Pride, Humility, and the Cause of Sin

pridehumilityandthecauseofsinHumbleness is not something that comes easily to me. I envy those who can be so humble that it seems like a second nature to them. How can people be like that? It’s a mystery to me. Not that it is impossible to be humble. It isn’t. It’s just…hard for me.Read More »

Advertisements

God, our Friend

god-our-friendFriendship. We were made for friendship. “Why would you think that?” you may be thinking. Well, when Adam was lonely, God made Eve. That wasn’t because Adam was imperfect. At that time, the world was perfect. Nothing was imperfect. So God made Eve for a different reason, and that was friendship. Adam was made for friendship. He needed it. And so are we. We are made for friendship.Read More »

Dealing with Disappointment

Dealing withIronically, my dad gave me the topic for today. I was struggling with being disappointed with certain family members doing something without asking if I wanted to do it.

When Dad saw my reaction, he said something like, “Oh look. Here’s a new blog post for you: dealing with disappointment.” And actually, as I’ve thought it over, it really is a good topic to do a post about. So here I am, actually writing a post on a topic my dad had only joked about doing.

We all get disappointed some times, don’t we? People let us down. They don’t live up to our expectations. They fail us.

Everyone, at some point in their lives, will disappoint you.

They’ll disappoint you because they are human. We, are all human. We are not perfect. We are sinful. We are full of faults. We are broken people (from Twenty One Pilot’s Screen).

Romans 8:7

For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will.

So it’s a fact of life that people will disappoint you. And you will disappoint others.

For one, we can’t always live up to the expectations people have of us. For most people we can’t even really know their expectations of us. So how can we live up to them? In many ways, most expectations are unjust and unrealistic. They are unable to be lived up to in the first place.

For two, we’re human just like everyone else.

But when we are disappointed, what should we do?

Remember that everyone makes mistakes. Tell them why your disappointed, in hopes that they’ll learn from it.

But then, move on. Don’t let your disappointment ruin the rest of your mood. I know that I have let disappointment take control of my attitude, my day. We don’t have time to waste on such things as disappointment though. Our lives are short. Let’s live them well.

But most importantly:

Trust in the Lord. When people let you down and fail you, trust in the Lord.

For He is the one person who will never disappoint you.

Deuteronomy 31:6

So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.

He will never fail you. He will never disappoint you.

For God is perfect.

God does not have a sinful nature.

God does not fail.

He is good. The absolute definition of good.

Proverbs 3:5

Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.

Trust in the Lord for no matter what happens, because it will all be part of His plan.

A plan that is for your good.

Romans 8:28

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

When people disappoint you, remember that God has a plan. Remember that He will never disappoint you no matter how many people do.

Don’t let disappointment get the best of you. It’s not worth it. Instead, focus on what matters.

-G. Paige

 

How Great is Our God?

How GreatLast week I did a post of why you are not worthless. It’s absolutely true. But there is another way people think. Instead of thinking that we are worthless and that God should have nothing to do with us, they think that they have a right to be with God, they deserve it.

I think we think both ways, just at different moments in our lives. At one time we think that we’re so below God (How could You love sinful people like us?), at another time we think that He needs to bless us (How could You do this to me?).

Both of these opposite types of thinking come from, first and foremost, just being sinful people, but I think it is also partly due to the fact that we don’t understand God. Now, I definitely don’t believe that I can make you fully understand God. I don’t fully understand Him myself. But maybe I can try to give you a glimpse of what God is like for you to begin to comprehend Him.

Last week I discussed God’s love and His saving grace. Today, I want to speak of God’s greatness, His holiness.

He created the Heavens and the Earth in days. He could’ve have done it quicker, but he was  setting an example for the way we were to live. Six days of work and one day of rest. Have you ever imagined how it went about? There was nothing. If you imagine an empty space, that’s not right, because that’s something. God spoke words, just words, and out of nothing came something. It is scientifically impossible, but with God all things are possible.

God is holy, no one else is. Holy means consecrated, sacred, separate, and/or set apart. He is perfect. This holiness was the reason He can not even look at sin. It was the reason the Israelites sacrificed unblemished lambs to pay the price for their sins. It was the reason the temple had to be built to God’s design for Him to dwell in it. It was the reason priests were struck down dead on entering the temple, if they had not been cleansed of their sins first.

Even so, at our best we are still filthy and dirty in God’s eyes.

