Thou shalt love the Lord how much?

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Living under the other shoe

shoe dropFor years I toiled under the weight of a “works” oriented salvation. I believed that to please God I had to work to earn His favor and His grace. When  I did good things I believed my deeds were pleasing to God and, for the moment, I had gained His favor. But, when I sinned (and I did.  A lot) I believed, even when I repented, God would make me pay with some consequence or retribution.  I considered it, “Waiting for the other shoe to drop.”

It was a miserable way to live. I went about my day trying to figure out what the
shoe would be. Would it hurt? Would it drop when I least expected it? Would it drop when I was enjoying pleasant times? Would it drop on my friends? When it dropped would my friends abandon me? Would it grieve me or cause me emotional pain? Would I suffer?

Then in August, 2000, I learned my true identity in Christ. God showed me His grace and taught me I didn’t have to pay for any or all the sins I committed. He told me, “They’re all already paid for. Stop waiting for that shoe and let me show you how much I love you.”

I’ve never worried about that shoe again.

 

History’s not on our side.

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The Day God Ran

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The cow jumped over the WHAT?

Can you imagine what life would be like for us if God didn’t show us His grace and mercy each day?

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It’s Friday. But Sunday’s Comin’

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My sin; His grace

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“Christian” Is A Label, Not A Life

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I didn’t have a stroke, but . . .

I woke up on my birthday (December 23) unable to hear out of my left ear. Continue reading

God’s Train

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White Flags

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What’s Next For America?

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Rock Paper Scissors

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Sanctity Of Life Sunday

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Unconditional Surrender

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I Had An Awe Full Day Yesterday

As I was getting in my car to go to the store yesterday, God stopped me in my tracks. I stood beside my car. Several minutes seemed like an hour. All I could think about was how much God loves me. The thought embraced me. It was “awe full”.  I just stood there, trying to wrap my head around how much this Awesome God, who created everything in the universe and me for His glory, loves little ol’ me. I can never fathom His love, never explain it, never comprehend it, never exhaust it.

All I can ever do with God’s love is receive it, bask in it and share it.

That’s “awe full”.

Something We Need To Know

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Dear John Letter

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What If. . .

What if ACLU or atheist lawsuits were successful in removing God’s name from public view, even on church signs?

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Wearing Or Carrying Our Cross

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Been Mistreated Lately?

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At The Edge Of The Water

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Man’s Law Does Not Trump God’s Law

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Homosexuality

By Rob Morley
Co-founder of Light and Life Ministries
Guest Blogger

While I don’t necessarily advocate demonstrations, nor do I support anything less than love for individuals who practice homosexuality, I like the truth in the caption which is a translation of one of the banners: “Say stop to raping our morality under the name of freedom”

You see, many Christians have become confused and soft in their stance toward the sin of homosexuality. While on the one hand many see it as sin, on the other, they indirectly consent to it through not wanting to take away people’s rights to practice their “sexual orientation”. This is further fuelled by the notion that in order to be loving we should “live and let live” as long as it doesn’t affect others. But, is the negative effect of even a monogamous committed homosexual relationship only confined to the two involved?

Let’s consider who gets affected by someone practicing a homosexual lifestyle. Firstly, he is sinning against God and himself by denying the Creator’s design for his life. Then, just like with adultery and fornication, anyone who practices homosexuality is automatically causing his partner to sin and be missing out on God’s plan for his life. Finally, and what is often overlooked, he is sinning against the community by being a very likely, although not necessarily intentional, influence on others to do the same.

By allowing people to have homosexual relationships, whether monogamous or not, they become billboards that reinforce the idea that homosexuality is a viable lifestyle. Effectively we create an environment where other people can be more easily influenced into the same sin. Many people may fall as a result of the appeal that homosexuality may have on their sinful nature, while others may fall to the deception that homosexuality is a normal social way of life.

The permission to practice homosexuality, along with its promotion in the media and the prolific nature of the practice, can confuse and entice many vulnerable youth and adults into embracing what they may never even have thought of. Let alone the influence that it is having on kids growing up in this environment.

A few weeks ago a teenager who is very close to me and who has grown up in a Christian family and environment spoke to me of how he had wrestled with the question of his own sexuality and whether or not he was homosexual. I wonder to what extent the prevailing climate of open homosexuality that exists in this world has been an influence on his thinking.

As the ecclesia we need to be a clear voice of truth to a broken world. Love is telling the truth!

Seriously causing others to miss out on God’s best may be part of the reason for God’s harsh words

Editor’s Note: Rob and Tina Morely co-founded Light and Life Ministries, a teaching ministry in the bodymorley rob and tina of Christ helping people to understand and effectively apply God’s word, the Bible, as it relates to all of life. “While reaching people with the gospel is essential,” Rob said, “the goal of the Great Commission is to have effectively discipled believers. The Bible deals with all areas of life, but if not taught properly, believers remain ineffective for God’s kingdom in those areas.”

and punishments for this crime. These seeds are sown all around. But woe to those whose seeds germinate! And, anyone who condones this practice is an accomplice. “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! (Luke 17:1).

