Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Living for Christ and Eternity -- Part I

Life as We Know It

What are we to gain from living our lives here on earth? We know that God originally created us to love Him, glorify Him, and to communicate with Him. But as we know, the human race, i.e., Adam and Eve, chose to rebel and to believe the lies of the devil instead of God. Consequently, the human race fell from grace and from then on had to struggle to regain the righteousness that would be needed to live with God in eternity. However, the human race could not become righteous on our own. We needed a Deliverer. We needed someone to deliver us from the plans of the devil, which included but were not limited to, everlasting eternity in hell. So, God sent His only Son to teach us the correct or righteous way of living and to then die on the cross for the sins of the entire human race. 

Gloriously, Christ arose from the grave conquering eternal death and defeating the devil, so that all who will believe on Christ will have, instead, eternal life with God. But that doesn't mean that the devil has given up! No, he wants to thwart God by keeping as many people as he can from believing on Christ and from asking Christ into their hearts. But even when a human hears about and believes on Christ, the devil still doesn't give up. He does everything he can to keep the born-again believer from producing fruit for the Kingdom of God. However, it is much easier for the devil to keep the non-Christian from getting to know Christ, because the devil uses the things of this world to keep people focused on their immediate life.

People have gotten comfortable in this world. Today, most people are focused on living as long as they can, because they think that this life is all there is. But, what they don’t realize is that our soul lives forever somewhere. Unfortunately, many do not believe in an eternity, let alone an eternity with God. This means that righteousness often takes a back seat to daily living, to their survival, and to their plans for life, as they live it to the fullest. Consequently, many people want to just live life to the fullest and do not even know or want to know how righteousness plays into their life here on earth as well as into their eternal life someday.

What many people do not understand is that God values righteousness more than life or death. Moreover, in striving for righteousness, people who choose to live for God and set righteous and virtuous examples for others by their behaviors and attitudes are actually ambassadors for Christ and eternity. In fact, Christians are to be living examples of righteousness through our truth, honesty, love, and the many other virtues that Christ spoke of and represented to us while He was here on earth. However, it is the cleansing righteousness that we have received through our belief in and acceptance of Jesus Christ as the living Son of God that will someday be rewarded in an eternity with God and His Son in Heaven.  

Born-again Christians are to be Christ’s ambassadors and are to live in such a way that others will want to know more about the grace that God offers to those will believe on His Living Son, Jesus Christ. Many, though, who claim to be Christians do not live the Christian life. They do not stand for goodness, love, and truth. Rather, they live just as non-Christians in the secular world live floundering around day to day with no hope of a future eternity. Although they claim to be believers, they are not actually “born-again” Christians. Moreover, even though they claim to care about others, they really just care about themselves. Consequently, many of these “so-called” Christians can seldom be told apart from non-Christians any more.  To make matters worse, even some “born-again” Christians have actually fallen into the habit of living for this world instead of living for Christ. They no longer or perhaps never did produce fruit for the Kingdom of God, nor do they work at living for Christ or at being different from the rest of the world. Instead, they allow their emotions and the values of this world to control their lives to the point that they can hardly be told from non-Christians.

The Apostle Paul told Christians in his letter to the Colossians that “Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.– (Colossians 3: 17. NIV). Unfortunately, many so-called Christians fail to live according to the words of Jesus Christ or exhibit even a portion of the love that He showered upon the world. But if we spend time in the Bible, we will learn that Paul told us that “as God’s chosen people holy and dearly loved, (we are to) clothe y(ourselves) with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues, put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”  -- (Colossians 3: 12-14. NIV).

How, though, can authentic Christians live in this world that puts so much emphasis on momentary pleasure and immediate gratification and at the same time actually live for Christ and their future eternity, especially if they allow their human emotions and the values of this world to control their lives? Well, there is a way, that Christians can set themselves apart from the fleshly secular world. It is really very simple. We just have to live our lives in such a way that we are daily glorifying and honoring God and His Son in all we do. Christians have to make an effort to be different and live by God’s standards rather than the world’s standards. Moreover, we have to attempt to reach out to other people to show the true way of Christ, and we can do this through many Christian services such as Active Relational Christian Mentoring and by being an example of Christian virtues. Christians need to learn how to live daily for Christ so that we can provide those positive examples of Christian love for the rest of the world.

Learning how to live for Christ

God did not leave us alone to just flounder in a sea of temptations. For not only did Christ send the Holy Spirit to live within each born-again Christian to guide them, but God has also given humans a manual on how to live for Him. That manual is called the Bible. Furthermore, it is within the Bible that God shows every human who reads the Bible how to come to repentance and Salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ. Moreover, God then gives the “saved” person both directions and instructions that Christians can follow in order to live for Christ and in order to be an example of Christian values, emotions, and integrity.

It was God’s chosen authors of the Newer Covenant/ Testament who were given the words of God, which explain and encourage Christians on how to be honest and loving and how to live for Christ. For, it is through our living examples of Christ-likeness that we can represent Christ to non-Christians. In fact, there are specific books and specific chapters of the Bible that address how true Christians are to live and act within this fallen world. Moreover, the Apostle Paul is just one of the Biblical authors who wrote about how we are to live for Christ and His Father. In fact, the book of Ephesians is just one of the books that the Apostle Paul wrote to encourage and teach new Christians how to live for Christ daily and to teach us how to be a good example of how all Christians are to live for Christ.

Previous to my Easter Post, my last two or three posts focused on the importance of the actions and behaviors of authentic Christians. In this post today, I am going to continue to discuss how an authentic Christian is to deal with the emotional and living challenges of the secular world. The issue of anger in today’s world is just one of the emotional challenges that all humans, including Christians, have to face. But how are Christians to deal with anger in a world that expresses anger in ever increasing and hostile ways. It is also an emotion that can hinder our being a witness for Christ. So, I will focus specifically on the emotion of anger in this blog and discuss how we can control our anger through the Word of God and through prayer.

