October 19, 2010

Being A Christian Ain't Easy (Part 3 - What Shall We Do With Those Humans?)

What started as a simple story to illustrate the truth of John 3:16-18, turned into a major piece well beyond the confines of a blog post.  But I wanted to include the story and not compromise on the length, so I decided to warn you and let you decide to read it or not.

(Before starting, readers must realize this is totally imaginary on my part. The concept of a conversation between God and other Heavenly bodies has roots in the Book of Job where God allows Satan to test Job. Like that story, this tale is intended to make a point not record a conversation. The Biblical basis for this story is John 3:16-18)

"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. 
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, 
but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not 
condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned 
already because he has not believed in the name 
of God's one and only Son." (NIV)

The Problem

The six friends walked and talked their way through the flower garden to the patio where Sarah and Leah had prepared a delicious breakfast.  This was the cottage of Abraham who was out with his friend David on a mission for God. Abraham loved his home but missed the outdoors and the fresh air.  These mission trips gave him the chance to re-visit his old earthly home and be invigorate.

As the six approached Abraham's cottage, one of the companions was taking a bit loud and was particularly animated with his hands emphasizing his comments.

“I think you should start over again just like you did with that first group. It was a mistake to let Noah live.  His descendants are just like his neighbors were.”

“Now Michael, just calm down, I don’t want to start over.  I have developed affection for these people. We will have to find another way,” said the oldest and tallest of the six. He appeared to be their leader.

“We have seen it over and over; they just will not obey your laws.” 

“They are hard headed.”

“But I love them.”

“But we made them in our image, what do you expect? If you give them free will, they don’t always choose wisely.”

And so went the banter back and forth between the six as they reach the patio and sat at the table.  As they
loaded their plates with grapes, cantaloupe, fresh bread and eggs, their conversation did not stop. The old

October 13, 2010

Being a Christian Ain't Easy! (Part 2 Jesus makes it impossible to obey the rules!)

As I reviewed my last post "Being a Christian Ain't Easy" something struck me. Who am I to be proclaiming Jesus, Paul and James right in anything! I'm sure they are in Heaven breathing a deep sigh of relief now that Steve has declared them correct.

Taken together, Jesus's "Sermon on the Mount" recorded in Matthew's gospel, Paul's introduction of God's grace and our faith in his letter to the Roman's and James's practical description of what it means to have faith in Jesus, is a pretty good foundation for our understanding of God, Jesus and our role as children of God.  Jesus sets the "real" rules, Paul tells us that all is not lost because we can't follow all the rules and James hammers home the parable of the two men who build their houses on either the rocks or on the sand (Matt 7:24-27) by saying "Be ye doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves" ( James 1:22, I like the King James version)

From the beginning of the "Sermon on the Mount" in Matthew chapter 5:1 to the end in Chapter 7:28, Jesus is

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