Posts Tagged ‘sports’

“Prejudicial Election!”

August 16, 2008

 

KEY SCRIPTURE

Rom. 10:3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. 5 For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. 6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above🙂 7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) 8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Rom. 11:27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. 28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father’s sakes. 29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. 30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: 31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.

We are living in an age where the Presidential Election of the United States feature the campaigns of a female, and a African-American male! While this is certainly exciting, it is not the first time that members of these two demographics ran for this office. Take a look at past presidential hopefuls of these two segments of society, ladies first:

Victoria Claflin Woodhull – 1870, Belva Lockwood – 1884, Margaret Chase Smith – 1964, Patsy Takemoto Mink – 1972, Shirley Chisholm – 1972, Ellen McCormack – 1976 & 1980, Sonia Johnson – 1984, Patricia Schroeder – 1988, Lenora Fulani 1988 & 1992, Elizabeth Dole – 2000, Carol Moseley Braun – 2004 (withdrew), Hillary Clinton – 2008;

Jesse Jackson – 1984 & 1988, Alan Keyes – 1996, 2000, & 2008, Al Sharpton – 2000, Barack Obama – 2008 (beat Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Nomination).

A prevalent thought that most assuredly must be on the collective minds of Americans, and indeed the world, is if an African-American can be President. What a phenomenal accomplishment that would be, possibly more momentous than Michael Phelps winning eight gold medals! That would be true whether it’s this election or not; not just for the election itself, but also for outgrowing our prejudicial attitudes!

However, another type of election involves the race of faith in Christ vs. non-believers. Among the latter group are those who believe “the righteousness which is of the law, that the man which doeth those things shall live by them; …as concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father’s sakes (KEY SCRIPTURE).” These “enemies”, who equate righteousness with national preeminence, are prejudiced against God’s elect being saved by His grace, which stresses the universality of His love through the sacrifice of Jesus (Rom. 8:5). Nevertheless, in this heavenly election, victory belongs to those who elect to follow the campaign strategy in Rom. 10:9 above!

Advertisements

“Paul’s Prayer!”

August 13, 2008
   KEY SCRIPTURE

Rom. 1:8 (NLT) Let me say first that I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith in Him is being talked about all over the world. 9 God knows how often I pray for you. Day and night I bring you and your needs in prayer to God, whom I serve with all my heart by spreading the Good News about His Son. 10 One of the things I always pray for is the opportunity, God willing, to come at last to see you. 11 For I long to visit you so I can bring you some spiritual gift that will help you grow strong in the Lord. 12 When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours. 13 I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, that I planned many times to visit you, but I was prevented until now. I want to work among you and see spiritual fruit, just as I have seen among other Gentiles. 14 For I have a great sense of obligation to people in both the civilized world and the rest of the world to the educated and uneducated alike. 15 So I am eager to come to you in Rome, too, to preach the Good News. 16 For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile.
 
The first point to notice in this passage is that in all actuality, it is reminiscent of a prayer! Prayer is how we talk to God, while meditation requires us to “hear” from Him. They both require us to get in God’s presence, and to do that we must “enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name (Psa. 100).” However, note how Paul gives praise to the Romans. Is it wrong to praise them? Of course not!So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them (Gen. 1:27).”
 
Being created in God’s image we also like praise, and that’s what it usually take to bring out our best. So, it is apropos for Paul to let the Romans know of their positive effect on the world. Yet, only God deserve worship which is adoration, love, reverence, respect, devotion – all requiring dedication, perseverance, and focus. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve (Mat. 4:10; compare Gen. 2:16-17; Psa. 119:113 NKJV).” (All verses KJV unless noted otherwise). 

 

 

 

 

 

Fittingly, Paul admonishes all of us on several occasions to pray, and to do that we must get into God’s presence, which requires us to give thanks and praise! As Paul desired to, we should also want to heartily give our best service by spreading the Good News (KEY SCRIPTURE)” which is life-giving, and reflects God’s will(Jhn. 6:40). He also wants to bring the Romans some “spiritual gifts” to help them “grow strong in the Lord” (mature). Note how he wanted to encourage them and to be encouraged by them, which is akin to how God first expects us all to be righteous (or to follow Him – Psa. 85:13), and then to walk before Me, and be thou perfect.” God later renames him to Abraham, and after giving him that instruction God is “encouraged” to make a covenant with him (Gen. 17, Gen. 18:19; Jam. 2:23)!

The point we are to extrapolate from all of this is that God gives us an example, and then examines us in preparation of gaining spiritual fruit (converts)! Who was Abraham’s example? Heb. 7:1 states, “… Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him…” This king is believed to be a pre-incarnation of Christ (theophany Gen. 14, 15:1-16, 18:1).

Finally, like Paul we can’t be humiliated, deterred, or “ashamed” about the gospel of Christ, and we must also be exemplary (I Pet. 5:1-4), by following the example of He (Mrk. 8:34) who said, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work (Jhn. 5:17).” Continue to “pray without ceasing (I Ths. 5:17)” like Paul, who prayed for the Romans day and night (KEY SCRIPTURE)! Amen. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FINALLY, JOHNNY GETS IT!

