Judging is Not a Bad Thing

judgingisnotabadthingPeople misconstrue things about the Bible a lot. It’s just bound to happen. Someone, somewhere, is going to misconstrue something about the Bible.Read More »

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Abortion

Abortion

Hey ya’ll! I’m starting a new series of posts on current issues in today’s world. Please feel free to let me know what you think!

Abortion has become a big issue for the United States of America since the late twentieth century. At least, for Christians it is an issue. For most other people, the killing of the fetus in the womb is a part of life. In this essay I hope to convey my stand point on this serious topic. I also hope to give a good reason why I take the view point I do. We must oppose this practice and stand up for what is morally right.

So what is my view on abortion? Well, I hope it would be pretty clear that as a Christian I would believe to be wrong. Abortion is murder. The fetus is alive from conception and is a human being. In the Bible there are references to human beings in the womb called children. God certainly must have believed that they were human, not fetuses. The Bible acknowledges that it’s life is worth just as much as an adult’s.

Exodus 21:22-25

Now suppose two men are fighting, and in the process they accidentally strike a pregnant woman so she gives birth prematurely. If no further injury results, the man who struck the woman must pay the amount of compensation the woman’s husband demands and the judges approve. But if there is further injury, the punishment must match the injury: a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, a foot for a foot, a burn for a burn, a wound for a wound, a bruise for a bruise.

It is murder to kill an innocent human being. One of the Ten Commandments says the we shouldn’t murder. Now we all are born into a world of sin. We’re all sinful and would be condemned to eternal life in Hell if not for Christ. Murder is murder whether it is an adult or an infant.

We as a nation are striving for peace, but there is a war within our very borders. Undeniably it is a war for life itself. Human beings are dying before they even get a chance to see life out of the womb. Life is precious, but we’re constantly destroying it. These children have a right, a right to live.
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More than half the population in the U.S. believes abortion is wrong. But because of a few dissenters, now abortion is legal. We need to stand up against this legal right to murder. We need to support and finance the organizations that are opposing abortion. Let’s vote for and support legislation that protects the unborn. I’d rather face judgement by man man than judgement by God.

Abortion is wrong. That’s what I believe and I hope that is what you believe too. It is clearly murder of a human being and I’m sure we all know what God says about murder. Abortion is legal now, but I know that if we stand together we can change that. Isn’t that what the African Americans did to get full civil rights? Let’s oppose this. It is our obligation to God to do so.

-G. Paige

To Christian Teens: It Doesn’t Matter What People Think

To Christian Teens_So it’s another day for a blog post. What should I talk about today? Well…I recently read The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness by Timothy Keller. It was a really short and easy read, but it made some great points that I’d like to maybe expand upon.

This is a shout out to all the teenagers out there: don’t let your fear control who you are or even more important, who you become. Now by saying this I’m not saying that I don’t have any fear, that I’m not afraid. That would be an absolute lie. I’m afraid, a lot.

I’m afraid of failing in my schoolwork. I’m afraid of not getting everything I need to get done to graduate from high school. I’m afraid of meeting new people (it’s not as bad as it was a few years ago). I’m afraid for my siblings and all those people I know who aren’t saved. What if they don’t accept Christ into their hearts and lives?

Everyone is afraid of something and these are just a few of mine. And you know many of these fears boil down to? Not being good enough. A fear of being average. And you know what?

We will never be good enough.

We try day after day to live up to media’s standards or social standards or our standards or whoever’s standards. We try to do this because we care about what people think of us. We want to be popular, to be liked. But we won’t ever live up to these standards or people. We can’t. Our sinful nature will always get in the way.

1 Corinthians‬ ‭4:3-4

As for me, it matters very little how I might be evaluated by you or by any human authority. I don’t even trust my own judgment on this point. My conscience is clear, but that doesn’t prove I’m right. It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide.

It doesn’t matter what people think. Their opinions do not matter. In the end, we will only be headed to Heaven or Hell. These standards are useless. All we do is full short of them (unless they’re so low as to make us feel bad about having such low standards).

The only standard and opinion that matters is God’s. And because of Christ, we are seen as blameless before Him.

Romans 8:1

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.

It doesn’t matter what we’ve done or what we will do. We’re saved forever.

So don’t let your fears control you. Don’t worry about what other people think. Don’t even worry about what you think. God’s opinion is the only opinion that matters and He has already proclaimed you His own child!

Romans 8:34

Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.

There is no need for fear. This is a time to rejoice!

-G. Paige

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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

To Christian Teens: To Be A Friend

aheartredeemedimageI move around a lot. I mean way more than “normal” people do (if there is such a thing as “normal”). Every time I move, I come closer to realization of just how much my friends mean to me. So a few months ago I moved to Puerto Rico (this was a big change for someone who has only lived in the United States). Anyways, I decided the move and other circumstances have led me to believe that friendship would be a fitting topic for today.

I’m pretty sure just about everyone has a friend. We were created to have a certain friendship with  God so it’s no wonder that we want to be friends with each other. It is a natural desire for us. Since having friends is important to us, I think some advice on friendship would be worth the time.

First off, we all need friends. Don’t even think about denying it. We need friends or, at least, a friend. Ultimately, God is our first and only friend we will ever need. But it is so encouraging and uplifting to have friends in the physical sense. Friends that will be there for us, no matter what.

