Sunday, April 29, 2012

A bit about me and my faith :)

I felt in the mood to share a bit. To try to share a bit of my life, my point of view and faith more clearly. I grew up in a Christian home and came to faith in Jesus at a young age(praise God!). My Dad and Mum have both been missionaries and my Dad was protestant religion teacher for half of his career on a military base, so I've definitely had my fare share of learning, grew up with some great instruction and was quite blessed. However, it wasn't until age 16 that I really started pursuing Jesus on my own( i.e. reading my Bible, prayer times, devotions etc.) I've only read the whole Bible twice since then, but many sections I've read countless times. I'm now thirty(which is CRAZY!...time flies ;) ) and striving to live for Jesus in an ever changing world. I currently attend a Christian and Missionary Alliance church, the same one I was baptized in at the age of 14. The reason I'm writing this is to give a bit of background to you the reader about the writer of this blog. If you want to know more please feel free to read some of my other posts, or better yet just ask. :) I originally wrote the following for another purpose, but thought it would be good to share on my blog too. Anyway, here (in point form) is a bit of what I believe to be His truth.

1. God is love! His love is not simply a human characteristic, nor is it defined merely by human means. Since God is love, then His love is an eternal quality that is beyond creation. His love is defined by His character and not our whim/feelings or definitions. Love is a revelation to mankind. He has shown it to us(understatement) in the sacrifice of His Son Jesus the Christ on our behalf.  

2. God is Just and Sovereign. He is Lord and has set a standard for His creation and called it good. All mankind has sinned and fallen short of that standard, but because of His grace, mercy, and love, He has given us Jesus, a saviour and justifier. Being fully perfect and obedient to God the Father, He died in our place to save us from our sins and the penalty of death(eternal separation from God). This salvation was not mere forgiveness, but based on a very real sacrifice. All the world was born into sin(a wide variety of it too) and all sinners, but we in Christ are born again. The old has "died" with Christ and His Holy Spirit is placed in us to make us Holy.

3. Being  so justified we are no longer to remain in sins power, although we may each endure our own forms of temptations and sufferings. Yet, these are passing trials(not even comparable to suffering death on a cross and taking the sin of the whole world), and these trials we can overcome by the strength and grace of our Lord Jesus the Christ. We must, in His power, fix our minds on His Spirit and not return to a mind/heart set on our old sinful natures, that can only lead to death. Even our consciences can be cleansed by the blessed blood of our Saviour, washed whiter than snow. This is a God thing and not something we do ourselves.

4. Temptation is not sin, just because we are tempted in a specific way does not mean we are guilty, nor does it mean we must give into that temptation. Someone who is tempted to lie is not a liar until they commit the act(or commit it in their heart). But even so we have a Saviour who has saved us and forgiven all of our sin, past, present, and future(in so much as we may stumble). The danger comes if and when we accept sin, or the lifestyle of sin. All sin is rebellion against God so to accept sin as a viable way of life is to rebel and reject the love and grace of Christ and His sacrifice on the cross. We are called to freedom, not freedom to sin but freedom to live and abide in eternal life. Jesus is that Life.

5. Because of this great salvation we rejoice and praise our Saviour and Lord Jesus the Messiah. We rejoice because He has given us the means to overcome. When Jesus said to the woman caught in adultery "Go and sin no more" He was giving more than a command but a promise and blessing. The Law(God's Holy standard) was good, but mankind could not keep it. We have an enemy that has filled the world with temptations, and human hearts are prone to go astray. What misery and sadness encompass mankind because our "free will" which is born under slavery to sin. But Jesus, the fulfiller of the Law, said "Go and sin no more." A blessing and a promise of the new life we have in Him. Praise Jesus! We are no longer slaves of sin, if we were we could not be called children of God(instead we would be children of the devil). But we are called children of God. Are children born as adults full grown and complete? No, they need to mature. Like when a seed is planted in the ground, and it "dies"/transforms and it becomes something quite different and much greater.... a tree etc. So we also who are in Christ die, and a new more glorious life begins in us, quite different from the old one.

6. We are not called to judge! But we are also called not to return to the destructive character of our old sinful natures. His love disciplines like a Father disciplines a child, to lead us away from trouble and destruction, toward a true and good life, one that can last forever with Him. Even so we know that our battles and struggles are not merely against flesh and blood, and we are given "weapons and armour" to stand firm in His mighty power. "Ephesians 6:10-17 "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."

7. While we were sinners Christ died for us. I do not desire to condemn people, but because we are (in Jesus) to be light and salt(a preservative) to the earth. Then we must stand firm on His teaching and the authority of Jesus. He came to destroy the works of satan and to follow Him means to repent, and reject all forms of sin. That is not to say, we should reject the people, for He came to seek and to save that which was lost, and we are called to likewise share the Gospel(which involves repentance).

To turn to Jesus requires a repentant and humble heart. To accept the love of God means also to accept His salvation both from death and our old sinful natures. But even so His salvation is His work not ours. He can give us the heart we need, and the faith to overcome. Praise God! "for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose. Phil. 2:13" I still struggle daily with temptations, worries, struggles, and a life that is being bent by society and my old selfish desire to conform and share community with the world instead of keeping my eyes strictly on Jesus , but I know that He is faithful to keep me and enable me to abide and overcome in Him. So I praise God, and  if you've read this I pray this encourages you. Jesus loves you!!! both now and forever! Because of who He is!
 Anyway those are just a few points of my faith. God bless :)

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