Isaiah 64:6

We are all infected and impure with sin.
When we display our righteous deeds,
they are nothing but filthy rags.
Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall,
and our sins sweep us away like the wind.

His perfection is incomprehensible to us. He can not sin. Every act, every decision is good and right.

There’s are terrible, horrible things happening all around the world at every moment. We may not think about it much, but when we do…we can question God’s authority. I know I do. Why would He let these things happen? Is God committing these acts? No, it is not even in God’s nature to be able to do such a thing.

Job 1:12

“All right, you may test him,” the Lord said to Satan. “Do whatever you want with everything he possesses, but don’t harm him physically.” So Satan left the Lord’s presence.

But He does allow bad things to happen. Look at Job. He went through some things I’m sure 99.99% of people will never go through. And though it is hard for us to understand, God allowed it to happen.

God let’s Satan do His work, but in the end, Satan will lose.

No matter what happens, God is blameless.

Isaiah 55:8

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.

We may not understand now, I’m sure in Heaven everything will be revealed to us clearly.

Job 36:26

Look, God is greater than we can understand.
His years cannot be counted.

God’s greatness can not be measured by any of our standards. Though we will put God in this mold (or box) that allows our finite minds to comprehend Him. But, in reality, He is infinite and incomprehensible. So let’s take away the mold, the box and see God for who He really is.

G. Paige

Here’s to You: You are Right in His Sight

Here's to You_

Here’s to you:

I believe that we set ourselves up for failure, a lot. We push ourselves too hard and too far to accomplish more than is possible. We want to believe that we can do it. That we can make it. That we can finish it. We want to be perfect. We expect ourselves to be. And it’s that expectation that goes against us when we fail. When we don’t finish it or make it. When we sin. That expectation turns into guilt that will have us rebuking and reprimanding ourselves. It makes us feel worthless. It fills us with need to somehow fix it.Read More »

What does Love mean to Us?

ahr3Love. What do you think of when you hear that word? Do you think of a kiss between a man and woman? Do you think of a parent loving up on his or her child? Maybe you think of the way Hollywood displays love in the films they produce. Or maybe you think one person caring for another. Either way, in today’s world, love is shown to be many different things and not all of them are right.

Most of you have heard the saying that “God is love”. It is absolutely true. But if we don’t know what love is, how can we even begin to know what God is?

1 John‬ ‭4:7-8‬

Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

We are taught that one of the greatest commandments given is to love your neighbor as yourself. That means that it is necessary to really understand what love is, so we can do what God asks of us too.

Let’s first look at what the Bible says about love.

1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:4-8‬ ‭

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever!

It seems a pretty straightforward answer, does it not? But it is not so easy to carry out. To love one another we must be patient and kind. We must not be jealous or boastful or proud or rude. We must not demand our own way. We must not be irritable. You see the point.

We cannot live up to these standards, not without God’s help. But God definitely lives up to this and more. He is perfect, sovereign, and holy. Holy means to be set apart. God is set apart from us. The best part is that love will last forever!

Though God is love, sometimes we doubt that this is true. Why? Because we see the destruction and death that God allows in this world He created. How could a loving God allow this? He has every right, the only right, to allow it and much worse because we are the ones who sinned against Him in the beginning. Because of Adam and Eve’s sin this place became a sinful world. The death and destruction are the consequences of our actions. God gave us the consequences that we deserved. But God was so loving that He didn’t leave us in the pit we had dug for ourselves. He sent his only Son to live with us and die for us. To save us from ourselves.

Have you ever heard that a parent spanks his or her kid out of love? That it is as hard for the parent to spank or punish the kid as it is for the kid to receive that punishment? It is kind of the same thing when God allows us to get consequences for our sins.

What I’m trying to get at is that sometimes loving a person doesn’t mean giving them what they want. Sometimes it means giving them what they need. And a lot of the time that is not what they want.

So as we start this new year, let’s grow and learn in our love for one another. Knowing that when we follow God, we’ll be giving what people need, even if it is not what they want.

I hope that this year is filled with blessings and joy for every single one of you.

Happy New Year!

-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.

‭‭
Exodus 20:6
‭‭
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

Heave Your Worries On Who You Really Need

image

By the way, if anyone hasn’t noticed, I changed my blog and updated it a bit about a week ago. The “About Me” has more about me on it and I have a “Book Reviews” page so you can go directly to any of my reviews. Check it out!