John‬ ‭15:12-14

This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. 

Christians (those who obeys Christ’s commandments) are Jesus’s friends. He considers us his friends. Now tell me that isn’t neat.
What does it mean to be a friend? A friend is someone who you place your trust in and you know quite a bit about them. You probably talk about hard, intimate stuff that you wouldn’t talk about to a stranger. You know him/her and he/she knows you.

Proverbs‬ ‭27:10‬

Never abandon a friend— either yours or your father’s. When disaster strikes, you won’t have to ask your brother for assistance. It’s better to go to a neighbor than to a brother who lives far away.‭‭

To be a friend means being there for them in any way possible, encouraging them, loving them, giving advice that you are able to give, and maybe if you are really close and you both are willing, being accountable to each other. What I mean is criticizing each other on your strengths and faults even if it hurts. I do not want you to be all harsh and cruel, but give advice in a kind and Christian way and your friend taking it as well as he/she can. Of course, also switching the roles. We need to hold each other accountable. That is true Christian friendship.

Matthew‬ ‭7:1

Do not judge others, and you will not be judged.

People will use this verse as incentive to not hold each other accountable, judge, or criticize. But if we are Christians we should. Look at the next verse after the one above.

Matthew‬ ‭7:2

‭‭For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.

God was not saying “Don’t judge.”, He was just saying to be prepared to be judged yourself if you are going to judge others.

Proverbs‬ ‭27:17

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.‭‭‬

This is so true. Our friends can help us grow in our walk with Christ. To grow we need to be held accountable.

So I challenge you today to call, text, email, etc. to a friend. Give them an encouraging word. Or just chat. You don’t know how much it means to them (or, maybe you do). Don’t you enjoy getting a call, text, email, etc. from a friend?

-G. Paige
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John 3:1-21

Two blog posts in one day. “Are you crazy???” you might be asking. “Well, yes, I probably am,” I would reply. The real reason for this second post today is I’ve been doing a lot of book reviews (well, I do read a lot). That is good and all (I know), but I would like to do a post about the Bible, essentially Christ. He is one of the main reasons I started this blog so I can share my faith in Christ.

So, on to the central subject for this blog post. A little backstory first, though. Just a few days ago I joined a group on Goodreads. Anyways, we started going through the gospel of John, reading a chapter a day. Today being chapter three I decided I would talk about it more in-depth on my blog. Here we go.

John 3:1-2

There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.”

First let’s find out what a “Pharisee” is. Pharisees were usually middle-class businessmen. They were held in higher regard by common man than the Sadducees. They believed the Bible (which was only the Old Testament at the time) was inspired by God, but the same authority given to the Bible was given to oral traditions they had.

Deuteronomy‬ ‭4:2‬

“Do not add to or subtract from these commands I am giving you. Just obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you.”

So these Pharisees were directly disobeying the Word of God they believed in and followed! This man, Nicodemus, was a Pharisee and that means he most likely believed in these things too (at that time, maybe not so much later). Anyways, back to the verses above. Nicodemus came to Christ after dark one evening, which probably means he didn’t want anyone to know where he was going or no one to recognize him on his way to where Jesus was staying. We can only guess, but John did take the time to mention it so it might have some importance. Now, to move on:

‭John‬ ‭3:3-8‬ ‭

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?” Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”

Here, Jesus tells Nicodemus that to see the Kingdom of God you must be born again. Now, lets think for a moment. We (those of us who have been Christians for awhile) have probably heard the words “born again” so many times that it doesn’t sound strange to us. But for people (like Nicodemus) hearing those words for the first time, imagine how strange that must sound. Born again. I like how Nicodemus is not afraid to ask what “born again” means. The Jesus answers and gives us this simile of how you know the wind is there but you can’t tell where it came from or where it is going, so you can’t tell how people are reborn of the Spirit.

John‬ ‭3:9-15

“How are these things possible?” Nicodemus asked. Jesus replied, “You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don’t understand these things? I assure you, we tell you what we know and have seen, and yet you won’t believe our testimony. But if you don’t believe me when I tell you about earthly things, how can you possibly believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ever gone to heaven and returned. But the Son of Man has come down from heaven. And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life.”

Though Nicodemus is a Pharisee and probably understands the Old Testament so very well, he can’t understand what Jesus is saying. Jesus assures him that he is telling the truth but Nicodemus just won’t believe. If he can’t believe what Jesus says about earthly things, how can he believe what he says about heavenly things? Yes, if he can’t believe the stuff that is proved right in front of him, how much harder it would be for him to believe in things he cannot see. Next, Jesus says no one has gone to Heaven and returned, but the Son of Man has come from Heaven and must be lifted up (like Moses lifted up the bronze pole) so everyone who believes can have eternal life. The Son of Man is an interesting title to use in this context, don’t you think? Man is from the earth and quite frankly, of the earth. The Son of Man must come from Heaven, but to say the “Son of Man” is almost like saying the “Son of Earth”. Just something to think about.

John 3:16

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”

I think this sums up the New Testament pretty nicely.

John‬ ‭3:17-21‬

“God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants‭‭.”

This is an interesting section. Jesus came to save the world not to judge it, but those who do not believe in Him will be judged. This is the short version.

Well, that’s all for now. I did not realize how long of a post this has turned out to be (I hope I have not been too boring). 🙂

-G. Paige