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Monday, August 22, 2016

Worthy Sayings of Great Christians

Worthy Sayings of Great Christians

Accepting Christ as our Saviour, and being baptized and then continuing on in sin and  in our worldly and fun-loving ways is like clawing our way to heaven and hoping our finger nails last long enough to get us there, while all the while, the devil is  grabbing us by the feet and saying, "Come on, you won't have fun up there."

What happened to our Lord and Saviour? Do we not call Him "Lord."

Will we be happy in heaven?

When does obedience and surrender to God's will for us click on?

Will we be happy in heaven?

We will never know true joy and happiness within until we invite the Holy Spirit to guide our lives. And we listen! Will we be happy in heaven if we don't begin the journey toward holiness while we are still on earth.

Will we be happy in heaven?

It takes a love of heaven, our love of holiness, a love of praise and worship to our Creator, God. 

Will we be happy in heaven?

Now is the time to make the most important and lasting decision of our lives. All it takes besides accepting Christ as our Lord and Saviour, being baptized, and then living a life that results in our continual effort to become holy - an effort that lasts as long as we are still on earth.

Will we be happy in heaven?

Christ-like conduct is the end of Christian faith. To get there will take the rest of our time on earth.

Will we be happy in heaven?

What a man "is" is more important than what he "does."

~A. W. Tozer~

God is near "aways." He is Spirit - not visible except to the eye of the soul.

We seem to have a problem understanding that God is always present at all times.

God can be compared to the air we breathe, or water flowing gently across a river, or down a stream. Air is something we know is present because if it were not, we would surely die.

God is larger than His creation. He fills all space, every inch!

Our human minds and sense perception, are so messed up through original sin, that we cannot see God but our soul and heart knows He is near. Our faith can cross the veil and know without doubt that God's presence is all about us, all around us, at all times.

As our faith grows and deepens and we perceive God's presence, we fall down in awe, hushed and wide-eyed as we gaze upon the wonder of Deity. It is a deepening faith that leads us there.

Our "reasoning" and our "intellect" can never prove God's existence because reason and intellect, versus faith are two seperate realms. Reason and intellect are given us at birth and necessary for life on earth. Faith is available to us, through the work of Christ on the Cross and His resurrection. Faith is given us, if we desire to become children of God, because "faith" is our passage into heaven when we leave the earth.

Faith alone is dependent solely on God's character. It does not need reason or intellect or science to support it. It knows its Creator and that is all it needs. 

1 John 4:15-17

(15) Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. (16) And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. (17) Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.
New King James Version  

