Monday, May 22, 2017

What is the purpose of life?

Have you ever wondered what your purpose is?  We are created to give God glory.  “... everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”Isaiah 43:7.  He made us to glorify Him.  Glory refers to worth, beauty and value.  To give glory is to give Him honor, service, and devotion.  We glorify Him by worshiping Him, serving Him, and forming a relationship with Him.  We are to honor His Words.  Satan doesn’t like that and likes it when we doubt what our purpose is. 

God originally created man to glorify Him, to enjoy fellowship with Him, and to have dominion over the earth.  With man’s fall into sin our fellowship with Him was broken.  Now we have to work and struggle to live in this world.  Our fellowship with God can be restored through faith in Jesus.  We can rediscover our purpose.

Our purpose is to glorify God by fearing and obeying Him.  Then we can enjoy Him and experience true abundant life that He wants for us.  The Bible is a book about God and His glory.  He wants us to be His worshipers. (John 4:22-24).

King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 1:2, “Meaningless!  Meaningless!... Utterly meaningless!  Everything is meaningless”.  Solomon had it all.  He had wealth, wisdom, women, palaces, and the best of everything.  Why did he think life was meaningless?  It is because God created us for something far beyond material things.  There is much more for us.  “He has made everything beautiful in its time.  He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecc. 3:11.

God created us in His image meaning we are like God.  He gave man work to do.  He gave man dominion over the earth.  He intended for these things to add to our fulfillment in life.  The real meaning of life is found in restoring our relationship with God.  That is found through His Son, Jesus who gave His life on the cross for our sins.  We can then give Him the glory for what He has done and glory in all things, which is His purpose for us.

We have a choice.  We can go through the motions in this life while gaining lots of material things.  We can strive for that big promotion and that big bank account.  We can be popular and have men look up to us for all our successes.  We can live empty lives or we can choose Him and let Him guide us and give our lives purpose.  We can pursue Him, live for Him, obey Him, and glorify Him.  He loves us and desires the best for us.

How can we give God glory? 
We can praise Him in all things.
We can worship Him. 
We can recognize that glory belongs to Him alone and not men. 
We can help others recognized and repent of their sins. 
We can let our light shine by being Jesus’ example. “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father in heaven.”Matt. 5:16.  We can be thankful and show our gratitude that He saved us from our sin. 
We can offer our bodies as living sacrifices.  “Offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God which is your spiritual worship.”Rom. 12:1-2. 
We can stay faithful and stand firm in His truths recognizing false teachings.
We can tell others fulfilling the great commission.  “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”Matt. 28:19-20.
We can live in unity and fellowship with all other Christians.
We can confess our sin.
We can bear fruit.
We can give God credit where credit is due.
We can be content with what we have.  After all He promises to supply all our needs.

How to you give God glory?
Do your goals in life please God?
Are you content or are you always wanting more stuff?
Do you live in unity with others?
How are you spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ?

“Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”1 Cor. 10:31.

I hope this helps you understand why you are here and what your purpose is.  Thanks for stopping by my site.  Have a blessed day.  See you next time.

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Monday, May 15, 2017

What is Christianese?

It is the casual language used by Christians.  You can think of it as “Christian slang.”  It’s a language that Christians use that unbelievers and some believers really do not understand.  It is a language of words, terms and phrases used in Christianity.  Some of these words are not even in the Bible.  Some of these words are rapture, ask Jesus into your heart, agape, born-again, if it is God’s will, spiritual gift, and fellowship – well you get the idea.  Here is a short list of this language and what each means.

Agape – This is a Greek word for brotherly love.  It is the love of God or Christ for mankind.  It is the unselfish love Christians have for other persons.

Adoption – When someone surrenders their life to Jesus they are brought into the family of God through the work of Jesus on the cross. (Rom 8-9; Gal. 4:5; Eph. 1:5)

Ask Jesus into your heart – This phrase is not in the Bible.  It refers to the most important decision a person can ever make – to believe in Jesus as Lord.  It means to give your heart to Him, making Him your Lord and Savior and obeying His commands.  Salvation is by grace through faith, not of works.  Just asking doesn’t save you. You must believe that Jesus paid for your sins on the cross, was buried and rose again.  It is believing in and surrendering to Jesus.  It is asking Him to transform you, to push yourself out and fill yourself up with Him.   