 Anger is just one of the important emotional characteristics that can affect the lives of true authentic Christians in a very negative way. For any negative characteristic portrayed by a Christian can make all the difference in how someone else sees the Christian faith. It can even have an effect on whether or not someone will be willing to look at the life-saving gift of Salvation offered through Christ. So, the first thing you should ask yourself is this: if you say you are a Christian, can others tell that you are a Christian by your actions and your lifestyle? Or are you just trying to play like you are a Christian and hope for the best? Are you deceiving yourself, but in reality your actions actually tell a great deal about the real you behind the scenes? The second question is this: What kind of affect is your life having on those around you? In other words, will someone else be able to see Christ in you and want to know who Christ is? Or, do others see you letting your fleshly anger control your life?

To help you answer those questions, we will continue to take a look at the Apostle Paul’s fourth chapter in the book of Ephesians. We will look specifically at a couple of the last few verses of the chapter so you can determine for yourself if you are living in a manner that glorifies God and Christ, or not. Remember, that every born-again Christian must work continually on living for Christ. So, don’t become frustrated, but instead work toward becoming a Christian that will someday hear Christ say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” And if you are walking in the Christian way, would you consider being an example and role model for others by becoming an active relational Christian mentor?  

Walking for Christ Means Not Letting Anger Control Our Lives

One of the hardest things that every authentic Christian has to face is the many human emotions that can sidetrack us when we least expect it. One of those emotions is the emotion of anger. In fact, whether you are a Christian or not, everyone has felt the emotional response of anger toward a particular person or situation at some time or another. It is not the anger, though, that becomes the problem, so much as it our reaction to the anger. For, our reaction to anger can lead us into sinning even more than the momentary angry emotion that has taken control of our life. In fact, it the reaction to the anger emotion and its control over us that has the potential to derail our life and cause us to sin in monumental ways.

The Apostle Paul recognized the destructive force of the emotion of anger and that Christians need to have control of their anger in order not to be pulled into the destructiveness of anger and its accompanying sinfulness. In verses 26 and 27 in chapter four of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians we are told that even though a Christian may become angry with someone, that we are not to let that anger fester or use it in any way to hurt the other person. For Paul said, Be angry, AND YET DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity. – (Ephesians 4: 26, 27. NASB).

But why should we not allow anger to control our lives? Well we shouldn’t allow anger to control our lives, because we can then sin even more. Obviously, if we allow our anger to ‘become the rule’ in our lives, it can cause us become bitter. When we become bitter, we often want to cling to or hold tighter to our anger, which helps us to feel justified in the anger. Sleeping on our anger will not make it go away and will even further our belief that we are justified in our anger. This justification of our anger then leads to bitterness against the person who made us angry. Consequently, bitterness then leads to the unforgiveness or worse. It is through our bitterness that we can begin to feel even more justified in our anger and thus become unwilling to forgive the other person, simply because we cling to our belief that they hurt us or did us wrong.

Unforgiveness will keep us in bondage and can then lead us to many other sins. For example, you have probably heard the old saying that “bitterness is a pill we swallow in the hopes that the other person will die.– (unknown). Sadly, it is true that with this bitter attitude, we are essentially only hurting ourselves when we fail to forgive someone. For, our hearts can be damaged with our desire to cling to our bitterness and unforgiveness. Consequently, our joy and peace is taken from us as we dwell on our anger, which can then lead to the development of even deeper bitterness. One of the reasons that we lose our joy and peace is that we are sinning in our thoughts and are sinning with our desire for retribution against the other person.

Another reason that we lose our joy and peace is because our anger and bitterness keeps us in bondage or slavery, because it is hindering the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives. For how can we hear the Holy Spirit’s voice when we are constantly in a state of anger, which is a sin in and of itself. In fact, anger is kind of like a slow dripping acid that over time damages our hearts so much so that we no longer look at the world through the eyes of Christ, nor can we let others see Christ in us, for the anger completely surrounds us. Furthermore, this type of bitter anger can even lead to debilitating health issues for the person that clings to their anger and bitterness. Obviously, Christ would not and could not represent anger and bitterness to the world as He is love and peace, so if we are representing anger and bitterness we are not representing Christ to the world.

Forgiving Others

It is only when we allow our anger to dissipate and when we decide to forgive the other person that we are then freed from all the sinful encumbrances that are associated with anger and unforgiveness. But if we hang on to our anger, the penalties of anger and unforgiveness can last a long time and for even decades, which can then create a sad and unforgiven life. We know this, because Jesus told His followers that “If you forgive those who sin against you, your Heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your father will not forgive your sins.”  -- (Matthew 6:14, 15. NLT).

Christ sent His Son to die for our sins so that through His shed blood and His resurrection from death we can be cleansed from our unrighteousness or sins and never have to be held by the grips of eternal death ever again. To receive this Salvation, though, we must repent of our sins and then in believing on the living Son of God we must ask for forgiveness of our sins. This means that we have to give up all anger and unforgiveness of others in order to accept the forgiveness of Christ and be Saved.  Our acceptance of this personal forgiveness from Christ means that we realize what forgiveness actually means, for we have been forgiven of our sins through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Christ paid the penalty for our sins. But, when we deny forgiveness to others after we have been forgiven by Christ, we fail to acknowledge our common ground as sinners and fail to acknowledge the price that Christ paid for our sins. But, if Christ can and did forgive us our sins, then we must also forgive others of their sins. For, Christ came to earth to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If He can do that, then the least that we can do is forgive someone for our perceived or real hurt from them. As a true Christian, we must let all anger and unforgiveness go and forgive the other person. Moreover, the only true and ultimate judge of sinfulness and/or hurt is Christ. As God, Christ has the right to not forgive us, but instead He chose to forgive even the most horrific sins imaginable, if we will just accept His grace and repent and believe on Him. So, if we are unforgiving of some earthly hurt that we have received, we have not only made ourselves judge, jury, and executioner, when God is the only one who is to judge and discipline us or others for their sins, but we have diminished our Christian ambassadorship in the sight of others.

Avoiding the pitfalls of the devil

The devil still loves to get a foothold in our lives in any way that he can, and we have discovered that anger is just one of his ways of doing so. Not only does he encourage us to get angry, but he encourages us to cling to our anger and develop bitter strongholds in our hearts and minds. These strongholds, whatever they are, can keep us from living our lives fully for Christ and can keep us from producing fruit for the Kingdom of God.

