge you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice—holy, acceptable to God—which is your spiritual service. Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Galatians 2:20 and it is no longer I who live, but Messiah lives in me. And the life I now live in the body, I live by trusting in Ben-Elohim—who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

Ephesians 4:24 and put on the new self—created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

What is Evangelism?

Evangelism is the communication of the gospel message that includes a warning, an explanation, and a call to Salvation at the Cross by the blood of Jesus. Evangelism warns people about sin and it’s consequences.

John 16:8 When He comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment:

Acts 24:25 Now as he spoke about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix became afraid and replied, “Leave for now, but when I find time I’ll call for you.”

Revelation 20:11-15 Then I saw a great white throne and One seated on it. Earth and heaven fled from His presence, and no place was found for them. 12 I also saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life, and the dead were judged according to their works by what was written in the books.13 Then the sea gave up its dead, and Death and Hades gave up their dead; all were judged according to their works. 14 Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And anyone not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

It includes an explanation of God’s remedy for sin—the gospel

Acts 8:29-35 The Spirit told Philip, “Go and join that chariot.”30 When Philip ran up to it, he heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you’re reading?”31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone guides me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 Now the Scripture passage he was reading was this: He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb is silent before its shearer, so He does not open His mouth. 33 In His humiliation justice was denied Him.
Who will describe His generation? For His life is taken from the earth.

God’s Righteousness through Faith

Romans 3:21-26 But now, apart from the law, God’s righteousness has been revealed—attested by the Law and the Prophets 22 —that is, God’s righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ, to all who believe, since there is no distinction. 23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. 24 They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Him as a propitiation through faith in His blood, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His restraint God passed over the sins previously committed. 26 God presented Him to demonstrate His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be righteous and declare righteous the one who has faith in Jesus.

2 Corinthians 5:21 He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

And it includes the clear call to REPENT (to turn from sin and to turn toward God) and believe the gospel, by faith.

Repent or Perish

Luke 13:1-5 At that time, some people came and reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. And He responded to them, “Do you think that these Galileans were more sinful than all Galileans because they suffered these things? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as well! Or those 18 that the tower in Siloam fell on and killed—do you think they were more sinful than all the people who live in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as well!”

Acts 17:29-31 29 Being God’s offspring then, we shouldn’t think that the divine nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image fashioned by human art and imagination.30 “Therefore, having overlooked the times of ignorance, God now commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because He has set a day when He is going to judge the world in righteousness by the Man He has appointed. He has provided proof of this to everyone by raising Him from the dead.”

Romans 1:17 For in it God’s righteousness is revealed from faith to faith, just as it is written: The righteous will live by faith.

Romans 10:9-13 If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation. 11 Now the Scripture says, Everyone who believes on Him will not be put to shame, 12 for there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, since the same Lord of all is rich to all who call on Him. 13 For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

WE PLANT THE SEEDS! GOD MAKES IT GROW!

The principle of Evangelism is to bring our fellow man to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ as his or her Savior. We must not be complacent…sometimes I think that Americans are the most complacent people on earth. We need to wake up as the day will come when His mercy will end, so we must not take His mercy for granted, share the Gospel while there’s still time!

The entire chapter of Matthew 10 tells the disciples of their commission to go out and preach, He warns them of the pitfalls…

Matthew 10:16 Jesus said…”Look, I’m sending you out like sheep among wolves… so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”

Matthew 4: 17 And as ye go, preach, saying: The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

As the a member of the body of Christ I’m blessed…I know Jesus died for me and that when I repented (turn away) from my sins and put my trust in Jesus, that by His intercession, He will save me from God’s wrath. 

Here’s the Hitch!

There are many living on this earth, in this country and even in our town that don’t know Jesus. They don’t realize that they’re dead in their sins, because they don’t recognize what sin is.  They may have heard of someone named Jesus, but they have no idea of what He did for mankind or the consequences of their thoughts and actions, because they’ve never heard the Good News. 

The Ten Commandments EXODUS 20: 1-17 (NIV)

And God spoke all these words:

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

“You shall have no other gods before me.

“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

13 “You shall not murder.

14 “You shall not commit adultery.

15 “You shall not steal.