On Monday and Tuesday I read Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God by Jonathan Edwards for the first (I hope it is not the last). Anyways, it kind of hit me how much we need God. I mean physically, mentally, spiritually, and in every aspect of our lives. So that is what I want to talk about today: why we need God and why we should not worry and just trust Him.

“So…why do we need God?” Well, if you haven’t noticed, we are already relying on Him every millisecond of our lives from the start to the finish. He brought us into this world and He can take of out of it whenever He desires.

Every time I wake up to a new day, every breath I breathe, every single heartbeat has been given to me, to you, by God. He causes the food we need to survive to grow. He gives us water to drink. He is the one who gives us jobs to get money to buy things (like clothes). The most important thing He has given us though, is eternal life.

Romans 6:23

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
‭‭
All we ever have to do is believe that Jesus is who he says he is. Once Jesus has come into our hearts, we are free from the bondage of sin. We will know where we are going after death: to Heaven for all eternity. But those who do not accept Christ as their Savior will spend an infinite amount of time in torture in Hell. That just about gives me chills to say that, but it’s true (by the way, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God talks mostly just about that). Still, has not God given us the most perfect gift anyone could ever ask for?

Another reason we need God is that there would be no purpose to life without Him. If there was no God, what would be the point of life? We live, we die, and that’s that. There would be no point or purpose to live for.

God gives us purpose and meaning. We were made to glorify Him. We (Christians) are His children. We have been given a mission to teach and lead others to accepting God’s free gift. We’re valuable to Him.

Matthew‬ ‭6:26‬

Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?

This leads us to another point: we need to rely on Him, to trust Him. He has our very lives in His hands already. So why don’t we just stop clinging to our worries and let God take care of it and lead us through it.

Matthew‬ ‭6:27

Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
‭‭‬

What’s the point of worrying anyways? It only gets you stressed out and gives you gray hairs (Hahaha…). You can’t really enjoy life by worrying.

Proverbs‬ ‭12:25‬

Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.

God is perfect, holy, sovereign, omnipotent, omnipresent, and many other things. We can totally trust Him. He has been with us always, in every moment. He can do no wrong. Lets trust Him!

Some of you might be saying “But it is so hard to hand over our worries to Him!” I know, I still am working on it (we’re not perfect). But I think the reason why it is hard is because usually we are scared or maybe we want to have control of our own lives (as our sinful nature is prone to want). Either way, we need to let go of our worries. God has a plan for us (as I said in an earlier post), so lets let Him lead us through it. Because whatever plan He has, it will be for God’s glory and that, my friend, is what we’re supposed to do.

-G. Paige
‭‭

‭‭

‭‭

‭‭
‭‭

We Need To Remember

My mom reminded me that today is September 11, 2015, exactly fourteen years ago those attacks on the North and South towers of the World Trade Center, and the Pentagon killed almost three thousand people. People are still dying from inhaling the fumes and dust from all the destruction that was brought about fourteen years ago. There even was a fourth plane headed to Washington, D.C. but ended up crashing into Shanksville, Pennsylvania. It’s sad how we forget such important things. Things, that we should remember so we can learn to not make the same mistake. But we forget so easily.

So today I would like to point out some truths that all of us always need to remember.

1. Everything written in the Bible is true and trustworthy.

2 Timothy 3:16

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.

We can’t just believe a part of the Bible. We must believe all of it or none of it.

2. God is sovereign.

God is in control of everything. He is omnipresent. Meaning, He is in the present, in the past, and in the future, all at the same time. He is perfect. He can do nothing wrong.

3. God loves you.

1 John‬ ‭4:8‬

But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

Romans‬ ‭5:8‬ ‭

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

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 these verses speak for themselves, don’t you think? God loves you, me, and well…everyone. He loved us so much that he sent His one and only Son to die a torturous death so that we might have a chance to be saved. This is such an amazing gift that is given so freely to us. We must not take it for granted. Would you let your only child go into another world where he would be tortured then killed so that the people would have a chance be saved?

John‬ ‭15:13‬ ‭

There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

4. Just because God loves you does not mean that you will live a long and prosperous life.

John 15:18-20

If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you.

John‬ ‭16:1-2‬ ‭

I have told you these things so that you won’t abandon your faith. For you will be expelled from the synagogues, and the time is coming when those who kill you will think they are doing a holy service for God.

