Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart. I am so pleased that you have continued on in this with us, believing and proclaiming God’s Message, from the day you heard it right up to the present. There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.
Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.
Before we begin, the definition of love must be established.
According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, the noun ‘love’ is defined as “a feeling of strong or constant regard to someone”. ‘Love’ as a verb means “to hold dear” or “feel passion, devotion, or tenderness” or “to take pleasure”.
The definition of love according to Merriam Webster, corellates with the scriptures in 1st John 4: 17-21.
According to the text in 1st John 4: 17-21, we can only show the world how we’re have been loved by Jesus, through our service, love and compassion towards humanity and creation.
We have been saved by grace through faith in alone in Jesus alone, not by our works of righteousness. But we’ve been saved by grace to do the works of love in this world (Ephesians 2:8-10). Our works of love shows the world that “yes my salvation has been sealed eternally by the Blood of Jesus. Therefore my present being in this world is selfless in regards to humanity”.
As Christians we’re are to lead the fight against injustice: misogyny, racism, war, poverty, climate pollution, etc. We’re to preach and teach the undiluted message of hope and grace those who are lost in their sin.
We are called to love the unlovable, despised, ridiculed.
If we do the work of loving people many will never doubt the people, many won’t doubt the message of God’s love for humanity.
Hans worked his way up from being a miner to owning a number of mines. His eldest son, Martin, was very bright and went to university at the age of seventeen. A respectable career as a lawyer lay ahead of him. Suddenly, to his father’s dismay, he cancelled his registration for the law course and became a monk and then a priest.
Martin wanted to live a righteous life. He fasted for days and spent sleepless nights in prayer, but he was still plagued by his own unrighteousness before a righteous God. Around the age of thirty, as he was studying Romans 1:17, the penny dropped. He later wrote:
‘I began to understand that in this verse the righteousness of God is that by which the righteous man lives by the gift of God, in other words by faith; and that this sentence, “the righteousness of God is revealed”, refers to a passive righteousness, ie, that by which the merciful God justifies us by faith, as it is written, “The righteous person lives by faith.” This immediately made me feel as if I had been born again and entered through open gates to paradise itself.’
This experience occurred 500 years ago. It not only changed his life, it altered the course of human history. He became one of the pivotal figures of western civilisation, the founder of the Reformation – the seedbed for social, economic and political thought. His name, of course, was Martin Luther.
In essence, righteousness means a right relationship with God, which leads to right relationships with others. It is a gift made possible through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
Copied from Bible in One Year; Nicky and Pippa Gumbel; HTB Church, London,.United Kingdom.
Unfortunately, we all have to deal with mean people at one time or another. Romans 1:28–30 contains a long list of unrighteous behavior, which includes malice, gossip, slander, insolence, heartlessness and ruthlessness. These are all different facets of meanness, and it’s inevitable that we encounter people driven by such behavior in this world. People are mean for a variety of reasons, many of which have nothing to do with the person who takes their abuse. Often, mean behavior is a reaction to a person’s inner conflicts rather than a rational response to the people around him. However, being the subject of mean behavior is hurtful and demoralizing. What is the biblical response? What does the Bible say about how we should react to mean people?
Dealing with mean people—Empathy
The first proper response to mean people is empathy, especially when it is a first-time altercation or offense. A gentle attempt to understand and relate to the pain behind the meanness is much more effective than combativeness in dispelling a conflict. One of the most beautiful examples of empathy in the Bible is Jesus’ response to those who crucified Him and cast lots for His clothing. This is a dramatic example, because what was being done to Jesus was way beyond meanness—it was torture and injustice. Even so, instead of focusing on His own pain, He thought of their spiritual condition. Instead of responding with justified anger, He asked God to forgive them for their ignorant actions (Luke 23:34). Stephen, the church’s first martyr, followed that example (Acts 7:59–60).
Dealing with mean people—Confrontation
We should be empathetic, and we should always respond with kindness. Being mean to a mean person only escalates the situation; we are called to be peaceful and “turn the other cheek” (Matthew 5:38–42; Romans 12:18). But if the mean person is a Christian, the Bible recommends confrontation. We all sin, of course. As James said, “We all stumble in many ways” (James 3:2), but a pattern of meanness needs to be confronted, per the instructions in Matthew 18:15–17. We are to confront our brothers and sisters when they sin against us in the spirit of restoration. If they refuse to listen, we should take a few other faithful Christians with us, again in the spirit of reminding the offending Christian that he is not behaving according to his profession of faith. If that does not work, the matter is taken before the local church. If he does not listen to the whole group, he should be treated as an unbeliever—no enmity or retaliation is called for, but the relationship has changed.