For each person, the devil knows what works to get under their skin or to lead them down the primrose path of sinfulness. Obviously until Christ returns and throws him into the lake of fire, the devil will continue to use what works in derailing our lives and promoting sinfulness. Moreover, the devil starts his attack on our lives long before we are Christians. In fact, if we look back over our lives, we will discover that early in life as children we often got angry when we didn’t get our way. We might have even stamped our feet and thrown a fit. Eventually, though, our anger dissipated, if we had loving caring parents who did not give into our little tantrums and instead showed us how to deal with out anger.

Later in childhood, we might have gotten angry when we thought that another child had physically or emotionally hurt us through some actual or perceived slight or action. But here again Christian parents who followed the laws and discipline of the Bible, taught their children that anger was not something that we were to hold on to. Christian parents then taught their children how to deal with each situation based upon the Scriptures of the Bible, and they also taught their children not to hang on to anger. But, if children weren’t taught about the pitfalls of anger and its sinfulness, somewhere along the way as they grew and matured, they could become bitter and begin to think of vengeful things that they could do to get even with the other person who had hurt them, even if that hurt was accidental. Without the love of their parents or without direction on how to deal with anger, as well as without the knowledge of the love of God, some children will grow up to have an underlying disposition of anger that will control the overall direction of their life. This is just what the devil wants.

Anger and Murder

One of the Ten Commandments states, “Thou shalt not murder”. We all understand what murder is and that we are not to take another’s life. But why do some people commit murder? Could it be because they are angry with another person for some reason or another? In other words, anger is the basis of murderous actions. We know this to be true, because Jesus Christ underscores this destructiveness of anger. For Jesus said, “You have heard that the law of Moses says, ‘Do not commit murder’. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment. But I say, if you are angry with someone you are subject to judgment.– (Matthew 5: 21, 22. NLT).

I like the way the Amplified Bible says the same thing because in clarifying the meaning of the Greek and Hebrew words, it gives us a better understanding of what Jesus was telling the people about the role anger plays in murder. Verse 22 in the Amplified Bible says it this way: “But I say to you that everyone who continues to be angry with his brother or harbors malice (enmity of heart) against him shall be liable to and unable to escape the punishment imposed by the court. …” So, just as the murderer is sent before the court for judgment, so too will the person who harbors anger in their heart be sent for judgment. The judgment given by God will be imposed upon them just as God would impose judgment for murder. For a heart that harbors anger is a heart that can easily take the next step and murder the person for what she did to cause their anger and bitterness. Certainly, the devil jumps for joy when humans cling to and stew over their anger, for it can then lead to even greater crimes and sinfulness such as murder.

The devil also knows that the heart is often in control of our actions. In fact, the words of God in the Bible tell us: “The human heart is most deceitful and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? But I know! I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.”  -- (Jeremiah 17: 9, 10. NLT).

Understanding the harmful effects of anger and the destruction that it wrecks upon our hearts and lives can only come from reading and meditating on the Bible and from letting the Holy Spirit guide our minds into all truth. But this study and understanding must start at an early age so that humans are not tripped up and caught in the trap of anger. Therefore, it is important for parents to explain to their children that anger is bad and sinful. Children need to be taught that anger could be hurtful to both the other person and to them, while at the same time teaching them that they are to be kind and thoughtful to others. Hopefully, with a life focused on Biblical study young people can eventually began to see that vengeance and anger are inappropriate and hurtful, as there are many examples in the Bible of people succumbing to their anger.

Most children who are taught how to handle their anger and to instead focus on love eventually begin to understand the ramifications of this anger trap that the devil sets for humans. Sadly, though, for the children that do not get Sunday school teachings, who do not get parental teachings about the Ten Commandments, or who do not get the Christian teachings about caring about others, or who cling to their anger, bitterness and vengeful attitude can have their lives eaten eat up with anger. They can often fall into the devil’s trap of a life engaging in anger and bitterness. Their life of anger then creates great hurt on both sides of the anger equation.

What Happens When We Don’t Teach Our Children about the Ramifications of Anger

Today we are reaping what we have sown or in this case what we have not sown. We are reaping at least a couple of generations of angry people. That is because we have not shown our young people how to handle anger in a positive and forgiving way. We have allowed our children to think that anger is okay. Consequently, we have young people on college campuses that are heart angry and bitter about many things in life. For, they have never met the Savior. Many have not even been told about Him. Furthermore, they have never been taught by their parents that God loves them. Young people today, including those in their thirties and forties are only focused on what they want or think that they can’t have, and are angry that they can’t get what they want. Moreover, they are so angry inside that they do not want to even talk to Christians or other people who are not angry for fear that they could learn something that might take away their anger. They also have strongholds in their hearts and minds that they guard closely for fear that they will see the light. The devil and the devil’s secular society have really done a number on them. But the ones who have played into the devil’s plans are the parents, both Christian and non-Christian parents, by not teaching our children about manners, caring, love, and kindness.

If authentic Christians teach and mentor their children and young people in Christian kindness and love, then our teenagers and young adults, and even our younger children can be a lighthouse for others; showing other people that they understand the uselessness and hurtfulness that surrounds anger and bitterness. Indeed, the young people who are living out their Christ-centered life for others to see, are the ones that have been actively and relationally mentored by their Christian parents and grandparents, or by other Christians such as their Sunday school teachers and their youth leaders. Many of these young people will have been taught that even holding onto their anger over night means that the one who takes anger to bed with them will awake in the morning with that anger filling their souls even more. Remember the verse, “… do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.” It is imperative that our children and young people be taught to let go of their anger and to instead fill their hearts and souls with forgiveness and love for others.

