Weekly Devotions
 
 
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Love and Respect Others

 

In a day when many feel it is the job of the Christian to point out the sins and mistakes of others, I personally do not see Jesus being that way.

 

Jesus associated with all kinds of people and he showed love toward them. He was genuinely interested in them and accepted them. That does not mean he always agreed with them, but he accepted them as they were. He treated them with love and respect.

 

Acceptance does not necessarily mean we agree or condone the actions of another, it just means we are kind, respectful and show the love of God to them. We obviously are not all going to agree on things, yet we should be able to treat one another with kindness.

 

Many say we have to point out the sins of others and warn them of impending doom or we are not fulfilling our obligation as a Christian. Yet I feel that we are told the Spirit will convict people of changes that should be made. The Spirit will draw people to the Father. We are not called to do the work of the Spirit, we are called to show the love of the Father to all people.

 

My opinion is that showing love and acceptance to people is more in line with the way Jesus treated others. He did not condemn, he did not hate, he did not associate only for ulterior motives of getting people to join him. In fact, the only people Jesus seemed to have issues with were the religious leaders who thought they were so much holier than others. They were mad at Jesus for associating with people they determined were the sinners and lower class of the day.

 

For me, rather than point out sins, rather than show condemnation and many times down right hatred towards people, I would rather do what Jesus tells us to do. Love God will all your heart, soul, strength and mind and love your neighbor (all people) as yourself.

 

 

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The Four in One Gospel of Jesus

 

A friend of mine whom I have known for a few years has a book published that may be of interest to you.

 

Nikola Dimitrov from Bulgaria has published The Four in One Gospel of Jesus. In the book, Nikola has written in a way that provides a harmony of the four Biblical Gospels rearranged into a single chronological narrative.

 

Nikola says that in the process of preparing the book, the greatest ever theologian (not just my opinion) of our century, saw my book and agreed to write an endorsement. I am talking about a guy who is unequivocally the most recognized theologian in the world today - N.T. Wright - a historian and scholar of early New Testament and first century theology and history. Here is his endorsement, which is also on the front cover of the book itself:

 

"Every so often, it does Christians good to stand back from the four gospels and get a sense of how the whole story might work as a continuous narrative. Nikola Dimitrov has done a remarkable service in producing this compilation of all four gospels so that the reader can feel the full impact of the unique and explosive story they tell."

 

Here is a 3 minute video Nikola made for the book which helps understand the idea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtV156P0v5E&feature=youtu.be

 

If this sounds interesting to you, here is a link to the publisher's information about the book. It can also be pre-ordered from this link: http://nordskogpublishing.com/product/four-one-gospel-jesus/

 

 

 

 

 

Marriage and Being One with God

The institution of marriage is such a great comparison to life with our Father. I think a lot of the time we miss some good points about marriage that directly relates to life with God. To many times we do not associate marriage with Kingdom meanings.

Actually marriage is a shadow of spiritual things. Ephesians 5:31 and 32 state … For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. The church being mentioned here is not a building or an organization. The Church are the people who Jesus brings together. It is not a weekly meeting, it is a living organism made up of those of us saved by grace.

One of the things I’ve been thinking about recently is how we are one with God. It’s hard to imagine that our Father lives within us. Jesus said when he left the earth, he would send us another comforter. Through his Spirit, he came to make his home within us and he is constantly with us.

We always think of God sitting on a big throne, way off in heaven somewhere and that one of these days we will go and meet Him and live with Him forever.

The thing is, that is not what His written word tells us. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit, God’s physical dwelling place on earth. His Spirit dwells within us and He will never leave us nor forsake us.

Now it’s not saying we are God, but we are one with God. The best way I’ve found to make sense of this is to think of marriage. When two individual people fall in love, make a commitment to love each other and live together, the bible says the two shall become one.

Does that mean that the spouse becomes their partner, that they somehow become the same person? No, both people remain individuals, yet they live as one. Same with us and God, we are still the person He created, yet because God loves us and we love him, he made his home within us, and His spirit lives within us. We are one with God.

In John 17:21 Jesus is talking with the Father and asks … that they may all be one, even as You Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. Seems to me it is truly a marriage made in heaven.

We do not have to wait to a future time when we live with God in some far-away place, we are living as one with Him in His Kingdom right now. We are his temple, his dwelling place, and each of us are equally important parts of his body.

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