In I John 4, John makes a rather startling statement regarding our union with Christ. It is puzzling in that its practical application is vague to us because we are unfamiliar with the possibilities. Readers usually take a glimpse of it then move on, wondering about its meaning. The words themselves are simple enough, but their very simplicity adds to its confounding nature because, if it truly means what it appears to say, it is too good to be true! Lacking biblical evidence and a logical explanation for reaching such a wonderful conclusion, we pass on.
I John 4:15 says, "Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God." The context is obviously our union with God, as the words "abide" and "in" confirm. Verse 16 continues the thought: "And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him." Abide means "to live," "to continue with," or "to go on with." By substituting these synonyms, the last phrase reads, "He who continues or lives in love, continues or lives in God, and God in him."
The verse emphasizes an ongoing, unbroken, intimate relationship. Nothing can be closer than for one to be in another! Since John defines love in I John 5:3 as keeping the commandments, the word "love" in this verse indicates that it is being reciprocated between God and us, and it is what facilitates the continuance of the union and relationship. These verses in fact confirm what Jesus said on the eve of His crucifixion:
If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give youanother Helper, that He may abide with you forever. The Spirit of truth, which the worldcannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. (John 14:15-17)
In verse 23, Jesus drops the term "Helper," showing more specifically who would be living in us: "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him." "Keep" indicates that the love of which Jesus speaks is not merely an affection, as keep means "to maintain, continue or carry on." It is therefore active and dynamic.
Has that wondrous promise actually taken place? Are we so united with God, so at one with Him, that Jesus Christ, our Creator, Savior, Redeemer, and High Priest has made us the place of His abode? If so, do our lives reflect that He is there? Are we giving evidence of His presence?
I John 4:17 contains the astounding statement: "Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world."
Peter announces in I Peter 4:17, "For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begin with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?" For those of us "in the church," our judgment began with God's calling and our conversion, and it continues to this very moment. Judgment will come to those living following Christ's return during the Millennium and to those in the second resurrection during the Great White Throne period.
Are we experiencing boldness or confidence (the Greek word can be translated either way; see Hebrews 3:6), or are we ashamed of Jesus Christ? Do we hide what we are? John suggests that we should be living boldly because we have a foundation of confidence that we are under the blood of Jesus Christ and have begun to keep His commandments. Are we ashamed about talking about ourbaptism into the church of God, His Family? Are we fearful about talking about specific doctrines, not to convert others, but simply to state our beliefs?
It is interesting that the Greek word translated "boldness" literally means "freedom of speech." It implies that nothing hinders a person. Love is being perfected in us so that we may be unhindered in our submission to God while under judgment. I John 4:17 then goes on to say, "As He is, so are we in this world." "He" is capitalized. The publishers have done this to draw attention to the fact that this pronoun refers to Christ Himself.
The subject here is not another human being but the Deity, and John is saying we can be bold because we share a commonality with Him. What did He accomplish? Where does He stand in relation to God and to us? How did He live His life? Jesus Christ lived His life confidently and boldly. The apostle is essentially saying that, when God looks at us, He sees us as though we were Jesus Christ! Has anybody ever lived life closer to God than Jesus?

~John W. Ritenbaugh~

Galatians 5:17

(17) For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
New King James Version   

Sometimes we seem to consist of a whole clamorous mob of desires, like week-old kittens, blind of eye with mouths wide open, mewing to be satisfied. It is as if two voices are in us, arguing, "You shall, you shall not. You ought, you ought not." Does not God want us to set a will above these appetites that cannot be bribed, a reason that cannot be deceived, and a conscience that will be true to God and His standards? We must either control ourselves using the courage, power, and love of God's Spirit, or we will fall to pieces.
Adam and Eve established the pattern for mankind in theGarden of Eden. All of us have followed it, and then, conscience-smitten, we rankle under feelings of weakness. They were tempted by the subtle persuasions of Satan and the appeals of their own appetites for forbidden fruit that looked so good. To this they succumbed, and they sinned, bringing upon themselves the death penalty and much more evil besides. What is the use of appealing to men who cannot govern themselves, whose very disease is that they cannot, whose conscience cries out often both before and after they have done wrong, "Who shall deliver me from this body of death?" It is useless to tell a king whose subjects have overthrown him to rule his kingdom. His kingdom is in full revolt, and he has no soldiers behind him. He is a monarch with no power.
A certain Bishop Butler said, "If conscience had power, as it has authority, it would govern the world." Authority without power is nothing but vanity. Conscience has the authority to guide or accuse, but what good is it if the will is so enfeebled that the passions and desires get the bit between their teeth, trample the conscience, and gallop headlong to the inevitable collision with the ditch?
The solution to this lies in our relationship with Christ:
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your ownsalvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:12-13)
This is the only thing that will give us complete self-control, and it will not fail.
In Luke 11:13, Jesus makes this wonderful promise of strength to those who trust Him:
If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!
Trust Jesus Christ, and ask Him to govern. Ask Him for more of God's Holy Spirit, and He will help you to control yourself. Remember, II Timothy 1:7 says this is a major reason that He gives us His Spirit. He will not fail in what He has promised because the request fits perfectly into God's purpose of creating sons in His image.

~John W. Ritenbaugh~

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