Weekly Devotions
 
 
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Showing Love

 

In our world today there seems to be a lot of talk in the Christian world of standing up for our beliefs and doctrines. It seems we feel this is the best way to show our devotion to God and be a witness for Him.

 

I am not so sure we are going about this in the correct way. As Christians we are getting to be known more for what we are against and being unloving rather than showing the love of God to others.

 

A lot of us go to a church building on Sunday and sing and smile and listen to a sermon and think we have fulfilled our duties for the week. All day we are feeling good and close to God and think everything is good.

 

Then Monday hits and we go grudgingly off to work with a frown on our face and feeling down. We may be in a bad mood and snap at our fellow employees and try to make them feel as bad as we do.

 

It seems we forget that Christianity is not a religion or a one day a week life. As followers of Christ we are to let Christ live through us in the strength of the Holy Spirit. We are to let his love flow out of us to touch those we come in contact with throughout the day.

 

Rather than try to win people over to our way of thinking by pointing out their mistakes and shortcomings, rather than condemning them and making them feel like outsiders we should be allowing the love of Christ to touch them. We should be accepting and treating all people like we want to be treated.

 

While Jesus lived in bodily form on earth he constantly spent time with those the religious crowd would not even think of being around. He spent time doing things that the religious leaders thought were wrong and against their religious laws. They could not even accept him as the messiah because he was so different from them and what they thought was a godly way to live.

 

Jesus accepted people for who they were, just the way they were and did not show condemnation toward them. As followers of Christ we are to do the same. It is not our job to be the judge of others, pointing out their sins and mistakes and treating them like second class people. The Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin where conviction is needed. We do not need to do the job of the Holy Spirit, we are here to be Jesus to all people, loving, accepting and treating everyone with respect no matter who they are or what they believe.

 

In our world today with all the discrimination and unloving ways of the world and even of the Church, we need to allow the Holy Spirit to love through us to touch others and let them know they are accepted and cared for, and in God’s eyes they are loved beyond measure. Love is the way of God because God is love. Stop the unloving and condemning attitudes and let those you come in contact with each day know they are loved and accepted just for being themselves.

 

 

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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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