November 26, 2007

sunset.jpg

Christian studies, activities 

Several months ago there was a publicized debate between two pastors over an issue that should have been resolved by them in private. One pastor accused the other of being worldly because of an approach utilized in his church although the other pastor acted in accordance with the Bible! Sometimes we in the Church prefers being “right” in our minds over being “righteous“. Some readers may be confused about that last statement; is it any wonder why Johnny experienced difficulties reaching the Next Level!

We go from faith to faith and not everyone is on the same level, consequently, everyone won’t have the same perspective. There are those who are so concerned that they’re right, and that you’re not. Well the Bible says that “he who trusts in his own heart is a fool (Prv. 28:26)!” Moreover, “the fool has said in his heart ‘there is no God’ (Psa. 14:1, 53:1)!” Without faith you can not be righteous since that requires obedience to God (Rom. 5:19-21).

However, faith alone will not get you into Heaven. In fact, II Pet. 1:5-9 says to “add virtue to your faith“, even though we know that our goodness is not enough to get into Heaven. Next “add knowledge“; II Tim. 2:15 requires us “to study to show thyself approved to God.” The next requirement is “self-control“, which is the very last one of the Fruits of the Spirit that is mentioned in Gal. 5:22-23.

Now “Perseverance” is that needed ingredient to get us, for example, to overcome fruitless labors like anger, lust, greed, attachments, and ego. “Godliness” is the trait which promotes selflessness (Mat. 20:28), and note that it also gives compassion for brotherly kindness (Mat. 9:35). Now, what was seen as just a “mustard seed of faith (Mat. 17:20)” is actually a kernel of L O V E – the First Fruit of the Spirit, which heats up by God’s grace until it “pops” and is ready to be of service!

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” – I Cor. 13:13. Love improves our ABC’s: ATTITUDE (feelings), BEHAVIOR (actions), and CONDITIONING (mental preparation), and gives us a Godly perspective. We feel no evil toward anyone, nor do we perpetrate harmful acts, while focusing on maintaining our composure. 

Even Johnny finally realized that in order to change his feelings and actions, he had to improve his mentality with the most powerful tool we have – LOVE! After reading I Jhn. 4:8 he knows that “God is Love!Jhn. 4:24 teaches him that “God is a Spirit!” And plus, the verse in John 6:63 states, “The Spirit gives life; the flesh profits nothing”.

The Spirit of God moved upon the waters of the earth (Gen. 1:2).” Since the Spirit moves, Johnny concludes that he must move with It; since It gives life, he must win souls; and since It’s love, he must STUDY I COR. 13, and then do as Jesus commands in Jhn. 15:9-17. We must love one another and Him, which we do by keeping His commandments.

The above ABC’s will aid the Church to get rid of schisms and to righteously go into the world in order to save it (Mrk.16:15).

Question: What are the fruit of the Spirit?

LET IT GO

November 16, 2007

sunset.jpg

 

Christian studies, activities

KJV: “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things (I Cor. 13:11).

Have you ever had the experience of telling a favorite story, and while you were in the middle of it, you realize that your heart REALLY wasn’t in it. Why? Perhaps because you realize a new elevation in your outlook, and so now you’ve undoubtedly outgrown that particular type of material. At some point we all must move from one point of our lives to the next, and this movement is necessary for our personal growth. Even when our bodies start to deteriorate we can still maintain this growth. In fact the Apostle Paul said, “though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day (II Cor. 4:16).”

Unfortunately, some of us have been bamboozled into the “I ain’t changing” attitude, and when there’s no change there’s no growth; when there’s no growth, “death” is on the horizon. This death may not render a cessation of our physical life, but it misguides us into favoring stubbornness over maturity. This attitude is an impediment which may cause our spiritual demise by becoming a blockage that retards any growth in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

If you recall these nine traits are referred to as the Fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22), and we need to understand that it is the Spirit that gives life (Jhn. 6:63). Our God is not willing that any should perish (II Pet. 3:9) but that we “bring forth more Fruit ” (Jhn. 15:2), and that requires all of us to sometime make painful changes. But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye … not sons (Heb. 12:8).”

To be a child of God we must “…be holy for I (God) am holy… (Lev.11:44).” We must endeavor to be straightforward, discerning, moralistic, progressive, law-abiding, cultured, and universal as derived studying the Days of Creation. “…a just man falleth seven times and riseth up again (that amounts to one deficiency of each representation of the Days) ; but the wicked shall fall into mischief (Prv. 24:16).” How does a “just man” rise after falling? He must let go of the heartache, curiosity, and/or pleasure of our deficiency! 

In Gen. 19 Abraham’s nephew Lot was granted the opportunity to flee the impending doom of Sodom and Gomorrah, cities known for their sexual immorality. God sent angels to warn Lot of the destruction to come, however he didn’t take his family to the mountains as he was first ordered. This, of course, demonstrated the different level of faith between Lot and Abraham who, upon God’s command, went to a completely foreign land. However, Lot’s wife showed the lowest level of maturity by being disobedient, and thus paid a heavy price! “But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt (Gen. 19:26).

The Lord always sends angels (messengers) to instruct us on reaching “higher ground” (spiritual maturity) to help all of us produce more Fruit of the Spirit. However, we must be willing to let go of whatever it is that distracts us from God’s Word which is life-giving, and life-changing! It behooves us to study the Bible, sanctify ourselves, and to let go of worldiness because “the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death (Rev. 21:8).”