Atonement – Sin separates us from God.  When Jesus died on the cross, He bore the punishment for our sins.  His blood was shed as a sacrificial offering which enabled the reconciliation between God and man. (1 Peter 2:24; Heb. 9:12)

Baby Christian – This is a person who has recently converted to Christianity and is new to Biblical teachings.

Backslidden – This doesn’t mean they are not saved, necessarily.  It refers to those Christians who have reverted back to sinful habits.

Bride of Christ – This refers to the church, which is the redeemed body of believers.  It represents the spiritual intimate relationship we will have with God when we have been fully sanctified. (Rev.  21)

Believe – This is to be persuaded of the truth, to expect and hope with confidence, and to trust – to believe that Jesus is God, that He died on the cross to pay the penalty for your sins, which you deserve eternal separation from God. (John 1:1-4, 14; 1 cor. 15:3; 2 Cor. 5:21; Rom. 6:23)

Bible belt – This is the area of the southern and Midwestern US and western Canada where Protestant fundamentalism is widely practiced.

Blasphemy – This is the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God.

To be Blessed – This mean to be truly satisfied.  This does not mean to be simply happy.  We can never be happy living self-centered lives.  Matt. 5:1-12 tells us what it means to be blessed.

Born-again – This literally means to be “born from above”.  It means to have a spiritual transformation.  To be born again is when you have a change of heart and a change in how you live.  You are dead to your sins and made alive by repenting and believing and trusting Jesus as Lord.  You are spiritually renewed and are a child of God by right of new birth. (John 3:3-7, 2 Cor. 5:17, Titus 3:5)

Church / Body of Christ – This is not the church building, but the believing people made up of all Christians who have ever lived all over the world.

Children of God - God is our creator and we are all His children.  When the Bible talks about God’s children, it means people who have a relationship with God because of their believing in Him and trusting in Him for salvation.  God takes care of us physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  He loves and takes care of us just as an earthly father loves and takes care of his children. 

Communion or Lord’s Supper – This is a memorial, celebration, and reminder of Jesus’ death and resurrection.   It’s the taking of wine or juice and bread which symbolizes Jesus blood and body that was sacrificed on the cross.  We rejoice that Jesus conquered death and has set free all who were enslaved by a fear of death.  We remember His triumph over sin and death.  It’s a celebration, not a funeral.  It’s a reminder of Jesus’ return. (Matt. 26:17-29; Mark 14:12-25; Luke 22:7-23;

Die to self – This refers to surrendering and dying the selfish ways of the fleshly nature in order to honor God by living by the Spirit. (Luke 9:23; 1 Peter 2:24; Rom. 8:13)

Disciple – When used as a noun it means to be a student and follower of Jesus.  As a verb it means to train another in the Christian faith. (Luke 14:27; John 8:31-32; Matt. 28:18-20)

Election – This is in reference to God choosing in His sovereignty those people that will be saved. (Rom. 8:31-39, 9:1-29)  He chose us all to be saved, but it’s our choice whether to accept Him or not.

Faith – This is made up of 3 things – knowledge, belief, and trust in Jesus.  It is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. (Heb. 11:1)  It is believing Jesus is what He is said to be, and He will do what He promised, and then to expect this of Him.

Flesh – This is in reference to our physical and sinful human nature that is apart from divine influence. (1 John 2:15-17; Gal. 5:19-21; Rom. 8:1-17)

Fellowship – The basic meaning is a real and practical sharing in eternal life with the Father and the Son.  The full meaning of fellowship only exists, because God the Father through Jesus Christ, the Son and the Spirit has established a relationship with man.  Those who believe the gospel are united in the Spirit and share in this relationship and communion. (1 John 1:3-6)

Fruit of the Spirit – This is not Spiritual gifts.  The fruit of the Spirit are aspects of Christ’s character, which every Christian is to seek, promote, and develop.  They are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Gal. 5:22)

Gospel – This means “good News”, which is that Jesus has paid the penalty for our sins and we can be reconciled with God through Christ’ work on the cross. (Matt., Mark, Luke, John, Rom. 1-8)  This is Jesus’ story.  It is His birth, death and resurrection.