Sadly, in our day and age, there are many young people who have not been taught or mentored about letting go of anger. They have not been taught about forgiveness, or about the opportunity and gift of coming to know Christ as their Savior. Consequently, we have many young people who are running amuck as well as using their anger to justify their hateful attitudes toward adults and others. Their anger even takes the form of bullying and humiliating others. Because they do not know how to deal with anger, we now have riots over situations such as not wanting to hear someone speak because they have a different opinion than theirs. Moreover, instead of going through the justice system we now have riots that include the destruction of other people’s property; all in the name of “I want my way no matter what” or “I can take justice into my own hands.” What happened to the positive mentoring that was to take place by loving parents and relatives?

Unfortunately, many times our children and young people simply repeat what they have seen in the lives of their parents and grandparents or other adults. They see that their parents show anger and bitterness toward another person and then they think that it is okay for them to do so too. So, even when we think that we are not overtly mentoring negative emotions or beliefs, we can still be passively mentoring those negative things to our children. Remember too, that humans are intuitive and observant. We can often see what others are really trying to hide, because we can also see within their actions, within the tone of their voice, and with the negative words that they have used what they might not otherwise want us to see. That is why it is so important to live in such a way that only the light of Christ shines through our lives for others to see.

Choosing Christ and Being an Authentic Christian

Are you a true authentic Christian? Do you attempt to live your life in a way that glorifies God and Jesus Christ or have you succumbed to the devil’s  and the secular world’s version of momentary happiness? Life is much more than just the few fleeting days and years that we spend here on earth. For no matter how long we live, what we are experiencing now here on earth is but a moment in time compared to the eternity that each of us will enter once we leave this earth. But the type of eternity that we spend is up to each of us. Will you spend an eternity in hell in anguish and without love, or will you spend an eternity in love, peace, and joy with God? The destination is up to you!

Christ is the only One who can give you the gift of eternal life that is lived in love, peace and joy. Indeed, it is only through belief on Jesus Christ as the living Son of God, who gave His life for your sins and mine, that you can enter into this eternity. If you have not given your life to Christ, now is the time to do so. Please do not wait another day, because we are not guaranteed tomorrow, and once we leave our earthly bodies in death, we are immediately transported spiritually into an eternity. Do you know where you will go when you die? I do! I know that I will spend eternity with God and His Son, Jesus Christ.

If you believe that you are a Christian, but have allowed anger to control your life, please take the time to pray for Christ to take away your anger. Then, turn to the Bible and study the Word of God so that you can see what anger really does to you and to others around you. Let Christ heal you of all your anger. Learn how to forgive! Only then, can you become an Active Relational Christian Mentor to others who may also have anger issues or need other mentoring. For every Christian must understand that they are ambassadors and representatives of Christ and the Gospel of Salvation. In fact, all born-again Christians should look at their daily lives closely to see if they are portraying Christ to the world. Certainly, if other people cannot see Christ in you and your actions, then they may not want to find out about Christ or may not want to ask Him into their lives. Remember, as a born-again Christian we are to be Christ’s ambassadors living by His Word and Virtues!

May God Bless each of you. I pray that you will benefit from knowing more about the detriment of anger and not letting anger control your life. I also pray that you will come to know the One and Only God and will be able to truly represent Christ to the World through your actions and words. The following is a poem by Anne Graham Lotz that gives you just a glimpse of what Christ went through on the cross in order to give you the gift of Salvation and an eternity with God.

Blessings of the Day:  Day 24
by Anne Graham Lotz

He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up
His spirit. John 19:30
After nine hours of standing on His feet,
after being scourged, slapped, and manhandled, after six
hours of hanging on the cross, the average person would
have barely had enough life and breath left to even
whisper. But Jesus, the Lamb of God, with life still fully
flowing through His body, shouted out in a clear, ringing,
triumphant voice, “It is finished.” The price for our
redemption had been paid! The sacrifice for our sin had
been made! Sin was forgiven! Guilt was atoned for!
Eternal life was now offered! Heaven has been opened!
It is finished!
You don’t have to do more good works than bad
You don’t have to go to church every time the door
You don’t have to climb the stairs to some statue.
You don’t have to be religious.
You don’t even have to be good!
It is finished! The price has been paid!

Revelation 3: 20
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me.” – (NIV).

Is Christ knocking on your heart? 

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Sharing the Good News With Others

Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!

April 16, 2017 is Easter Sunday for most of the world. However for Christians, Easter is known as Resurrection Sunday. For, we celebrate the day that Christ was resurrected from the grave conquering eternal death for all those who will believe that He is, indeed, the Son of the Living God. Yes, Christ came to earth to spread the Good News of God’s grace and mercy. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth on Him shall not die, but have everlasting life.” – (John 3: 16. KJV.).

Easter or Resurrection Sunday is the day that all Christians should, through words, relationships, actions and behaviors, explain to the world that Christ died and arose for them. But, our Christian life should not just be lived out for others to see on only one day a year. Instead, we should live our lives every day in such a way that the world sees that Christians are different in a good, truthful, and loving way. Furthermore, our lifestyle should be such that the people everywhere will want to know about Christ and will then ask us why we believe the way that we do. Then Christians can engage in conversations, in helping others, in showing that we care, and in sharing the Word of God with those who have yet to come to personally know Christ.

Christians need to explain to people everywhere that Resurrection Sunday, or Easter as most of the world knows it, is the day that Christ conquered eternal death and darkness for those who will believe on Christ as the Son of God. But many in the world do not want to recognize Christ as the Son of God. They do not want to live in the light of His Love. That is why Christians must share the Good News with people around us. It is our responsibility to live out Christ’s love every day of our lives and not just on Easter.

Moving from a World Wrapped in Darkness to a World Emblazoned with Light

We were all born into a world that is full of darkness. It is the darkness of sin that surrounds each of us. It is this darkness that Satan wants us to long for and not resist. Sadly, too, it is this darkness that can lead us right into eternal hell, if we do not grab onto and hold on to the light of Christ that God has offered to each of us. 

For years people thought that they were helpless to escape the bondage of their sin. However, God defeated Satan, the master of this darkness and bondage, when He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to die and then arise from the grave conquering death for our sins. How did Jesus conquer death and give us the chance to be cleansed of our sins? Well, Jesus, as the Son of God, defeated Satan and eternal death when after taking our sins upon his body upon the cross and dying for our sins, then arose from the grave and its eternal darkness. Indeed, it is only Christ who can bring each of us into a world emblazoned with light and can give us the freedom from eternal death and darkness. For, if we believe on the one and only Son of God, we can be Saved from eternal darkness and never have to fear that eternal death again.