Now this does not mean that every Christian will be hated, persecuted, tortured, or killed. But this also doesn’t mean that God will give us everything we want and that we will be rich and happy all the days of our lives. That is a lie. God gives us what He thinks we need and what glorifies Him and that may or may not be what we want. We were made to glorify God. If to glorify God means being mocked, hated, persecuted, tortured, or death, then we need to learn to accept that.

5. Everyone, I mean everyone, sins. No one is perfect.

Romans 3:23

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.

We all have sinned. Since Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, sin entered into this world. We are all born into sin and we can not deny it.

1 John‬ ‭1:8

If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. 

‭‭6. God can (and will) forgive you of your sins if you ask.

If Jesus hadn’t come into this world, we would’ve been left in hopelessness with only the sacrifices of animals to purge us of our sin until we sinned again.

1 John 1:9-10

But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.

Because Jesus did come, we just have to confess our sins and he will forgive us. That is all we have to do: confess.

7. We (as Christians) have a mission.

Matthew‬ ‭28:18-20‬

Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

We have been given a task: to make disciples of all nations which just means converting people to Christianity. All of us are called to do this, not just some chosen few.

-G. Paige



Was Jesus Fully Man, Fully God, or Both?

The idea for this blog post came up as I was reading the gospel of John. I was thinking about what to post about and it just popped into my head. I know it doesn’t really connect (or make sense, for that matter), but it is how I came up with this.

So… “Why this???”  some of you might be asking. Well, I don’t really have an answer for you. I just came up with it and I’m going with it. Here is some history on this question: in the early Christian church the answer to this question was the difference between Christianity and heresy (it still is), and there was much controversy over it. I’m thinking it’s worth taking a little of time to delve into it and find out what we truly believe, why, and how important it is to us. Don’t you agree?

First, lets see what the Bible says about Jesus.

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭1:20

As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit.”

Okay, so we know that he was conceived by the Holy Spirit. He is at least part God, if not all.

Mark‬ ‭1:11‬

And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”

‭‭John‬ ‭10:36

‭‭”why do you call it blasphemy when I say, ‘I am the Son of God’? After all, the Father set me apart and sent me into the world.”

From these two verses we see that God identifies Jesus as his Son, while Jesus identifies God as his Father.

‭‭1 John‬ ‭3:5‬ ‭

And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, and there is no sin in him.

If what the Bible says is true, than Jesus must be fully God. If he was only part God, he would still sin. So he must be fully God. Just look at the miracles and wonders he performed. He did more than anyone ever before him. He even raised up people from the dead!

John‬ ‭19:1-2‬

Then Pilate had Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip. The soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they put a purple robe on him.

‭John‬ ‭19:17-18

Carrying the cross by himself, he went to the place called Place of the Skull (in Hebrew, Golgotha ). There they nailed him to the cross. Two others were crucified with him, one on either side, with Jesus between them.

Jesus also was made of flesh. He could be hurt (he was flogged actually). He was beaten, bruised until no one could recognize him. Nails pierced his hands and feet. A sword pierced his side. So this must also mean that he was fully man.

‭‭John‬ ‭20:26-27

Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”

Jesus must be both fully man and fully God. He couldn’t even have been a god in human form. Our finite minds can’t even begin to comprehend it, but look at it this way. To save us (everyone) from our sins Jesus had to be the perfect sacrifice, the unblemished lamb. He had to be perfect, if he had sinned, he death would not have done anything. Only God (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) does not sin, that means that he was fully and undeniably God. But if Jesus had just been God, how would his death have saved all of mankind? So you see, he had to be a man to save mankind.

Here is the short version: Jesus had to be God to be the perfect sacrifice to wipe out all our sins; he also had to be a man (a human) to save to human race from eternal condemnation. Isn’t it beautiful how God works?

I’d just like to end with one more verse.

Romans‬ ‭1:3-4‬ ‭

“The Good News is about his Son. In his earthly life he was born into King David’s family line, and he was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord.”‭

This is major important subject for our belief system. We can’t just believe Jesus was a man or God, because that would mean we didn’t believe something in Bible and we are to take the whole of Scripture as true. Then (as I said before) his death and resurrection wouldn’t mean anything to us. In reality, his death and resurrection mean everything to us.

-G. Paige

‭‭

‭‭

‭‭

‭‭