Satisfaction Right Where You Are

satisfactionrightwhereyouare

I wish that I could say that I was able to find joy in every circumstance. I wish I could say that I knew that it would all turn out well in the end. I wish that I could tell say that I knew how all of this was going to fit into God’s plan for my life.Read More »

What’s Your Motivation to Follow Christ?

 

 

What's Yourto Follow Christ?As a Christian, with Christian parents, I can not tell you how many times I have been told to do what’s right. Told to “be kind”, “be honest”, “be loving”, “be thankful”, and the list goes on and on. Or I’m told not to do what’s wrong. Told to “not be mean”, “not to lie”, “not to be ungrateful”, and I think you get the gist of what I mean. I even find myself saying these exact things to my siblings.

The Bible also tells us to do what’s right and not to do what’s wrong.

Galatians 5:25

Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.

And the Spirit’s leading is:

Galatians 5:22-23

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

Now my point is not to say that this is bad. No, definitely not. It’s good to be reminded of what’s right and what’s wrong. Especially since we, as human beings, seem to forget things so easily (Just look at the history of the Israelites for proof.).

But when we decide to do the “right thing” or the “wrong thing”, what is our motivation behind that decision? More to the point, why are we following Christ?

Is it because we’re told to?

Is it because it is right?

As children when we’re told to do or not to do something by our parents, we obeyed. And all the explanation we ever need to obey is because our parents told us to (or maybe because we also didn’t want to get into trouble). But as we got older and smarter many of us asked the question “Why?”. Why should we do this? Why should we not do this?

And now I’m asking you again: what is your motivation behind the decisions you make? Why are you following Christ?

If it’s because it is “right”, how do you know it’s right? Well, if God’s standards are your moral compass for judging what is right and what is wrong then you are on the right track.

But because it’s “right” shouldn’t be the only reason you follow God.

The most important reason we should follow God and do what’s right is because we love Him.

John 14:23

Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them.

We do everything for God out of love we have for Him.

If you don’t have that love for God, it’s like doing a exercise you never want to do. How long will you keep it up until you quit?

Knowing that something is right in your head is not enough. It’s not going to keep you going. You need a reason more motivating that. Your heart needs to be in it. You have to want it with all your heart. You have to love Him.

Mark 12:30

And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.

Loving Him can motivate you to do anything for Him. It is the reason that Christians can face persecution with joy.

We need to make sure that we have that love for Him, because we can never really live for Christ without loving Him first.

-G. Paige

Gun Control

Gun ControlGun control has been a much discussed topic in the U.S. Many crimes are committed through the use of guns and other similar weapons. As the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the U.S.A. explicitly states that “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of he people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”. But what is our right to bear arms? Are there limitations to this? Should there be tougher gun control laws or easier ones? Are guns the problem that there’s crime? I hope to share my view on all of this and more relating to gun control.

Guns are used by all sorts of people. They’ve been used to do good and to do bad. To save and protect and to kill and destroy. But I don’t think that the guns are the problem. It’s the people who are behind the trigger that decide whether it will be used as a force for good or evil. It’s never the guns that are doing the terrible and horrible things. It is the people. If a person wants to commit a crime and he/she doesn’t have a gun, do you think that will stop her/him? No, of course not! We can always find a way to do evil with whatever we have if we really want to. A gun just makes it so much easier. If we’re going to put really tough gun control laws down, we might as well start putting such laws on everything else, because seriously, just about anything can be used for crime.

I believe that there are limitations to the Second Amendment like age restrictions. You wouldn’t just give a gun to a three year old. Also, those who have committed crimes in the past should never be allowed to have guns unless it’s for military purposes or for defense in a life or death situation. Those same could be said for those with mental issues, we wouldn’t want them to accidentally hurt themselves or those around them. Besides things like that though, I think anyone of a acceptable age should be allowed to have guns if they can afford it. We have a right to have them, whether or not people want us to.

Now we are never going to be able to fully stop crime. We live in such a sinful world that it is quite unrealistic to think that we’ll have a prefect utopia here on earth. We’ll have to wait on Jesus’s return for that. But no matter how fallen this world is, we can still do our best to stop crime. I just don’t think that tougher gun control laws are going to help. In fact, I think that it might make crime worse because as harder laws are put down it makes more people want to break them. To really stop crime, we need to change the people’s lives. The people are the ones who commit crimes, not the tools they use. If we can change people’s heart towards God, we’d be taking a big step towards having peace in this world.

-G. Paige

God and the Old Testament (Part 1)

ahr-largeSo I want to do a post on God, His love, and His relationship with us. I decided that I’d split it into two parts. One focusing on God in the Old Testament and one on God in the New Testament and, of course, today’s time, because there is a bit of a difference between the two.

In the beginning God created the world. He created everything, and I mean everything. There is not one thing the isn’t made by God. That means He created us. You know why? To glorify Him. We were made to share fellowship with Him and glorify Him through that.