16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

 “Now once a man has thus been humbled by the Law (10 Commandments) and brought to the knowledge of himself, then he becomes truly repentant for the true repentance begins with the fear and with the judgment of God.  He sees that he is such a great sinner that he cannot find any means to be delivered from his sin by his own strength and effort of works.” (Martin Luther)

Martin Luther, O.S.A. 10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546) was a German professor of theology, composer, priest, monk, and a seminal figure in the Protestant Reformation. Luther was ordained to the priesthood in 1507. Wikipedia

The Bible teaches that as the church, we are the body of Christ. “We are to love the people of the world.  We are here for this very purpose – to go into the nations and proclaim the Gospel to all who will hear.” (The Gospel Project, Vol 2, p.96) 

***The Gospel Project is an adult Sunday school study program with teacher’s guides and student workbooks.

Creation Glorifies the Creator

Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

Isn’t it amazing that even in this fallen world, we really don’t have to look hard to see the GLORY of GOD’S CREATION! When I see something that I consider to be beautiful, whether it’s a newborn baby or a glorious sunset, I’m astounded when I realize that without sin and without the fall of man, just how glorious this earthly existence could be! NO misery of any kind: no pain or death, no deformed and sick babies, no crippled, no thorns or weeds an on and on it goes!

***In my heart and mind, I believe that’s why mankind will never leave this planet and as hard as we try to explore beyond our planet and solar system, He will not allow us to bring our sinful nature into the Heavens. Okay…enough of me trying to make sense out of the state of this world, it’s time to bring Scripture into the equation. I’ll be using the KJV – King James Version for Scriptures.

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

If you read Genesis 1, you’ll discover that God created everything with mankind in his plans. He declared it all good and perfect before He breathed life into us.

Psalm 24:1 The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.

He not only created us, but He designed us in His image, therefore, we ALL belong to HIM! But keep in mind, that He loved us so much that he only puts HIS WILL upon us when we ask and pray for HIM to do HIS WILL such as David does in Psalm 23 when he recognizes that God leads us in paths of righteousness…we’re the ones who choose to take another path. In the Lord’s prayer taught to us by Jesus Messiah – Yeshua Hamashiach, He teaches us to pray for the Father’s will to be done and for Him to deliver us from evil.

Ultimately, right from the beginning of creation, He gave us total freedom to choose to obey or disobey Him…today, we still have the choice to exercise that freedom and our choices yield consequences…whether they are good or bad consequences…only you will know the answer.

He gave us the WORD so that we have ALL the knowledge we need to make right choices. He gave us the HOLY SPIRIT to guide us with wisdom and revelation through the WORD and therefore make it possible to navigate through this life, so that our existence could be as peaceful as possible on this fallen Earth. As we can see from what happened in the Garden of Eden, mankind didn’t trust God to be truthful. When Jesus – Yeshua – the Son of God came to earth in the form of a man, he proclaimed that He is the way, the truth and the life…so we’re all at a crossroads again as to whether or not we choose to believe and obey. I mentioned consequences earlier…to be exact, we’re talking about Heaven or Hell…He leaves it up to us to decide. https://jesusamazinggrace.com/2020/03/23/lets-not-soft-peddle-hell/

Throughout Scripture, it’s made very clear that Heavenly Father is our Creator, but He will also be our judge…Believe, Repent and Obey and the Blood of Jesus will cover your sins and you’ll become white as snow in the eyes of God! But that’s not the end of it, when you accept Jesus as your Savior, the Holy Spirit enters into you and your body becomes the Temple of God. The Holy Spirit will guide and you and help you learn God’s will for you.

https://jesusamazinggrace.com/category/the-plan-of-salvation/

Revelation 14:7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

“LOVE” & “HATE”

The two most powerful, yet polar opposite words on the face of this earth!

The word “LOVE” is appears 310 times in the King James Bible, 348 times in the New American Standard Bible, 551 times in the New International Version and 538 times in the New Revised Standard Version. KJV Bible, which was translated from the Greek, has the word LOVE mentioned the least of any other translation. For the sake of this blog, we’re going to use the KJV – King James Version of the Bible.

The word hate is mentioned in the KJV of the Bible 87 times (3.5 times fewer than the word LOVE) and so far from my reading of scripture it doesn’t say that Heavenly Father hates mankind, however; He does make it clear that he hates the actions and deeds of mankind that proliferates evil and idolatry.

I’m starting this blog today to “focus on Biblical LOVE”. The 2nd half of the blog will focus on “Biblical hate”

“LOVE”

It’s pretty obvious to me that Love is a ceaseless conviction and theme throughout the Old and New Testament. And if you believe that Jesus is the WORD made flesh then you must also believe that HE was the ONE who perpetuated this theme called LOVE. The fact that Jesus – Yeshua came to this earth and died for us because He Loved us that much should make those of us who wish the worst for our enemies hang our heads in shame. I’m so sad to say that in today’s world, Christians seem to make more noise about hate than they do LOVE! I believe that some of us have forgotten that Jesus said:

Matthew 5:43-48 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

The Bible translates the Greek word Agape (agapo) for LOVE. It’s a selfless word that originates from God to mankind, it’s meaning is unconditional and springs from a heart of charity. It’s all about seeking to find the best in others and not putting yourself first, but always putting others ahead of yourself. In some ways it truly makes the world go round, because when we “love one another” as Jesus tells us to do when he’s with his disciples in the Upper Room for the “Last Supper”, like when we share the Gospel (GOOD NEWS) we are fulfilling another of God’s great commissions.

