Thursday, August 29, 2013

No Matter What

So... I read an article on a so-called new "Christian Religion" being an "all-inclusive, no matter what, all roads lead to heaven" sort of outlook that's spreading quite fast in Texas where the "founder's" church is located... The founder has stated the Apostle Peter, John & Paul are misguided, incorrect and need rebuking for their stance on sin keeping people out of heaven. And that God will allow everyone into heaven no matter what... Here's the thing, that outlook is nothing new at all, it's been around since bible times. But here's the other thing, it's not truthful. I get it, we all wish this thing was easy sometimes but truthfully, it isn't easy, that's why His "power [strength] is made perfect in our weakness."  We need His power to save us. We need his strength to get into heaven.  If someone gives you a road map to get home would you burn it and wander aimlessly, hoping that sometime you will stumble upon the right home and you will be welcomed in? Of course not! That would be senseless, at best you would arrive after the door of welcome had been shut, at worst you would starve yourself and those travelling with you on your journey. In any situation we can get help, we take it, if we have to work hard for years to reach a goal, we do it... Why not work hard to be with God, with his strength and his word we can do this!

The basis of the article I read was since all have fallen short, no one can be holy and no one can be sinless then God must allow everyone, no matter how they live, into heaven... Okay, I don't even know how to respond to this... Ummm, no, but God is not now, nor has he ever looked for perfection from his creation (us) but if we think and study the Word it's clear God has made us in His image... And since I'm pretty sure God doesn't look in his mirror and see my mug in the morning it must be the one thing every human has in common... And there is something... We all search to be loved, that's exactly what God is searching for, people who love him... And if you love someone you do what you need to do in order to be with them... If they are allergic to peanuts you usually wouldn't smother your lips in peanut butter before they come over because it would not be acceptable to the relationship... And like that kind of relationship requires some changing, so does a relationship with our creator.
Secondly, that premise presented is that God loves everyone in spite of their sin and will welcome every person into heaven, regardless of whether they are reveling in sin or not... Because all sin is the same in the eyes of God and no one is without sin so God just basically has to take what he can get, and since we can't be perfect he has removed all requirement to strive for bettering ourselves. YES, all sin is the same in His eyes, NO none of us can ever be perfect and YES God loves us in spite of sin!! That's why Jesus died on the cross and rose again, triumphant, to pardon our sins... But just like there is no pardon from conviction in our court systems without some action on our part there is no pardon for sin without some action on our part.  God and sin cannot dwell together so we must repent from sin (which is more than a feeling, it's an action... When a sergeant shouts "repent" to his soldiers they turn around and go forward in the opposite direction) we must also be washed of our sins (Baptism - by emersion in Jesus name, just like Jesus baptized) and then we are empty of sin and God can fill us with his Spirit giving us the power we need to change! Lack of action on our part, continuing to live in sin day after day when we know to do better is not respecting what God gave us in the Cross of Calvary and the Resurrection. Kind of like saying "It's nice that you love me God, but I'm going to continue doing all the things I know displease you and if you really love me you'll just overlook it..." Your mother would probably be able to fill you in on what the response to a statement like this would be if you don't already know :) While Jesus does love us, he does not just make everything easy on us... There are requirements if we are to live under his roof, just like a parent doesn't allow their child to live rule-less because they know they cannot possibly live perfectly, neither does God allow his children to live "rule-less." Just like a parent will correct their child when they are seen making a mistake that could harm them, so does Christ with us. So while I agree that God loves all of us no matter what, that cannot mean he will allow us - with all of our sin - into heaven without having followed the plan of salvation (repentance, baptism & infilling of his spirit) to get us there, it's His spirit in us that will give us our ticket into the Holy City! 
As far as proving this person wrong, the Bible does that adequately... Jesus, in his own words, did that many times, and if this "Christian Religion" pays no attention to the words of the Christ I'm pretty sure that would make it a non-CHRISTian religion in the first place. Anyhoo.... Here's how I think we need to "deal with it" instead of concentrating on "proving it wrong" we need to concentrate on being the church Christ instructed us to be! REACH, spread the Gospel as Christ taught it, speak from the Word only, don't add to it, don't subtract from it. The proof is in the pudding, so to speak, so let's just buck up and not get our eyes on non-sense, keep them looking up!  God's spirit will take care of any situation, he will bless those who follow His Word so don't worry about the rest!

Also see: Sin Permit

Thursday, August 15, 2013

It's the Small Things

I had a fabulous lunch with an old friend, Adam Clark, last Saturday :) Actually, he did most of the eating but the chat was the best part anyway!  It's funny how true friends never seem like they've been gone for long, you just pick up where you left off. We talked about God and ministry, things we feel God is leading us to etc.

During one part of the conversation I was talking about what all I am involved in (ministry wise) and made the statement "my favorite parts are the small things like..." What caught my attention was after I was finished listing the "small things" Adam's response was "how do you know they are the small things, that doesn't sound small at all to me!"  The reason his comment caught me was because it's the second time someone has said that to me recently... Last month after I posted Big or Small I got a message from the lady I was writing about asking how I know what I am doing right now for God is "small?" 
Adam and I started talking about the "small things" and how they most likely aren't small at all to God. You see, we look at so much in such a different light from what Christ sees them in... Remember he said he would leave ninety nine to find one, and we think of the love of it, ninety nine seems much more significant than one but in his sight the one isn't small at all.  Adam brought up a point that the smallest seed turns into the biggest plant, remember "if you should have faith the size of a grain of mustard seed!" 
Our faith, no matter how small it is now, is meant to grow... And God has given each person the measure of faith so we all have it, it's just how we nurture it. Faith that is considered small in our eyes is seen by God for everything it can grow into, much like we view children, we don't see them only as they are but for the future they represent!  We look at some things and consider them inferior because of their maturity when we should see what can be made of them, we look at some things as small when in fact, to God, they are the big things... Much like in a relationship when describing what makes it good we often say "it's the small things really" in relationship with God the important things to him are often seen as "small."
I don't know where you are in life, what your faith level may be, if your ministry seems insignificant but I do know, if you nurture your faith and ministry they have an amazing future to be lived!  Besides, how do you know either is small in the sight of God!? 
There are two scriptures I would like you to think on:

Zechariah 4:10
"Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin..!" 
Job 8:7
"And though your beginning was small, your latter days will be very great"

Thursday, August 8, 2013

I Can't get no Satisfaction

Hey guys, I had a blog post all ready for you all but something happened that I just had to share!  It's not the normal Suzie-K post but it's a life event I wanted you all to know happened!  First, all of my friends are having babies right now... Apparently the weddings are over and they are all on to the next stage of life and I'm left behind both grades...  Most times the single life is fantastic but I have to admit every once-in-a-happening I have a moment of "why you before me?"  But not anymore! 
And you must watch the video of how it happened!! Yes it's 13 minutes but you can do it! Please!?

So clearly this isn't me... In class last night another line caught my attention, paraphrasing it would be "What do your needs in other relationships teach you about your need in your relationship with God?" and it was explained as if you're unsatisfied in a relationship with someone it's probably mirroring the spiritual need... It really took me back to think of things in that way.  I am quite proud of where I am, how far I've come, in general I am satisfied in life, there's just that one thing... Someone to share it with.  The thing is, I had forgotten I already have someone to share it with... And if I am still unsatisfied because I only have fur babies to be a mommy to maybe it's because I've not invited any guests nor conceived babies with Him!? Maybe I'm not satisfied in my love life because I have shifted my gaze in an other's direction... You know they say "the grass is greener where you water it" and maybe I haven't been allowing myself to soak in the water of His love. Maybe I've forgotten the proposal.

Jesus is my life partner but sometimes I forget, sometimes I try things my own way, sometimes I make mistakes and get dirty and sometimes I need reminded who's I am and so do you.  So here it is, if you've already accepted the proposal this is your reminder to get back to your first love, if you're unsatisfied in any area of your life think about how it may be mirroring the spiritual and do something about it!  If you've not yet made up your mind and said "YES!" allow me to be your friend pushing you toward the greatest love of your life.


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Skinned Knees and Change

What's going on!? It feels like forever since I've written anything for you guys... I know, in reality it was just last week... I think it must be the business of summer :o)  Oh why can't we have summer all year round!?  Ha!
Little update on me: I've been taking another course... Last summer photography (which I've pretty much let go by the wayside, I did learn and apply those tips but I just don't think I'm a picture taker in general.  I actually am not sure what I was looking for from this course, actually, all I knew about it was that it is called "Unglued." It's a course just for women (haha, men, haha!) and I guess I was thinking along the lines of becoming "unglued for God" not in the mad sort of way but rather in the letting nothing hold you back sort of way, you know, girl power for Jesus!  Nope... Well, I suppose we may get to that, I've only gone to our first class... And even what we are learning about ourselves will help us with relationship with Christ.  The first thing Kathy (our teacher) said was "this is going to be a thinking class... Lots of deep thoughts required" and I know reading this you may think that was sarcasm but far from it... All I could think - after working all day, not taking lunch and adding almost an hour and a half at the end of my shift, running home to change and go without supper - was "this is NOT what I signed up for..." We even have homework!
During the class - in spite of my, shall we say, dampened spirits - I learned a lot about myself... Nothing I didn't know but the knowledge was somewhere under the surface.  But what I learned of myself isn't what I want to share with you at this point... Rather, a question that caught my attention.

What are some words that come to mind when you think about "CHANGE?"

I have someone in my life that may be making some decisions very soon that will cause big changes for her... It's a situation that is sort of sprung on her and not her decisions that put it all in motion... I'm sure she will consider what's best for her in many ways and most importantly what God wants.  Of course, I put myself in her shoes and although making the decisions she is about to make and experiencing the changes that seem to be coming her way seems like a great idea to me as an objective person in the situation, if it were me I would likely be ill! No, really, haha! Big changes are something I need to think about for a long time and then one day, without planning the day or time just do.  This situation allows no time for planning really and things will change in a big way no matter what it's just which direction she wants things to go... So, of course the word I thought of last night and think of with regards to this situation is F-E-A-R!  Change is (or at least can be) scary!
 So, now a question I want to pose to us all:  "should fear stop us?"  And of course we all know the obvious answer is "no" but just take some time to think it through with me... Yes, you fear the unknown, I mean what if it doesn't work out the way I think? What if have to go back to the way things were after realizing the change wasn't 'for me?' What if although I can list all the reasons I should make a change, God is staying quite silent and leaving this decision up to me? What if I make the wrong decision and take a step in the wrong direction?  Well.... Go back.  See, here's the thing, God is trying to grow-us-up just like any parent with their children, although he can give us all the answers it wouldn't benefit us in the long run... Yes, sometimes children make a wrong choice, sometimes they take a step too far and fall down and skin their little legs but if the parent is watching - like God watches us - the child is never in actual danger...  Sometimes God wants us to have skinned knees so that we learn a lesson.  Can you imagine, God wanting us to skin our knees!?  Well, better a skinned knee than a broken leg (I'm sure some parent has said that at some point) and I think we need to allow ourselves the same room God does... I understand that fear and that want for perfection but we need to be realists, and perfection only belongs to God. Sometimes we will get skinned knees but sometimes we can only step into our true destiny by stepping over fear first!