Being born into this world of darkness and sin means that initially each of us is alienated from God. But, God does not want us to be alienated from Him, so in His mercy and grace, God has given each of us a way to spend eternity with Him in a world emblazoned with God’s light, i.e., if we so choose to accept His free gift. For, if we believe that Christ is God incarnate and that He came to earth to reconcile us to Himself through His death on the cross and His subsequent resurrection, we can be saved for all eternity living forever. We will become immortal, because our new relationship with God will have cleansed and restored us through Jesus’ blood on the cross. Christ will cleanse us and make us righteous before God, i.e., if we choose to accept God’s gift of mercy and grace through His Son.

Unfortunately, some people will refuse to believe in Christ as the living Son of God. Certainly, God does not want anyone to be excluded from His eternal world of light and love, but some people will exclude themselves. Why do they refuse to believe and repent of their sins? Well, they may not feel that they are sinners. For the world has told them that they can do pretty much what they want, so nothing is wrong in their eyes. Others refuse to believe in God or His Son, and they look at immortality as a fairy tale. Still others have allowed their hearts to become so hardened to the voice of the Holy Spirit, even to the point of grieving the Holy Spirit, or they have become so extremely stubborn and have refused to believe in what they cannot physically see. In other words, they have succumbed to the lies of the devil and simply refused to see that there is a spiritual world that is really our home. Still others have come to love the darkness of this world; wandering around in spiritual blindness as they trust in their own wisdom rather than the Lord’s. Their refusal to see the light of Christ will keep them from knowing the truth. Someday they will have to pay the price of eternal damnation and darkness for not believing on Christ as their Savior and the light the world.

  Christians, i.e., those that have accepted Christ as their Savior, know that we have been sealed for the day of redemption by the Holy Spirit. We know this because God has given us the Holy Spirit to live within us and to guide and comfort us daily. Moreover, we know that when we die we will leave our physical bodies and exchange them for “… an eternal body made for us by God Himself and not by human hands. (As Christians) We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long for the day when we will put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will not be spirits without bodies, but we will put on new heavenly bodies. Our dying bodies make us groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and have no bodies at all. We want to slip into our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by everlasting life. God Himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee He has given us His Holy Spirit… That is why we live by believing and not by seeing.”  -- (II Corinthians 5: 1-5, 7. NLT).

This is also why the Apostle Paul tells Christians “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children: and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper for the saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting but rather giving of thanks.

For this you know with a certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.”  -- (Ephesians 4: 30-31, 5: 1-5. NASB).

Christians are to be imitators of God. If a person cannot walk in the ways of the Christ and the Heavenly Father, they must question if they are really a child of God. For, God wants His children to be lighthouses to the world shining the light of Christ on the world, i.e. showing others the way to safety and Salvation. Moreover, the Holy Spirit living within us not only assures us of our Salvation, but helps us live in submission to His goodness and guidance. For, the Holy Spirit prompts us to do the right things. If we are obedient to the goodness that He encourages in our hearts, we can live a productive and Christ-like life for the world to see.  

Are You Living in the Light of Christ?

Are you a child of God? Have you given your heart to Christ believing that He is indeed the living Son of God who came to earth to die for the sins of the world? Do you believe that Christ arose from the grave and conquered the darkness and eternal death that we would have had to face if God had not sent Him to take on our sins? I hope that you do believe that God sent His only Son into the world to save you from eternal death. I hope that you will come to know Christ as your personal Savior.

Blessings of the Day:  Day 25
by Stormie Omartian

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also
live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised
from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has
dominion over Him. Romans 6:8-9
When Jesus died on the cross, He also rose
from the dead to break the power of death over anyone
who receives His life. Jesus conquered death—whether
at the end of life or in the multiple ways that we face
death daily. In the death of our dreams, finances, health,
or relationships, Jesus can bring His life to resurrect
any dead place in us. Therefore, we don’t have to feel
He also gives everyone who opens up to Him a
quality of life that is meaningful, abundant, and fulfilling.
He transcends our every limitation and boundary and
enables us to do things we never would have been capable
of aside from Him. He is the only one who can give us
life before death as well as life hereafter. Without Him
we die a little every day. With Him as our Savior we
become more and more alive.

May the power of the Cross and Christ’s resurrection change your life today! On this Easter Sunday may you come to know the love that God has for His creation. May you receive Salvation today!

May God Bless You!  And if you are already Saved, may you bless another by sharing the Good News of our Risen Lord!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Delighting Ourselves in the Lord and Speaking Truth in Love

As I look back over my life, it amazes me how many things I thought that I needed in order to make me happy. But, as I grew in wisdom and Christ’s peace, I realized that most of the things that I thought I needed were just things that I wanted, and they only contributed to my momentary happiness. In fact, one day I realized that the Lord is my true happiness, and Christ is truly all I need. Moreover, I discovered that the worldly things that I thought I wanted were just temporary or momentary joys that passed quickly away, whereas the true joy and the true happiness that I found in the Lord is with me constantly. In fact, having Christ in my heart helps me to be a better friend, mother, and wife. Over the years I have also discovered that it is the good things that God plants within our hearts that truly bring us real lasting peace and joy. Certainly, for me, it is the work that I do for the Lord in sharing the Good News and in mentoring other women for the Lord that brings me true joy and peace.

After several years of being a Christian, I made the discovery that when we desire to live and walk for Christ daily, our joy grows exponentially. In fact, it turns out that it is not the earthly things that we think that we need or desire that will really make us happy or give us lasting joy. Rather, it is the things or services that we do for the Lord and the Kingdom of God that contributes to our happiness. It is the daily service of working for Him and surrounding ourselves with the fellowship of other Christians, that makes us happy, gives us peace, and provides a life of satisfaction.

