|Posted by frieda lara on November 7, 2020 at 6:10 AM||comments (0)|
Are we aware of the power of the past, especially our childhood, has on us as we grow old? The past never really passes. It is planted in us and controls our subconscious, unconscopus and conscious minds without our realizing it. A dreadful experience in the past (at any age) may affect some of us but not others, and very often, the image of a given painful experience can last very long and weave through any aspects of our lives than we can know and control. We may find ourselves avoiding something or someone because of a mistortune and those who diid not have the experience may not react to it at all. It depends on the impact of the experience and our personality mnake-up.
If we are awre of the traumas of our past, our problems at present will not be as many as we not confront.That is because very often, most of us tend to push unpleasant experiences down into our unconscious or subconscious mind in the hope of keeping it from troubling us. But the fact is that it will trouble us when we are least ready. It becomes obvious that ALL traumas must be confronted. This is a herculean task. Mental disorders and diseases develop because of the human tendency to avoid anything painful or unpleasant. Many laugh off their problems, try to forget or take risky steps to quiet a turbuluent memory or trauma. Yet confronting the ghost that haunts is the only way to stop the haunting.
Our connection with the past -- and all the traumas in it -- is what perpetuates the fear of a recurrence of the same experience. It compels us to avoid the very specter of it even getting near. Yet every day is new. People come and go, change for the better or worse. People do not remember of mind what we mind. Or mind what we do not. The solution is to disconnect ourselves mentally and emotionally from that experience. If it is a person, you can think hard about his or her effect on you and consciously and emotionlally disonnect from the pain he or she caused you. You are the only thinker in your universe. You can control the pain that plagues you. If you can do this with your emotions, outward circustamcnes will be more manageable.
Forgiving an offeder from the past involves this emotional disconnection. That alone will provide the space to forgive. If you disconnect emotionally, the pain will stop haunting and forgivveness can occur. You shall conquer the painful experience.
|Posted by frieda lara on August 3, 2020 at 1:50 AM||comments (0)|
I. Critical Literature Review
History of Biblical Theology
The beginnings of biblical theory are often attributed to the Protestant Reformation, J. P. Gabler’s 1797 Address, the first use of the term in the early 1600s or even earlier when initial attempts to merge OT and NT Scriptures were made. Some hold that bible theology begins from the Bible itself, from the continuity of the summaries of both the OT and the NT on God’s dealings with His chosen people. The Gospels, Paul’s epistles and other Christian writings and the Hebrew Scriptures were merged to form the NT in the process of formulating church beliefs and in counteracting false teaching. Issues on unity and diversity characterized these early efforts. Influenced by Origen, the church eventually opted for the use allegories for its method of interpretation. Allegories achieved uniformity but eluded historical meaning, which in turn, necessitated referencing of later doctrines to the corresponding text. Scriptures during the medieval times assumed four viewpoints or senses, namely literal or historical, allegorical, moral and anagogical or spiritual. The historical sense was preferred and championed by Victorines of the 12th century and, more especially, by Thomas Aquinas. Among the Reformers, on the other hand, Luther favored the literal approach, advocated for justification by faith as the solution to the diversity issue and his hermeneutics and gave greater emphasis on books, which show Christ. But it was John Calvin who pointed to Scripture as the supreme authority on Christian belief. With this dogmatism, Calvin is regarded as the initiator of true biblical theology. These events were followed by the formation of rigid dogmatic systems during the period of Protestant Orthodoxy. Biblical theology evolved as a more distinct discipline as a result of three major trends in the 17th and 18th centuries. These were the flourishing of collegia biblica of collegium collection, pietism, and the rise of new critical methods of literary and historical research. In his 1787 inaugural address, J. P. Gabler defined true biblical theology as the historical study of the OT and the NT, their authors and contexts of their time. Biblical theology was thus viewed as purely historical, descriptive and objective and separate from interpretation concerns.
Rationalist scholars of the late 18th and early 19th centuries produced their own biblical theologies with the use of the historical method mainly to discredit orthodox theology. With very little of the supernatural in their theology, they understandably insisted on the superiority of reason to revelation. The use of the historical approach, however, more strongly revealed the diversity problem, more especially the distinction between the OT and the NT and their respective original historical settings. The possibility of a biblical theology then became questionable in itself. The OT and the NT evolved separately in the first half of the 20th century. The influence of Hegel and liberals like H. J. Holtzmann was particularly strong in the evolution of NT theology. OT theologies, on the other hand, evolved from conservatives like J. C. F. Steudel, H. A. C. Fldvernick and G. F. Oehler. But archeological discoveries during that period came up with findings on the Near East and the Greco-Roman world, which questioned the faith. It viewed the Bible not as a source of doctrine but merely a record of the lives and experiences of communities and the early church in Israel. What was thought of as NT theology was an early Christian religion that should be studied objectively and separated from dogma or systematic theology.
