What would you think of a powerful leader who sanctions rape, pillaging, the destruction of thousands of lives for the wrong doings of one, racism and genocide? No matter who we are, if we have a conscience in any way tuned to the sanctity of human life, we would have to label them a monster – a maniacal psychopathic egotist. Sadly, there are many who read certain parts of the Bible and handily conclude that the God of the Bible – the Creator of all things - is such a being. They call Him out for the horrible and harsh things written in the Old Testament and boldly claim that a God who presides over those things is no god at all – He is instead a monster. Now look – there are terrible things written in the Old Testament, but do they point to a heartless dictator or is there another explanation?
Defining God is a monumental task. The measure of its difficulty is such that very few will ever follow through with it, for the world is overrun with contradictory myths, stories and legends about the nature and purposes of God. So many stories, so little truth! Defining God requires us to look into things beyond our natural sight. It requires us to grab hold of things beyond our physical reach, and it requires us to believe in things that are beyond our earthly capacity. To know who God is means we would know His character, His mind and what drives Him. Can we know these things? Can we know God’s heart and mind? Can we know God’s plans and purposes? Will knowing God help us to better know ourselves?
Promises, promises! Did you ever stop to think about how much of our lives revolve around promises? There are promises at every level of life – those made by a child to secure a privilege, those made when you agree to the conditions of your job, those made between a man and a woman at marriage, those made in political campaigns. Then there are the private promises we make to ourselves and to God. We judge character by the keeping of promises. A promise keeper is a trustworthy person. Then there are the promises God makes to us. It seems like there are a lot of them, but to many people it seems God has not kept them. So, is God a trustworthy promise keeper?
God is love! We as Christians love to bask in the magnitude of that statement as it gives us comfort and confidence that our faith is in a Being that possesses understanding, compassion and wisdom. God is love – that statement just makes us feel good! So was that the reason John wrote it - to make us feel good? Or did he write it to help us not only unlock the depths of God’s character but to also unlock the potential depths of our own characters? Stay with us! This is love as you have never seen it before!
We believe in God. He is the Almighty Creator. But if you look around, what do you see? Watch the news and you will not only get depressed, but probably scared as well. Here in our country, several Christians were gunned down while at a Bible study.
"Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain." It is one of the Ten Commandments, so it must be important. But, what does it really mean? Is it just about the words we use or is there more to it than that? Can our thoughts and actions also be a manifestation of taking God’s name in vain? What is the end result of carelessly handling God’s name? How do we become more aware of ourselves so we hold the name of God with reverence, honor and respect?
Followers of Jesus today are bombarded on every side with agnostic and atheistic philosophies that erode faith. In science, the theory of Evolution is embraced by many as the best explanation of man’s existence on earth, of course without the necessity of a supposed mythical creator. However, in recent decades the scientific debate over the explanation of origins has taken a turn with the appearance of the theory of Intelligent Design. The result has produced a dramatic and often faith-strengthening debate. For a Christian, this comes at a perfect time, supplying us with additional reasons to accept the Bible narrative of God as Creator. So what’s it about? Stayed tuned for a lively discussion of: Is God Really the Creator?
Love God. It is a simple enough commandment - easy to say, repeat and remember. But what does it really mean? Are there different ways of expressing love for God and does God look for different results depending on what age of humanity we live in? Most of all, is loving God - no matter when and where we live - enough?
For the Christian, the Holy Spirit is a sacred part of our faith. It was promised to us in the absence of Jesus as a comforter, a guide, a teacher and even an intercessor. It is a true evidence of one who has been called, chosen and working towards being faithful. So, how does the Holy Spirit work in our lives? Who has it and who doesn’t? Is now the time for the Holy Spirit to be poured out on the world?
Over the past several weeks we have been focusing on a lot of heavy stuff – the Middle East meltdown, the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and Islam. Through it all we have tried to maintain a focus on the goodness and plan of our Almighty God, continually reminding ourselves that He not only knows the turmoil of our world, He also has a concrete plan to bring us through it. This realization brings us to a very unique place, considering the world’s condition – it is a place where praise and gratitude can and should flourish. So stay with us as we are focus on just those things – praise and gratitude.