John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

*** PLEASE NOTE: the day after Jesus told His disciples these things, Jesus Messiah – Yeshua Hamashiach laid down his life for us – for ALL sinners – so that if we believe and trust in HIM we may inherit eternal life with HIM and our FATHER in HEAVEN! Through faith, we become brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s our commission to share that Gospel so that others have the opportunity to accept Jesus as their Savior.

There are 4 other Greek words that translate to a type of Biblical love.

Here are four types of biblical love separate from AGAPO:

1. Phillia Love – A love that is affectionate but not romantic. This love is usually shared between family and friends.
2. Eros love – A love that is romantic between a man and woman.
3. Philautia Love – Is a love and respect we should have for ourselves and the Holy Spirit indwelling within us.
4. Mania Love – This is a love in which we are obsessed. This love leads to false idols and putting things on a pedestal higher than God.

According to Christian thought, Charity is the highest form of love. It’s the love between God and man that is made manifest in unselfish love of one another.

Paul’s description of charity is found in the New Testament (KJV):

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

The apostle John, a faithful disciple of Jesus, thought to be the youngest and one of the original 12 disciples had a lot to say about LOVE:

1 John 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.

1 John 4:20-21 If any man say, I love God, and hate his brother, he is a liar: for how can he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, love God whom he hath not seen? 21 And this commandment have we of him, that he that loveth God, should love his brother also.

“HATE”

I can only find one place in the Bible that it specifically names a person that God hates; When it came to twin brothers, Jacob and Esau, God makes it perfectly clear why he loves Jacob and harbors a hate for Esau.

This is what God had to say:

Malachi 1:1-3 The burden of the word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi. I have loved you, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith the Lord: yet I loved Jacob, And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.

Hebrews 12:16-17 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.

Along with the disrespect of his birthright and blessing, Esau had many other vices. He went against the wishes of his parents, Isaac and Rebecca, and married pagan Canaanite wives which Scripture unmistakably forbade. There’s actually not one little bit of good light shown upon Esau in terms of his relationship with God or family (although according to Scripture he was Isaac’s favorite). Many years later, it appeared that he had let go of his anger and his desire to kill his brother for what he considered to be trickery by Jacob when he lost his birthright and blessing.

In Genesis 33 when Jacob (now renamed Israel by God) returns to his homeland of Canaan from Haran where he found his wives, he is wary of Esau and even after their meeting and with the embrace of Esau and the refusal of Esau to take the offering of animals from Jacob as an apology, ultimately Jacob settles in Canaan some distance away from his brother. It’s the generations after Esau, that the Edomites (the descendants of Esau) who are in constant conflict with “ISRAEL” (the descendants of Jacob). The Kings: Saul, David, Solomon, Jehoram, Amaziah, and Uzziah all had conflicts with the Edomites.

However, God says to the Israelites as they are entering the Land of Canaan after their captivity in Egypt:

Deuteronomy 23:7 Thou shalt not abhor an Edomite; for he is thy brother: thou shalt not abhor an Egyptian; because thou wast a stranger in his land.

For more reading about the Edomites and God’s judgement read the book of Amos. For anyone today who harbors a vendetta against the nation of Israel, they need to spend more time reading the Old Testament. Keep in mind, Heavenly Father hardened the hearts of Israel so that there would be time to share the Gospel with the Gentiles, so that we may be saved from His wrath to come.

***In my opinion, God makes it plain that we are not to hate one another for any reason…but that’s not to say that we can’t hate the things that people participate in…

Heavenly Father does make it plain in the Old and New Testaments, exactly what he does hate.

Abomination is the word that we find most that exemplifies what God hates, and some say that’s the improper translation of the Hebrew. I do have a “modern Tanakh” that I use for reference and in most cases, it’s translated the same as our KJV. If you’re not sure what you’re reading in a verse, then put it into context…then it will become VERY clear as to the meaning. If a physical or spiritual death penalty is tied to it, it is definitely something that you shouldn’t be doing.