The golden age of OT revival is considered to have occurred in the 1930s with the particular influence of W. Eichrodt.. The NT revival occurred later with the work of R. Bultmann. In the search for structure, authors first used the standard topics of systematic theology. With the introduction of the historical-critical approach in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the theologies of both OT and NT assumed a chronological structure. Soon, dissatisfaction towards both formats drove scholars to adopt themes or topics of their choice or a multi-thematic format. A more recent option is an emphasis on the dialectical nature of biblical theology. Newer approaches in the last decades depart from the historical-critical method. One substitute was the literary approach, which builds on the biblical narratives. Other trends were the unexpected interest in the canon of Scripture, the sociological approach to Scripture, and the liberation theologies. In recent years, however, there have been signs and attempts of connecting OT and NT studies and reconstructing some form of biblical theology. One was that of German scholars H. Gese and P. Stuhlmacher and their use of “history of traditions.” Other indications were the Fortress Press series in the 1980s and 1990s on a renewed interest in biblical theology and the invigorating scholarly debate on the place of the law in the OT and the NT. The present conflict between the academy and the community of believers seems to rule out the creation of an “all-biblical theology” at the moment.
Biblical and Historical Development of Christian Doctrines
In his 1891 essay , John Henry Cardinal Newman avers that doctrines would naturally develop because of the human mind’s natural inability to assimilate information. Even modern psychologists agree to this. Only aspects or views can be taught and these are not identical to the object or concept being taught. Newman then says that writers and interpreters after the Apostolic era were not as inspired as the Apostles themselves. In his mind, God did not provide important doctrines in the inspired Scripture as it was His intention that it should be completed by doctrinal development as revealed truths should be. Another source for doctrine would be the interaction of Christian truth with the different cultures. Christianity is a universal religion and should then reflect and become applicable to all places and at all times while its relations and dealings with the world may change. Development work on the doctrines continues to the present time. No doctrines of the Christian faith have been fully developed as the NT in a completed form. To this day, Christian doctrine is subject to formal, legitimate and genuine development as contemplated and intended by its Divine Author.
Both Protestants and Catholics admit that Christian doctrine developed over centuries. Even the most thorough Protestant adherents to the exact teachings of the Apostolic church recognize two major developments to this effect. One is the absence of any canon of the NT in the Apostolic era. It had to evolve and be developed over time. The other is major Christian doctrines, such as the Trinity, are outcomes of discussions by Church fathers over hundreds of years. They finally attained form through various Councils. They are expressed in words but not literally copied from the Bible. Newman’s title is not supposed to imply that God or His truth changes, but that He did not reveal all His truth all at once. It seems to be His intention that His creatures should gradually attain clear understanding of His truth as the human mind is not capable of immediate and total comprehension of it. Newman believes that it is the nature of human mind to take time to achieve full comprehension and perfection of great ideas. His essay offers the solution to the difficulty in using and making sense of the expansive testimony gathered from 18 hundred years of Christianity.
The Importance of the Canon of Scriptures to Theologians
The term “canon” means rule or norm and refers to books that came to be regarded as authoritative for the churches by the middle of the fourth century AD. The proper use of the term has in itself not been settled by scholars. According to some of them, the dominant element before the fourth century was not the text but its content. Christians in the time of Irenaeus freely handled the apostolic texts, which were not yet considered unchangeable at the time. Answers given to questions concerning the canon affect the theologian and his task. The exegete or interpreter who considers the canon as a mere historical creation will resort to Sachkritik in managing historical and theological matters. Sachkritik means evaluating each part of Scripture in the light of the main message, which is the gospel of justification. The canon of the Scripture is the product of humn effort, by nature fallible and thus subject to evaluation and revision. The exegete who recognizes the canon as the inspired word of God will look for solutions to historical problems by connecting and harmonizing differences in it and by highlighting and seeking the fundamental unity of Scripture. The theologian, scholar or church leader, on the other hand, who perceives the canon as irrelevant, will have a problem establishing authority in matters of faith and practice. If “inspiration” is considered only a theological theory instead of a historical process, which guides the writing of Scripture and the building of the canon, the weight of authority moves away from the Scripture text. Historical criticism can damage or destroy the theological value of any Biblical material or statement, it can be eliminated or omitted in discussing matters of faith and practice.