If we want to know what brings true peace, joy and happiness to our lives, all we have to do is turn to the Word of God. For, long ago, David, the man after God’s own heart, explained where our joy and happiness really comes from when he wrote in one of his Psalms: “Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light and your judgment as the noonday. Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; …– (Psalm 37: 4-7. NASB).

I know that in some ways my blog may not be as exciting to the non-Christian as some others, but writing to you is exciting to me, because I want you to know all about the Lord Jesus Christ, and I am excited to tell you about Him. Moreover, I want my readers to know that living for the Lord is both very exciting and heaven bound. I also want my readers to learn how to “delight yourself in the Lord” and to learn how to “commit your way to the Lord,” while trusting in Him. So, in this particular blog, I want to start by trying to finish up on the study of Ephesians, chapter four that I started last week. For, it is in these particular verses that you, too, can learn how to live an exciting, loving, and delightful life for the Lord.

If you remember from my last blog, I talked about born-again Christians walking daily for Christ, or living in such a way that non-Christians and other born-again Christians can tell by our attitudes, behaviors, and words that we are indeed authentic Christians. For, Christians should want the world to know that they are devoted to living for Christ. Moreover, it isn't just important to acknowledge that we are Christians, but it is important that we truly behave like Christians are supposed to behave. In addition, Christians should also want other people to also know the joy and excitement that living for Christ can bring to their lives, so we need to share the Good News with others. Furthermore, true authentic Christians should want to share the Salvation or Gospel message with as many people as they can. However, as I was preparing for this study on the authentic Christian walk for the Lord, I discovered that I needed to first talk about “delighting ourselves in the Lord”, because this delight is what is required to really walk as a true “born-again” Christian on a daily basis. So, in this posting, I may not get through all of chapter four as I planned. But, if not, I will discuss the last few verses in chapter four of Ephesians, as well as a couple or so verses from chapter five in my next posting. For, all of these verses are important, because they teach Christians how we are to behave or how to walk righteously as an authentic follower of Christ. (Again, I have broken the blog up into sections so that you can read just one section at a time, if you wish. I encourage each of you to take your time and meditate upon God’s Word and to then think about what I have written about in regard to these particular scriptures. I hope you enjoy learning about your Christian walk. Happy reading and happy walking for the Lord!)

Delighting Ourselves in the Lord

The psalmist, David, encourages us to “Delight yourself in the Lord.” So, how do we go about delighting ourselves in the Lord? Well, we start by believing in Christ as the risen Son of God who has cleansed us through His blood. Then, we show our delight in the Lord by committing ourselves to the Lord, living for Him, and trusting in Him in every situation within our lives. First and foremost, though, delighting ourselves in the Lord requires a commitment to live by God’s laws and to live by the truth of the Word of God so that we can live honoring the Lord while representing Christ to other people. 

But, David goes on to say in Psalm 37 that it is “the humble …(who) will delight themselves in abundant prosperity. (For) the Lord sustains the righteous, …” – (Psalm 37: 11, 17. NASB). In other words, the humble will receive abundant prosperity. What, though, is prosperity? Well, prosperity can mean money, but prosperity can also include such things as a happy family, or happy children, lots of Christian friends, or having just what we need to live on, including food, housing, clothing, transportation, etc., all of which in their joyful abundance can be used to help us help others and to also testify about and glorify God. Certainly, emotional happiness and love must also be included in the words, “abundant prosperity”. But what does humbleness and humility look like or mean for the born-again Christian?

Humility and Pride

Most people know the difference between humility and pride. If we are humble we do not try to convince others that we are great, or we do not attempt to exaggerate our worthiness in any situation, nor do we try to do things that that we know we shouldn’t do just to impress others. But many times, Christian people will try to excuse their lack of humility or their overzealous pride by acting like they are no different than the rest of the prideful world or that they have the right to do all the same things that other people do even if what they are doing is wrong. For example, for those who are prideful, cheating on a test can be pridefully excused simply by telling themselves that the cheating will only be done this one time, and that it won’t hurt anyone, because other people do it too. Or they excuse their cheating by lying to themselves that it will never happen again. This is just the beginning of the sinful lies that will be told to exonerate themselves from cheating. First, they lie to themselves when they come up with the excuse to cheat, and then they cheat, but again lie to themselves when they tell themselves that they will never cheat again. The next lie that occurs is when they excuse their cheating by telling themselves that they just needed to cheat in this one particular instance in order to pass just this one test so they can pass the class. Finally, they convince themselves that once they pass the class that there will be no reason to cheat again, which is another lie.

Unfortunately, there is always another class to pass or another situation to be overcome easily, which they may believe also requires cheating in order to maintain a certain personal status in life. Instead of being humble and accepting the responsibility to study hard for the test, they have relied on pride in themselves; pride in having found the solution in the first place. Now, that cheating is discovered to be easy, this person can allow their pride of accomplishments to enter into other areas of his/her life as well as through cheating. What they don’t realize is that not only have they lied to themselves and thus sinned, but they have sinned again and again by continuing to cheat. Then there is the sin of the bad example that is being set for others who may see or know that they are cheating. Sadly, setting a bad example of cheating and untruthfulness can have a ripple effect that touches many other lives for perhaps years to come. Moreover, the cover-up of the sin can always be waiting in the background to be revealed, thus causing a person to be blackmailed or to sin in other ways as well.

Another example of humans justifying our sinful and prideful selfishness is when we do not in humility or in love tithe to the Lord. Many Christians justify not tithing by telling themselves that they have worked hard for that money, and that money is really theirs to spend. But, the truth is that every dollar we make is actually the Lord’s money that He has given to us to live on and to work in service for Him. So, when we do not tithe and give back to the Lord some of the money for service to the Lord, we are actually stealing from God. We can also pridefully sin even more, when we lie to ourselves. For, often we simply tell ourselves that we will tithe a little later on when we make more money and can afford to do so. But, there is no amount of money that will cause us to want to tithe at a later date. For, tithing is done in obedience to God. It is done trusting God in His Word to bless us for tithing. (See Malachi 3: 10). Finally, tithing is honoring God and showing Him our love and appreciation.  So, when we fail to tithe, we are not just disobeying God, but we are not showing Him our love, and we are not honoring God. Certainly, we are not delighting ourselves in the Lord!