Dealing with mean people—Humility
Remember that sometimes you are the mean person. Do not be like the unforgiving servant in Jesus’ parable in Matthew 18:21–35. A servant owed a huge debt to his master; it was an amount he could never pay back. The master completely wiped out the debt. The servant, however, went to another servant who owed him a small amount of money and demanded that he pay up—and when the debtor could not pay, he threw him in prison! The master heard about it and became angry. The master reinstated the unforgiving servant’s original debt and threw him in jail. We should always try to remember, when people are mean to us, that we owed God a huge debt. He forgave us, and we can forgive others.
This write up is copied from and owned by Got Questions.
Why do we face peer pressure? The Bible clearly tells us that we should not expect our lives to look like the lives of other people (unbelievers) in this world. As Christians, we are aliens and strangers here on earth (1 Peter 2:11), and this world is not our home. Just as Christ was rejected”and still is”by so many who want to live life their own, ungodly way, we will also find the same types of people despising us for our faith.
In the first chapter of 1 Thessalonians, Paul speaks of how we are to know we are Christians. One of the points he emphasizes (see verse 6) is the fact that we should have joy despite suffering. We should expect to encounter trials and persecution as Christians, yet be comforted with the fact that God is in control and will repay any wrongs that are committed against us. In 2 Thessalonians, Paul talks about the troubles this church was continuing to face. He told them that when Christ returns and God judges the world, God “will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well” (1:6-7). Although many Christians will never face suffering as extreme as the Thessalonians did, or even those living in modern-day Sudan who are killed for their faith, we still suffer in smaller ways, such as the torture of peer pressure.
What does the Bible say about dealing with peer pressure? The Bible never uses the words “peer pressure,” but it does tell us how we should deal with the many trials we will face in our lives, especially those involving unbelievers. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is”his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Romans 12:14-16 says, “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.”
1 Peter 1:13-21 says, “Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.”
The Bible also tells us that we can trust that God will work all things together for the good of His children (Romans 8:28). However, the Bible does not promise us an easy life, but a life that glorifies God as we learn lessons that are difficult and overcome attacks from Satan that would be impossible to overcome without God. We are being “conformed to the likeness of [Christ]” as God changes us through all our life (Romans 8:29-30). Be comforted that Christ Himself was tempted in every way we have been; He understands how difficult it is. Yet, the Bible promises us that God will provide a way of escape from every trial (1 Corinthians 10:13). Put your complete trust and faith in God. Let Him alone be your strength (Philippians 4:13) and your guide (Psalm 23).
Peer pressure will be a fleeting thing in our lives. Peer pressure is largely about insecurity and a desire for acceptance for all involved. Most people eventually realize that intimidating others to feel important is manipulative and immature. Those who have been followers will usually realize it is more important to make their own decisions and be their own person than to be controlled by someone else. We must not give in to peer pressure, whatever the situation. Standing up for what we believe and what the Bible teaches will please God. Throughout history, those who have been unafraid to stand on unpopular beliefs have been the ones to change the world and make things happen. There is so much in this world that we need to change, and so many people who need to be told about Christ. Letting other people decide what we do and how we behave is exactly what Satan hopes we will do; if we never stand up for what is right because of peer pressure, we are actually standing up for what is wrong.
Copied from Got Questions.
Often times when we hear or come across the word healing, we think of some kind of strange illness that needs to be out of our body. Though healing involves this.
But I think everyone including me need God’s healing and strength to survive a day’s journey.
Isaiah 53:4-5 “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed”. This was a prophetic description of what Jesus would endure on the Cross, so that we can have his healing. What a love!
On the Cross, Jesus did not just fulfilled the prophecy but he paid for the pain, cancer, malaria, and other form of sickness. All we need for our healing has been purchased by the blood of Jesus on the Cross. We need to put our trust in him today, do some exercise, eat well and have some rest; then good health is certain for us.
Even if you’re boxed in a position because of your sickness, trust in Jesus today for healing.
“Lord Jesus in your name anyone reading this write up that’s sick, please heal, deliver them from sickness and grant the good health you’ve purchased with your blood on the Cross. Amen”