Does your faith need strengthening? Are you confused and wondering if Christianity is really "The Truth?" "Fight for Your Faith" is a blog filled with interesting and thought provoking articles to help you find the answers you are seeking. Jesus said, "Seek and ye shall find." In Jeremiah we read, "Ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall seek for Me with all your heart." These articles and videos will help you in your search for the Truth.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

The Most Important Thing – Love!

By Dennis Edwards

So far we’ve talked about having quiet meditation to learn to hear the “still, small voice” of the Lord.

We’ve also talked about the importance of having a thankful spirit, of walking in thanksgiving.

Today we are going to look at the greatest Christian virtue, which also is one of the definitions of God, that is LOVE.

In the New Testament we find out that “God is a Spirit.”[1] We also read that “God is love.”[2] Therefore, we can conclude that God is the spirit of love. The Apostle John tells us that if we are not walking in love, then we are not walking with God.

“He that loves not, knows not God, for God is love.”[3]

If a man says he loves God and hates his brother, then he is a liar.[4] We cannot love God who we cannot see, if we love not our brother who we can see. Jesus tells us that that we need to love our neighbor as ourselves. With the story of the “Good Samarathen” we learn that our neighbor is anyone who needs our help.

But how do we define love? What does love really mean? The Apostle Paul gives one of the most heartfelt definitions ever penned. He writes,

“Love suffers long and is kind. Love envies not. Love vaunts not itself, it is not puffed up. It does not behave itself unseemly. Seeks not its own. Is not easily provoked, thinks no evil. Rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth. Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.”[5]

He finishes his description with the words,

“And now abides faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”[6]

Let’s write those qualities in a list:

1. Long-suffering

2. Kind

3. Doesn’t envy or is not jealous

4. Not proud

5. Not foolsih

6. Unselfish

7. Hates wrong

8. Loves truth

9. Bears all things

10. Never loses hope

11. Endures all things

12. Never fails

When comparing the differences between Moses’ words and Jesus’ words, the Apostle John wrote,

“The law came by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”[7]

What is this word “grace” imply? What does it mean? Grace means “undeserved mercy.” John the Apostle was actually saying that “love” and “truth” came by Jesus Christ. Love and truth are the two grand pillars of Christianity. They are the main supporting beams of all Christian doctrine, love and truth.

The Apostle Paul explains a bit more, clarifying that in whatever we do in service for God and others, if we don’t have love, our actions are worthless. Let’s go back and read the beginning part of Apostle Pauls description of love. He writes,

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow my goods to feed the poor, and give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profits me nothing.”[8]

~That’s why Christ was so infuriated with the Scribes and Pharisees. They thought that with their religiosity they had a strangle hold on the truth and on God. But the truth was that they had lost God and His truth. They had made a new God of their legalism and formalities, therefore, making the word of God of none affect because of their traditions.

Mother Teresa said that if whatever we do, we do in love, then God is going to bless it and multiply it, because God is love. If love is involved, then God is involved and His power and might are infinite and as a result are going to cause our efforts, however small, to grow and prosper.

Like the poet wrote,

“At last I have found the mystery to it all. Tis love, and love alone that bids me heed thy call.”

When talking about love, we need to distinguish romantic feelings from God’s love. Love is not necessarily a feeling, but it is an action. Jesus said,

“Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”[9]

In other words, love is dying that others may live. It’s the kind of love we find in the songs like “Bridge Over Troubled Waters,” or “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother.”

When asked by his enemies what the greatset commandment was, Jesus said,

“Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. And to love thy neighbor as thyself.”[10]

Let us remember that in order for us to have God, we need to walk in love. But Apostle Paul’s definition of love, and Apostle John’s destinction between Jesus and Moses, show us that love and truth are intertwined. In the Beatitudes we read,

“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”[11]

Righteousness is goodness, or truthfulness, or what is right and loving and true. In other words, those who seek to live their lives trying to do right, follow truth and love, will be filled.

Are you walking in love and truth? Or have you grabbed on to love, given it your own or the world’s definition and thrown the truth out the window? Have you decided that truth doesn’t matter because it’s all relative anyway and there’s really no way to know the truth?

If that’s your position, maybe you’re not really walking in love. You are just walking in the new tolerance that removes truth fom the equation and says acceptance of all positions and opinions is what is important. It doesn’t matter if the opinions or positions measure up to truth’s standard. As long as they are believed sincerely, that’s all that counts, say today's relativists.

Jesus Christ did not get himself pinned to the cross for his tolerance of falsehood. It was his willingness to expose falsehood for what it really was that led his enemies to use all their power and influence to shut him up. Yet, all Christ did with his actions was to go around doing good and helping others.

Mother Teresa has said,

The fruit of quietness is prayer.

The fruit of prayer is love.

The fruit of love is service.

The fruit of service is peace.

The Apostle Paul wrote,

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”[12]

He also said,

“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.”[13]

Footnotes:

[1] John 4:24
[2] 1 John 4:8
[3] 1 John 4:16
[4] 1 John 4:20
[5] 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
[6] 1 Corinthians 13:13
[7] John 1:17
[8] 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
[9] John 15:13
[10] Matthew
[11] Matthew 5:6
[12] Galatians 5:23-24
[13] Ephesians 4:31-32

Sunday, September 23, 2018

The Importance of Thanksgiving

By Dennis Edwards

We have talked about getting quiet and alone with God to hear His voice. But today we are going to talk about thanksgiving, about having a thankful heart.

One of the requirments to a good relationship with someone is being thankful. If we are not thankful for our friend, or mate, things just won't work out. Our relationship will sour. Just so, God wants us to be thankful to be in relationship with Him. He tells us to enter into His presence with thanksgiving. In the Psalms we read,

"Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name."[1]

He admonishes us to give thanks in everything that happens including the bad and the ugly, because through thankfulness and praise and faith, He can transform the most horrible event into something that teaches deep and important lessons of life and love. That's one of the beautiful and comforting promises in His word,

"All things work together for good to them that love God."[2]

Nick with no arms and legs says, "I've never met a thankful person who was bitter, or a bitter person who was thankful. It's one or the other."

God has told us that He lives in the praises of His people, not in their complaints.

"But Thou are holy, O Thou that inhabits the praise of (his people) Israel."[3]

In II Chronicles 20 you can read a chapter in the Bible where praise and thanksgiving were used to give Judah a great victory over their enemies. Praise turned an impossible situation into one where God could work.

"In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."[4]

"Be careful for nothing (or don't be worried); but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known unto God."[5]

Just read through the Psalms. They are songs of praise and thanksgiving to God and reading them will help you to be thankful, also. Being thankful will help you not only in your relationship with God, but with all your friends and acquaintances. 

Make an effort to be a person full of thanksgiving. Others will like it and you'll find you will like it, too. God bless you as put thanksgiving into practice.

Notes:

[1] Psalm 100:4
[2] Romans 8:28
[3] Psalm 22:3
[4] Thessalonians 5:18
[5] Philippians 4:6

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

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