April 20, 2017

I just do not understand.

I have to admit, there are things about God and Jesus and the Bible that I just do not understand. I am not saying these things are wrong, I just have trouble with them. Maybe my problem Is I do not know enough about the Bible. One of my Bible study guys said, "Everything you want to know is in the Bible." He may be right, but I still do not understand some things..

I do not understand, "Why the Jews?". Presumably God could have chosen a group of people from the vast area we call China or maybe from India or Europe or even the Americas. There were people in those areas. Why not there; why not a group of people from one of those other places? Why Abraham? Why Issac and Jacob? And on a related subject, once the people who would later be called Jews were chosen to receive God's attention, what about all the other people in the earth? Did God abandon them? Did basically say to Chinese ancestors, "Sorry guys, you lost out on receiving my favor. You are on your own. I'll see you in 4000 years when I send missionaries to tell you about Jesus." 

April 13, 2017

I need a Burning Bush

What does God want me to do? I am willing to follow in His will, but I am at a loss to know what His will for my life is. Do I stay in my current job or look for another? Do I continue in my current relationship or does God want me to be in a different relationship? I am happy where I am, does God want me to do something else? Where should I live? Where go to school? Stay in this Church or go to another Church? What does He want me to do?

I suspect quite a few of us ask these questions. We love God. We know God loves us and wants the best for us. We really want to do God's will. We want to go where He wants us to go. We want to make decisions pleasing to God. We are willing to sacrifice our treasuries if it is God's will. We are a bit jealous of others who are doing God's work and enjoying it. We want that same joy of doing what God wants us to do.


What is it God wants? Living in Nashville or living in Charleston; dating Judy versus dating Betty; or Bob versus George; being an engineer or being an accountant; staying at my current job or taking another job; all good choices where there is no difference so far as we can see.

Some choices would seem to be obvious. Do I stay in an unhappy marriage or do I leave it and search for happiness alone or with another person? Do I report a wrong in the workplace or do I keep silent? Do I run and hide from trouble or do I stand up against it?

All the choices whether obvious or not so obvious have pros and cons. Maybe God wants me to stay in the unhappy marriage and change the other person, maybe He wants me out of that marriage because He has a better one for me. Maybe God wants me to leave my extended family in Nashville and move to Charleston because He has a person in Charleston who needs to be saved and will listen only to me.

Choices, Choices. What's a Christian to do.  

February 26, 2017

Your Faith Box; The Sixth Basic Belief: "Conquering Death"

So is that all the new Christian must believe? God is creator of the Universe and all that is in it including humankind. God loves His creation including the humans He created "in His own image". Being in God's image means we are allowed to have free will. God does not direct us or make decisions for us. Humankind has chosen to reject God. We call that rejection of God, sin. Even though we regularly reject a relationship with God by our sins, He continues to pursue us. He continues to want a relationship with us. But having that relationship requires a way to wipe out the sins that come between us and God. God originally instituted a system of blood sacrifices as a way for us to receive the forgiveness of our sins. When that method proved unworkable, God developed another method. God's plan includes providing a perfect sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins. This forgiveness is available to all who chose to accept it. the sacrifice needed to be a perfect sacrifice of something so valuable it would cover the sins of all the people who ever lived, the sins of people living at the time and the sins of all people who would live afterwards. That perfect sacrifice was Jesus. By the blood shed at His death on the cross, all the sins of the world were forgiven. all we need do to receive this forgiveness is believe in the name of Jesus and accept His sacrifice.

But is that all there is to the story? 

February 15, 2017

Your Faith Box Series: The Fifth Basic Foundation Belief: God's Plan

That last post was depressing! We are all sinners and that sin keep us separated from God. The truly depressing part is there is nothing we can do about it. Not a thing! Left of our own, we are destined to leave this physical life and spend eternity separated from God with no hope or chance to ever get back in His good graces. We will spend eternity with all others who, like us, were sinners in their physical life and never bridged that gap existing between themselves and God.

But there is good news! God does not want us to be separated from Him. In fact He wants us to be a son or daughter in His family. It is reasonable to ask if God wants us so bad why doesn't he just say we are forgiven of all these sins? If He spoke the universe into being and if He loves us so much, why can't he just speak us into his family? Better yet, why does He even want us to be separated from Him in the first place?

It all goes back to the nature of sin. Sin separates us from God and we are the ones who sin. If it were up to God, we would enjoy His presence in our lives and us in His life. That's what He envisioned in the beginning with the creation of Adam and Eve. But, and this is critical, Adam and Eve chose to separate themselves from God by disobeying His commandment. Read the account of that first disobedience in Genesis. Notice in your reading, God did not forgive them. He punished them. This is a basic principle, sin must be punished. That punishment for us is separation from God.

Fortunately, God put a plan into place to bridge that gap caused by our sin. That gap can be closed by a blood sacrifice. The first blood sacrifices were those made by the Jews in the desert after their deliverance from Egypt. The Jewish exiles were instructed to offer a blood sacrifice annually for the forgiveness of their sins. That sacrifice was a perfect animal; perfect bodily and innocent. That practice continued for through the entrance to the promised land, through the time of the prophets, through David's time and though the conquest of the Jews by the Babylonians. When the Jews were allowed to return to their ancestral homes, they rebuild the temple and re-instituted the practice of a blood sacrifice annually for the forgiveness of sins. At the time of Jesus, an annual blood sacrifice was still required.

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