One of the worst “justifiable” and prideful rights in the minds of some Christian women, though, is when some women convince themselves that they have the right to control their own bodies. It is that selfish and prideful right of believing that they are to control of their own bodies that has essentially led them into their belief in our society’s and the devil’s lie that an abortion is the only way to go, i.e., believing that they have a right to take an unborn child’s life. But in forgetting that God created them and that He is now creating this child within their womb, the mother instead believes the lie and then accepts with a clear conscience that she has the right to an abortion, which is just another way to say that she has the right to take the life of another human. Little does she know, but the devil has sold all these women a bill of goods, and they will be forever haunted by what they have done.  

All of these are just excuses used to justify the selfishness of having an abortion. However, the excuse for their own selfishness is really pride in themselves and the control and power that they can have over another individual and their personal decisions. They pridefully make a choice to have an abortion because they are told that it is their right of control over their own bodies. Obviously, they are forgetting the responsibility to care for another human that is growing within them.

Of Course, women are in control of their own bodies, deciding when to eat, when to shop, when to bathe, and when to have sex or when not to. But women also have to understand that God created us to procreate within marriage. So, if a woman uses her body for gratuitous pleasure outside of marriage and then becomes pregnant out of wedlock, she does not suddenly have the right to take the life of the child growing in her womb. Neither does a married woman have the right to abort a child just because she is not ready to have one or simply because she believes that she already has too many children. In either situation that child is another human that is being created by God. The control that women have over their own bodies in regard to having children or not only comes with the decision, except in cases of rape, to have intercourse or not. So, if a woman chooses to have intercourse and a child is conceived, she does not suddenly also hold the right of death over that child simply because she made a mistake. Only God has the right of life or death over the life of a child.

Accepting Humility

Remember that the psalmist tells us that the humble will “delight themselves in abundant prosperity”. When we have humbled our lives before the Lord and have acknowledged that He is our supreme Lord and Master, we are not only living in a way that honors Him, but we are living honoring what God has created, the woman that God created us to be. For, it is through our humility and our love for God and others that we can make a difference in the world in which we live. Every born-again Christian woman can be that beautiful Christ-centered and loving woman who reaches out to help other women and who shows the love of God through her attitude and behaviors.

Having a godly attitude and godly behaviors shows others that we are delighting ourselves in the Lord. Indeed, to delight ourselves in the Lord means that we not only believe in Him, but that we have committed ourselves to walk truthfully and morally for the Lord. For, only by trusting in the Lord, we will be able to enter into His righteousness and receive the peace and joy that Christ has waiting for those who truly believe in Him. Then, as Christ’s followers we must give up all pridefulness and seek humility. For it only through our humility that we will receive the prosperity that Christ has awaiting those who seek to walk in the light of Christ and to share Christ with others. Delighting ourselves in the Lord, then, is to daily live for Him and share Him with others.

Certainly, born-again Christians need to realize that we are Christ’s ambassadors here on earth. Not only are we to live for our Lord, but we are “to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you (we) have been called with all humility and gentleness with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.– (Ephesians 4: 1-3. NASB). As Christ’s ambassadors, we are to show the world what true peace, delight, and love for the Lord encompasses, and we can start by sharing our Christ-filled lives with others through a particular kingdom service for the Lord such as Active Relational Christian Mentoring that we may choose to engage in. But it is a matter of attitude that will quicken the desire in others to know more about Christ and what it means to live for Him. In fact, it is in showing an attitude of love, respect, caring, gratitude, and kindness when speaking to others and in helping others that brings upon the other person a desire to know more about Christ.

Indeed, the Apostle Paul in speaking to the Christians in Philippi, told them: “Your attitude should be the same that Jesus Christ had. Though He was God, He did not demand and cling to His rights as God. He made Himself nothing. He took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. And in human form He obediently humbled Himself even further by dying a criminal’s death on a cross. Because of this, God raised Him up to the heights of heaven and gave Him a Name that is above every other name, so that at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.– (Philippians 2: 5-11. NLT). In other words, Jesus came as a humble servant to obey God and serve people. We too should obey God, serve others and serve God out of love. As born-again Christians, we are supposed to look for ways to serve God and others. We should also remember whom we are representing to the world and as such, we should live in a manner worthy of the calling for which we have been called.  That means that we are live in a way that both outwardly and inwardly always tries to represent what is good, true, and right to this world. We can only do that if we are willing to work at walking in the right manner, i.e. walking for Christ in truth, love, humility and righteousness. If we are going to walk for Christ, we must try to live as Christ lived. This means that we are to develop Christ’s attitude of humility and service to others,

Serving in Truth, i.e., Teaching and Mentoring Others in Truth and Love through Our Actions and Words

To understand how born-again Christians are to walk in truth, love, humility and righteousness we need to turn again to Ephesians 4: 25-32. For, it is in these Scriptures, the Apostle Paul delineates how the Saved “born-again” Christian should behave and walk for the Lord. So, let’s take a look at this section of the Scriptures starting with verse 25. “Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with His neighbor, for we are members of one another.”

Have you ever noticed that it is sometimes hard to discover the truth of a particular statement or situation? That is because humans have a tendency to embellish the truth or tell small or even great lies to fit our own agendas. We can easily exaggerate something as simple as telling another person how hot the weather was on a particular day. One person might say that it was so hot that they could fry an egg on the pavement, when in fact, it was only 95 to 100 degrees. While another person chooses not to exaggerate. Yet that statement of exaggeration gets the attention of the listener, and the story teller has added to the descriptiveness of their story. Indeed, their statement of exaggeration can make the story more interesting. Unfortunately, if it wasn’t truly hot enough to fry and egg, it is essentially a lie.