Grace – This is described as unmerited favor of God toward man.  (Eph 2:8)  This concept occurs in the Old Testament as “favor in the eyes of the Lord”, “find favor”, “be pleased with”, etc. (Gen 6:8 and Exodus 33).  There are many references to grace in the New Testament. (John 1:16, Luke 2:40, 52, Eph. 1:6)

Hedge of protection – This is considered to be a fence or barrier which God places around us to protect us from evil.

In Jesus’ Name – This refers to making requests in the name of Jesus.  It is used at the end of prayers.  Jesus told us to ask Him anything in His Name and He will do it. (John 14:13-14)

Justification – This refers to being made righteous in the eyes of God through the work of Jesus on the cross (Rom. 3:28; Rom. 5; Gal. 2:16)

Prayer warrior – This is Christian who is committed to praying often.  This is a believer who prays in Jesus’ name and is called to be an intercessor for people.

Predestination – God determines certain things ahead of time.  He knows who will believe and who will not.  We all have a choice – to believe or not to believe.  God wants us all to accept Jesus as Lord.  He knows who these people are and the choices they will make, because God is all knowing. (Eph. 1:5, 11)

Propitiation – This refers to Jesus taking our place and bearing the punishment for our sins on the cross. (Rom. 3:25; 1 John 2:2, 1 John 4:10)

Rapture – The word rapture does not occur in the Bible.  The term means “caught up”.  Before Jesus comes back to earth to judge the world and set up His Kingdom, He is going to rapture the church, the true believers.  He will take them out of this ungodly world and transform their bodies into glorious bodies in a twinkling of an eye. (2 Tim. 4:1, 16-18, 1 Cor. 15:51-56; 1 Thess. 5:1-22, Matt. 25:13)

Redeemed – When Jesus died on the cross, He paid for our sins and removed the obligation of payment to God.  He released us from the bondage of sin.  He rescued us by giving His life for us.  He saved us from God’s wrath.  God placed the wrath due us upon Jesus so that if we repent and trust in Jesus, God will look at us as being righteous just like Jesus is righteous.

Repentance – This refers to being conscious of guilt as a result of turning from that sin and turning to God. (Luke 13:3; Acts 3:19; 1 John 1:9)

Sanctification – This is the process God uses to make us holy.  It’s the growing and purifying setting us free from sin.  It takes a lifetime.  We will never be completely perfect until that day of Jesus’ return.

Saved – This refers to the deliverance from the consequences and power of sin through Jesus’ death and resurrection. (Eph. 2:8-9; Mark 16:16; John 10:9) 

Spiritual Gift – This is a gift given to believers to be used by God.  It is a special divine empowerment bestowed on each believer by the Holy Spirit to accomplish a given ministry according to God’s design and purpose. (Eph. 4:11-13, 16)  Gifts are given to believers to grow and mature in their faith, the needs of the church will be met, and God will be glorified.

Trinity – This refers to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.  This term is not found in scripture, but is demonstrated in Matt. 3:15-17, Gen. 1:26-27. 

Washed by the blood – This means to have your sins forgiven by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  When He died on the cross, He acted as the Lamb of God to be killed like the Passover Lamb in the Old Testament.  By the shedding of His blood we obtain eternal redemption.  It means to have a cleansed heart.

There are many others words and phrases not mentioned here.  I hope this has cleared up some of these words and terms for you.  Thanks for stopping by my site.  Have a blessed day.  See you next time for another interesting topic.


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Friday, May 12, 2017

Lessons From the Book of John

My faith has been strengthened through the study of John.  Every time I read and study the Bible, God reveals more and more to me.  I was reminded of things I already knew as well as learning more about applying His truths to my life. 

John 1
 Jesus was there at creation and is the One by which all things were made. 
He gives light to the world. 
He is the answer for sin. 
He came from the Father and is full of grace and truth.

John 2
Jesus has the power to turn hope into joy. 
He has the authority to transform ritual into relationship.