I have a very dear family member who has lived an open homosexual lifestyle for years with one partner. I love both him and his partner and recognize that their sin is no different to mine. Our difference before God is not that I am not a homosexual or that I don’t sin anymore, but that I was given a free pardon for all my sins, past present and future, and am now joined to Jesus.  My sins and wayward nature are not held against me anymore and although I still easily sin, it’s not in my new nature to continue in it. And, God wants to do the same for them.

I don’t condemn any homosexual just as I don’t condemn any adulterer, but I do want to warn against the destructiveness of participating in this lifestyle, both to individuals and societies. It’s not the Creator’s plan for anybody!

Finally, some may need to repent of practicing homosexuality, others of supporting it, and others of not loving those practicing it. Whichever it is, God is willing to forgive.

You can contact Rob or Tina Morley via e-mail at lightandlifebibleministries@yahoo.com

So, what do YOU think? Your opinion matters.

Gays Get A Bad Rap From “Christians”

Many “Christians” Are Among The Worst Offenders

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:3-5

Andy Stanley¹ defined “Christians” as  “judgmental, homophobic, exclusionary moralists who think they are the only ones going to heaven and secretly relish the fact that everyone else is going to hell.”²

To me that describes some “Christians” who commented on posts I wrote on Jesus’ love. “Jesus Loves Homosexuals” drew more flak than any other post I’ve written. Many comments echoed Andy’s definition. To me readers’ comments revealed lack of scripture knowledge, a holier-than-thou mentality and pompous condescension.

Two friends who wrote blog posts on the issue received similar negative, belittling comments. Some pulled God’s word out of context to support their opinions, rather than allow God’s word to shape their thinking and comments. One friend got so fed up with “Christian” negativity they deleted their post.

Our posts attracted “Christians” who delight in pointing out others’ sins and faults. Just like the Pharisees.

Every time you criticize someone, you condemn yourself. It takes one to know one. Judgmental criticism of others is a well-known way of escaping detection in your own crimes and misdemeanors. But God isn’t so easily diverted. He sees right through all such smoke screens and holds you to what you’ve done. Romans 2:1b-2 MSG

Homosexuals have every right to choose their lifestyle. I have every right not to. That does not change the truth Scripture speaks to it. Nor the consequences. Nor does it change Jesus’ most important commandment. He gave us God’s standard for how authentic followers of Jesus, who love God with all their heart, are supposed to treat ALL people: “Love One Another.”

¹Andy Stanley is Senior Pastor of North Point Community Church in Atlanta, Georgia.

²from Andy Stanley's video series, "Christian"

A Prostitute Teaches Me How To Worship — Part 1

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Fans

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I Will Rise

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Winning In The Real World

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God’s Canning Process: Filling

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See How They Run

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Buck Nekkid, Right There In Front Of God And Everybody

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And God Said, “Let There Be Math.”

Dividing over Issues – Welcoming Differences, Avoiding Division – part 5

Fifth post in a series Continue reading

The Problem Of Being Different In Church; Welcoming Differences, Avoiding Divisions

By Rob Morley
Pastor, Real Life Church

Exploring the possibility of real unity under one roof despite differences of opinion

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A New Way Of Winning

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Gay Marriage Post Draws Fire, Favor

The Most Commented-On For His Glory Post Ever Continue reading

EL I Wish All My Readers Were Dead

No. That’s not a misprint. I wish all of you were dead.   WAIT!  Before you unsubscribe to my blog in disgust, please keep reading.

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Over The Cliff

By John Ed Mathison
Executive Director
John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries

Editor’s Note: This post appeared today, Thursday, December 27, 2012, on John Ed Mathison’s Leadership Ministries blog.

We close out 2012 with our attention on the fiscal cliff. I don’t understand all the dynamics of this, but I do have the image in mind of a cliff and the potential of going over it.

I don’t know if Congress will do anything to avoid it. It seems to me like sensible people Continue reading

Hard Hat And The Holy Spirit

By Helen Murray
Blogger at Are We Nearly There Yet?

Morning, Lord.

You know that bit in the Bible where it says,

‘…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.’
Philippians 1:6 NIV

Of course you do. Well, I’m wanting to tell you a couple of things this morning. Continue reading

Struggling For Acceptance

Struggling for acceptance is often associated with alcoholics or drug addicts in their recovery. Lots of people who Continue reading

Are You “A Christian” Or Are You “Christian”?

My friend Henry asked this question Saturday at our Bible Study. “Are you a Christian or are you Christian?”  It’s a question we can all ponder. Continue reading

“Daddy, Do You Still Love Me?”

Our men’s group at church is studying the “not a fan” video series. Kile Idleman, creator of the series and author of the book by the same name, told a story about his daughter. She was playing with her mom’s fingernail polish and spilled most of the bottle on their white Continue reading

God Is Pro-Choice

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“Daddy, Can I Trust You?”

Sometimes jumping off the deep end is the only way we learn how to trust. Continue reading

Thoughts On Turning 65

Today, December 23, I turn 65.

I’m officially a senior citizen.  I guess that means yesterday I was a junior citizen.

God has been faithful to me beyond my comprehension. At this time of year I ponder just how much God has loved me Continue reading

Faith In Captivity: Part One

I’m fortunate to have guest blogger, Bryan Ridenour.  Bryan wrote a three part series on Faith In Captivity Continue reading