But an exaggeration or lie can be much worse than just adding descriptiveness to a story for effect, because exaggeration may actually affect the life of another person. Whether inadvertently or intentionally an exaggeration or essentially a lie has the potential to cause great harm. For example, let’s say that a stranger is found murdered about a block from a particular neighborhood. The police then want to talk to everyone in the surrounding neighborhoods and on the housing block closest to the crime. They want to question as many people as possible to find out whether or not anyone knew the dead stranger. But one person who was questioned, suddenly decides to insert himself in the investigation. Perhaps he simply wanted to get involved in the investigation, or perhaps he really wanted to insert himself in the investigation, because he has a grudge against his neighbor and this is a way to get even. Either way, he tells the police that he saw the stranger earlier at the door of his next-door neighbor. Then he goes on to embellish the story by telling the police that his neighbor seemed to be highly agitated during the encounter with the stranger; implying that perhaps his neighbor knew the dead man.

Although this person could not overhear the conversation between the stranger and his neighbor, he does tell the police what he thinks he has seen. But is he telling them the truth? Does he just want to be involved in the process of locating the murderer and perhaps get credit for helping out? Or does he simply wanted to hurt his neighbor for some imagined slight? Either way the man decides to insert himself in the investigation through suppositions, implied accusations, and embellishments regarding the situation.

But, what happens to his next-door neighbor, who may indeed have seemed agitated, but was in reality just on hyper alert when talking to the stranger who came to his door asking questions? Now, what happens to the neighbor after the embellishment or exaggerations that this man gave to the police have turned the police into looking in the neighbor’s direction? Because of the embellishments, the police now have a reason to look closer into the neighbor, which could include more than just background checks. For, the police may decide to go to the neighbor’s work and talk to his boss and co-workers. What will the neighbor’s boss and co-workers now think of him?

Suddenly, the whole community is gossiping about the potential relationship between his neighbor and the man who was murdered. Furthermore, because the police now think that the next-door neighbor may know something about the murder, they are expending more police man hours into their investigation of the neighbor. To make matters worse, the neighbor has to spend a great deal of time talking to the police and then proving to them that he truly didn’t know the stranger to whom he was talking. The neighbor explained to the police that the stranger had asked to come into the house to make a telephone call, but because the stranger seemed threatening, he, the neighbor, may indeed have appeared agitated. If so, he was simply worried and was trying to determine whether or not the stranger was a danger to him or his family. Although the man’s neighbor was finally exonerated, the neighbor could just as easily have been hauled down to the police station for extended interrogations all because someone exaggerated, embellished a situation, or simply lied about his neighbor’s seeming agitation.

Christians are to be truthful in all situations. We are to care about the other person and not try to upstage others. But, it isn’t always easy to tell the truth when the world that we live in makes it so easy to lie. But serving in truth, mentoring in truth and love, and teaching in truth is an important part of the Christian walk and living for Christ. Whether it is through our actions or our words, we must always be truthful and show others that we are truthful. Sadly, many Christians, though, fail to put on a coat of truthfulness. They are easily swayed by the moment and the situation. Consequently, they forget to put aside their old self and walk in their new self for the Lord.

The Apostle Paul tells us that Christians are to put aside their old self, “which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of truth. (Then in verse 25 we are told) Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with His neighbor, for we are members of one another.”  -- (Ephesians 4: 22-25. NASB).  This means that we are to always tell the truth. Moreover, we are to teach others by telling the truth in all our conversations. We should especially mentor our children and grandchildren in telling the truth, and we are to be a mentoring example of truthfulness in all our relationships with other people.

Most people pick up quickly on whether someone is telling the truth or not. However, even if we don’t pick up on it so quickly, we will eventually discover someone’s truthfulness or lack thereof. Furthermore, it is a terrible thing to be determined to be untruthful, for all credibility and respect can be lost. Friendships have even been destroyed by untruthfulness or exaggeration. That is why it is so important to not only mentor or teach our children and grandchildren about God’s expectation of truthfulness, but to actually be an example of truthfulness in every situation.

The Truth of the Gospel

So, what is this truth that everyone needs to know? Well, the truth is that everything in the Bible is the truth and it all leads to the Gospel or Good News. Starting from the book of Genesis in the Bible to the book of Revelation, God tells us about the Deliverer, Jesus Christ, who will take our sins upon His body and die for us so that we can spend eternity with God, if we so choose to believe in Him. The Older Covenant or Testament tells of mankind’s struggle with sin and the promise of the Deliverer. Then the Newer Covenant/ Testament is about the arrival of the Deliverer and Savior, Jesus Christ, who dies and is resurrected conquering eternal death for those who will believe upon Him. The book of Revelation, is about Christ’s second coming. For, it is in the book of Revelation that we see the believers meeting Christ in the sky and then those who did not believe having to suffer in a great tribulation period here on earth.
The glorious ending to the book of Revelation is that Christ conquers Satan and all evil. He then sets up His Kingdom on a new earth. This is the truth! Those who believe on Christ as the risen Son of God will indeed someday be with Christ and His Father for all eternity. Why would anyone not want to spend their immortal lives with God? The alternative is to spend your life in Hell with the devil, devoid of love and in constant pain and suffering. So, if you haven’t thought about where you will go when you die, perhaps the time is now. Please take the time to learn the truth and to contemplate on Jesus Christ. For, He and He alone can save you!

Blessings of the Cross:  Day 29
by Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)

The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you
murdered by hanging on a tree. Acts 5:30 

You are not asked to trust in a dead Jesus,
but in One who, though He died for our sins, has risen
again for our justification. You may go to Jesus at once
as to a living and present friend. He is not a mere
memory, but a continually existent Person who will
hear your prayers and answer them. He lives on purpose
to carry on the work for which He once laid down His
life. He is interceding for sinners at the right hand of the
Father, and for this reason He is able to save them to the
uttermost who come unto God by Him. Come and try
this living Savior, if you have never done so before.
This living Jesus is also raised to an eminence of glory
and power. He does not now sorrow as “a humble man
before his foes,” nor labor as “the carpenter’s son:”
but He is exalted far above principalities and power and
every name that is named. The Father has given Him all
power in Heaven and in earth, and He exercises this high
endowment in carrying out His work of grace.

The truth is that God’s work of grace was expressed in the love that He bestowed upon us when He watched His Son die on the cross for our sins. “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.– (John 3: 16. KJV).

The Truth is Love!
God is Love!
Have you shared the truth with another person?