But when Adam and Eve sinned, we fell from that perfection and could do nothing to save ourselves. We couldn’t glorify Him like we should’ve been able to. Then Adam and Eve’s descendants (except Noah and his family) turned to wickedness and it broke God’s heart.

Genesis 6:6

So the LORD was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart.

He then brought His righteous anger down and brought about a flood. All people except Noah his family were destroyed.

Through many years after that, God spoke to men who became the ancestors of His chosen people: the Israelites. Some of those men were Abram, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. He loved them dearly and when they followed Him faithfully, He blessed them. But those whose sinned greatly…think of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Now I’m not saying that in the Old Testament God was a God of anger and in the New Testament He was a God of love. I know some people believe that, but it is really not true. God doesn’t change, He stays the same.

Malachi 3:6

I am the LORD, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already destroyed.

God can be angry and punish us because He is, first of all, God. God has the ultimate authority over us and everything. We all deserve hell, but because He a loving and merciful God He hasn’t sent us there. A second reason is that He is good. He can’t do anything wrong. No matter how wrong God’s decisions seems to us, it is right. I know, that is hard to believe at times and we’ll never fully understand it until we’re in Heaven.

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Exodus 20:6
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But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.

In the book Exodus, God gave the Israelites “official” commandments to follow. But time and time and time again the Israelites turned away to idols and other idolatrous things. You see, the commandments only more showed how the Israelites couldn’t obey all of them and be perfect. It showed them that they needed a savior, because they couldn’t do it on their own. Do you see where this is heading?

The Old Testament is mainly the history of the Israelites and how they followed God and then turned away, then turned back to God and then turned away…you know what I mean. Though God was merciful and loving so He didn’t totally wipe them out like He could have, He punished and/or reprimanded them. He is a God of justice.

Throughout what seems the hopelessness of the Old Testament: how the Israelites always fall short of God’s commands, we actually see hope too of a coming savior who will set them (us) free from the law. The Old Testament prophecies of hope and redemption.

Zechariah 9:9

Rejoice, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey— riding on a donkey’s colt.

Isn’t that wonderful? There was hope. Next time I will post on that hope which is now a reality.

-G. Paige

It’s Hard Not To Fall

imageNo matter who you are, or where you come from, you’ll always have temptations. Where does these temptations come from?

‭James‬ ‭1:14‬

Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.

It is different for each person. Nobody is perfect, even me. 😀 Some of my faults include: anger (I can lose my self-control very easily with my siblings) and pride (I sometimes think in my head that I’m better than another person in whatever we’re doing), but for you this may not even be a problem.

Temptation is a major reason why we sin. That doesn’t mean that it is not our own fault when we sin, it still is. Sin itself is a temptation. But it is so much harder to not sin, when it is a temptation.

‭Proverbs‬ ‭1:10-15‬

My child, if sinners entice you, turn your back on them! They may say, “Come and join us. Let’s hide and kill someone! Just for fun, let’s ambush the innocent! Let’s swallow them alive, like the grave; let’s swallow them whole, like those who go down to the pit of death. Think of the great things we’ll get! We’ll fill our houses with all the stuff we take. Come, throw in your lot with us; we’ll all share the loot.” My child, don’t go along with them! Stay far away from their paths.

This is what King Solomon said to his people. If you read through the Old Testament you will see time and time again the Israelites fell back to their idols and away from the one and only true God. Solomon is warning them to stay away from sin, from temptation. This can apply to us too. Too easily we fall to our temptations. We literally can not stop sinning and falling to temptations. “What? Than how can we stop sinning? You’re telling us to stop. Are you joking?” is what you might be thinking. I’m serious though, we can not stop sinning, by ourselves. We need Jesus in our hearts to be able to stop sinning. Even when we have Jesus we are still going to be tempted. Everyone is tempted, even Jesus was tempted.

‭Luke‬ ‭4:1-2‬

Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where he was tempted by the devil for forty days. Jesus ate nothing all that time and became very hungry.

Though Jesus was tempted, he never fell for it. He persevered. We, filled with the Holy Spirit, can persevere through temptation too. Remember though, it is Satan who tempts us, not God. God is never the one tempting us.

‭James‬ ‭1:13‬

And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else.

We will fall, no matter what, there is going to be those days when we follow the desires of our flesh. But never ever blame God for being tempted.

‭Luke‬ ‭17:1-2

One day Jesus said to his disciples, “There will always be temptations to sin, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting! It would be better to be thrown into the sea with a millstone hung around your neck than to cause one of these little ones to fall into sin.”

See? There will always be temptations to sin, but with God we can resist temptation. “There’s hope.” you might say.

‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭10:13‬

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

This verse gives us so much hope. Our temptations will be no more than we can bear. Does that not bring a feeling of relief? Lastly, when others fall we can help lift them up. That’s what Christians are to do: lift each other up. Encourage one another.

Galatians‬ ‭6:1

Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.

We have help, from our friends, family, and especially God. So, whatever you’re going through continue to remember: with God you can do anything.

-G. Paige