Deuteronomy 12:31 Thou shalt not do so unto the Lord thy God: for every abomination to the Lord, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.

Proverbs 6:16-19 There are six things which the Lord hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: 1.Haughty eyes, 2. a lying tongue, And 3. hands that shed innocent blood, 4. A heart that devises wicked plans, 5. feet that be swift in running to mischief 6.A false witness that speaketh lies, 7. and he that soweth discord among brethren.

Isaiah 1:13-14 Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.

Zechariah 8:17 17 And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the Lord.

In the New Tesatment, there’s a couple of verses in particular that makes it perfectly clear that Heavenly Father hates certain behaviors and practices:

1 Corinthians 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind (reference to homosexuality),

Garlations 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

As Christians, we have a choice…we can either have a heart filled with “LOVE” or a heart filled with “hate”! We can pray for our brothers and sisters who don’t know Heavenly Father and haven’t accepted the Grace of Jesus – Yeshua and in doing so, we might have the opportunity to plant the seed that changes one heart. We can take the time to gently and lovingly nudge someone to seek God, OR WE can allow the “state of the world” to blind us from what God’s plans are for mankind. We can tear out our hair and scream for God to rain down fire and brimstone on people who practice things like abortion (murder) or homosexuality! However, in doing this, how does this answer the call of Jesus in Matthew 5:44 to love our enemies? God tells us in Deuteronomy 32:35, Romans 12:19 and Hebrews 10:30 Vengeance is Mine! He will take care of it all according to His timing.

Word Count Information from: https://www.christianbiblereference.org/faq_WordCount.htm

Will you Share the Gospel?

The principle of Evangelism is to bring our fellow man to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ as his or her Savior.

The Bible teaches that as the church, we are the body of Christ. “We are to love the people of the world – Jesus Messiah – Yeshua Hamashiach tells us:

Matthew 5:43-48  “You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. For He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward will you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing out of the ordinary? Don’t even the Gentiles do the same? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

We are here for this very purpose – to go into the nations and proclaim the Gospel to all who will hear.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.

As the a member of the body of Christ I’m thankful that I’ve been blessed…I know Jesus – Yeshua died for me on the cross and that when I repented and turned away from my sins and put my trust in Jesus alone, that by His intercession, He will save me from Heavenly Father’s wrath. 

Here’s the hitch…there are many living on this earth, in this country and even in our town that don’t know Jesus. They don’t realize that they’re dead in their sins, because they don’t recognize what sin is.  They may have heard of someone named Jesus, but they have no idea of what He did for mankind or the consequences of their thoughts and actions, because they’ve never heard the Good News. 

 “Now once a man has thus been humbled by the Law (10 Commandments) and brought to the knowledge of himself, then he becomes truly repentant for the true repentance begins with the fear and with the judgment of God.  He sees that he is such a great sinner that he cannot find any means to be delivered from his sin by his own strength and effort of works.” (Martin Luther)

Martin Luther, O.S.A. 10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546) was a German professor of theology, composer, priest, monk, and a seminal figure in the Protestant Reformation. Luther was ordained to the priesthood in 1507. Wikipedia

The Ten Commandments EXODUS 20: 1-17 (NIV)

And God spoke all these words:

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me. “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name. “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. 12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. 13 “You shall not murder. 14 “You shall not commit adultery. 15 “You shall not steal. 16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

https://jesusamazinggrace.com/2020/11/18/lets-talk-the-10-commandments/

As I study the Bible I see that God’s plan for the church is much greater than man’s plans.  In the book of Revelation 2, there are 7 angels sent to convey Christ’s letters to 7 churches…when you read these letters to the churches, you realize that they all fall short in one way or another.  I’ve been told by many that these letters only pertain to the churches that existed in the early church or that they’re actually periods of time throughout history starting with the early church. Fast forward to today and I believe that these letters pertain to today’s churches too. How many of us are lukewarm? How many of us make time to read our Bibles and spend time getting to know God? How many of us honor His gifts (including waking up in the morning to have another chance to get right with Him)? How many of us stay home to watch football instead of worshiping Him with the congregation? How many of us stop to smell His roses, stop to enjoy His sunset or sunrise, gasp at the beauty of a new born baby created in His image? All glorious creations of God! Everywhere we look we are surrounded by His magnificence and wonders and the testimony of His creation is before us. When I study the 7 letters to the churches, I find myself desperately praying that as a congregation of followers, we will heed the messages in these letters and try our best to follow His plans for us and the world. 

Rejoice in the Lord

Scripture from HSCB – Holman Christian Standard Bible

Philippians 4:4-9 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things. Do what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.