John 3
 You must be born again to see the kingdom of God. 
Everyone who believes in Him will have eternal life.   

John 4
Nothing but Jesus will satisfy. 
True worship is the condition of the heart. 
Christians are to do soul-harvesting.
John 5
Jesus wants us to not choose to be helpless and to stop feeling sorry for ourselves, but walk or move from where we are into a new life.
Jesus is equal to God.
There are many witnesses proving who Jesus is: God Himself, John the Baptist, the work of Jesus, the Scriptures, and Moses and the Old Testament.  Biblical faith is not blind; it is grounded on evidence.

John 6
God uses challenges, temptations and storms to reveal Himself.
Prayer is vital to resisting temptation. 
Resistance to Him cannot change the truth that to have eternal life is possible only through belief in Jesus. 
Jesus is the Bread of Life and provides all we need.  
Jesus is worthy of our pursuit.
Jesus is the only way to avoid judgment and to live eternal life.

John 7
Jesus’ words are powerful and touch our hearts like nothing else.  God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are the Trinity.  God, the Father who is our Creator.  Jesus, the Son who is our Redeemer.  The Holy Spirit is the Spirit in us and is our security.  Jesus does not act independently of God.

John 8
Jesus is loving, kind, fair, all knowing and forgiving.  Instead of throwing rocks at sinners, He restores them.
Jesus is the light of the world.   We are slaves because of sin, but the truth can set you free.  Jesus offers freedom to all who believe.
Jesus is everything and everywhere.  Jesus is God.  He is the Great I AM.

John 9
God can use suffering to demonstrate His power and grace.
Faith grows through challenges and by knowing the Word.
Our faith is strengthened as we stand with Him in persecution.
Jesus can heal physically and spiritually.

John 10
Jesus is our True Shepherd.  He knows and guides His sheep.  He loves His sheep enough to willingly die for them.  His sheep hear and recognize His voice.
Jesus and the Father are One.

John 11
God lets us wait for His perfect timing to show His glory.
Jesus leaves no doubt about His power.
Greater purpose in all things both good and bad is the glory of God.

John 12
A life spent in selfless devotion to Jesus is not wasted.
Worship can be costly.
Jesus is worthy of our love, faith and sacrifice.
Fulfilled prophecies prove that Jesus is the Messiah.

John 13
We are called to selfless service and no task is beneath us to do for Christ’s sake.
Choosing to reject Jesus gives Satan opportunity to work.

John 14
Jesus is the only way to the Father.
Our love for Jesus is demonstrated by our obedience.
Jesus gives us true peace through the Holy Spirit.

John 15
Every true follower of Jesus bears fruit.
Jesus commands all believers to lay down their lives for one another.
People who choose to reject Christ also reject His followers.  Believers can expect persecution.

John 16
Jesus offers joy and peace through the Holy Spirit.

John 17
Through prayer believers receive the power, protection, and courage to live glorifying lives.
God’s sovereign plan involves Jesus give eternal life to all who the Father had given Him.
God’s sovereign plan is to glorify Himself and His Son through the cross.

John 18
Jesus chose to be arrested and suffer the cross to save us instead of Himself.
Even when you fail the Lord, He never fails you.
God is in control and over rules man’s evil schemes.

John 19
Our response to trials reveal who we really are.
Jesus willing died for us to accomplish God’s redemption plan.
Jesus triumphantly finished God’s plan to pay the full price for our sin.
His death gave us access to God.
We live in freedom from our past to live a new resurrected life.

John 20
Death could not hold Jesus.
No grave can hold believers, because Jesus’ resurrection conquered death.
Belief in the resurrections leads to a new relationship with God.
Believers are commanded to tell others.
We are to stop doubting and believe.
The evidence of Jesus’ resurrection should lead us to believe in Jesus as our Savior and Lord.

John 21
Jesus wants us to come and follow Him.
Obeying Him truly satisfies.
Jesus disciplines us to restore us to fruitful service.
God uses each person differently based on our individual needs, personality and with work He has for us.
Join me next time.  Have a blessed day and thanks for visiting my site.  

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