The new source of authority can be the history of tradition behind Scripture, the many levels of redactional historical development, the final canonical context, ecclesiastical tradition, the community’s faith experience or the continued hermeneutical effort at verifying Scripture material. The choice is a subjective one, based on his ability to reconstruct reliable data as well as on his retention of respected views and habits, his realizing the working of God and his skill in relating his method or methods to the text.
The choice depends on the subjectivity of the interpreter, his ability to reconstruct the verities of tradition history, the retention of time-honored and venerated views and habits, his realization the workings of God or his capability in relating his method to the text. The pastor or evangelist takes the suggestion of those who do away with the canon, he must consider the Didache or a sermon of Luther or Wesley as relevant as the Epistle to the Ephesians or 1 Peter. If he has no time or interest in reviewing historical arguments and commentaries, monographs and essays, he must rely on interpretations from consensus for that truth or the specific outlook used in his student days. But because objective truth has become a problematic philosophical concept, he needs to turn to standard creed formulation without the needed inner conviction. Or he takes recourse to the power generated by movements, which promise spiritual effectiveness. Otherwise, he searches for relevance in social-political or psychological theories. The result is an insecure feeling among Christians. Even non-Christians soon deplore the lack of distinctive message from the representatives of the church themselves. They liken these supposed spokesmen and women to political commentators. But if he stands on the conviction and position that the prophetic and apostolic canon of Scripture is the revealed word of God and is reliable in all its assertions, the church can be confident that they have a dependable foundation by which to proclaim the Gospel. The canon of Scripture is not a ready-made preparation, which fell from heaven. Rather, it evolved from a lengthy and tedious process, which reflects the nature of Scripture. It is a merger of the human record of Israel, the Apostles’ experience and the divinely-inspired expression of God’s will and message. As such, it proceeds from human appreciation and evaluation of basic documents and God’s sovereign will.
The Use of Scriptures to Shape Christian Doctrines
God’s word has been preserved because the Bible has survived. This is not an abstract theological declaration but the statement of a historic and tangible fact. The tangible, visible and readable Bible today has been handed down to this time from generations. Whatever its form, language, version or translation, the content has remained virtually the same. The differences are, in different cases, insignificant or crucial but it has retained its reliability and trustworthiness.
What one believes must be verified by what the Bible says about what one believes. Doctrinal pronouncements by churches, what theologians teach, findings of studies and experiments, translations and Fundamentalist teaching and preaching can all help prevent a fall into error. But Scriptures must confirm the claim or pronouncement. The early church sought to recognize the canon of inspired writings and the doctrinal expression of what those documents taught. It exerted greater effort in checking the teachings out against the truth contained in the surviving text that on the accuracy of the documents. The very survival of the documents satisfactorily attests to their preservation. Many believe that God handed down His word inerrantly or free from error. They also believe what Scripture teaches that His word will not pass until everything He has said is fulfilled. This “everything” is contained and taught in Scripture. He also revealed how He gives His word and to whom. Select persons as agents are moved by Him or reborn by His Spirit. Among these selected by God to reveal His word or message are those who record that Word or message in writing. The doctrine of inspiration enables one of them to present and interpret the content of such statements or pronouncements. But relating or explaining how an inspired, inerrant, un-inscribed revelation is transmitted is different and more complex.
Evangelical and fundamental Christians believe that the Bible is the absolute authority over, and concerning, life and eternal destiny. It is the only source and standard of absolute moral principles needed by all to live and for society to function properly and to survive. It is the only source of information, which explains the existence of evil as well as protection and deliverance from it. In his second letter to Timothy, Paul writes: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work. This is an authoritative message to Christians who have preserved it for generations.
The Scripture consists of 66 books, 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament. About 40 authors collaborated in writing it in three languages, namely Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, but internally consistent throughout the text. It took them 1,600 years of collaborative work. It was intended for use in Africa, Asia and Europe for prophets, priests, cupbearers, kings, judges, fishermen and others. It is 98% textually pure in that it has only 1½% error probability in copying of the manuscripts. This margin of error does not affect doctrine. The Scripture is without question inspired by God. Inspiration means that God, through Holy Spirit, led the writers to record His accurate and authoritative revelations (Slick2013). The original manuscripts contain no error and are thus absolutely reliable and true concerning the matters discussed. The inspiration of the Scripture produced the basic doctrines of belief accepted by every true Christian (Slick).
The writers of Scripture are, nevertheless, not mechanized tools who were merely moved by the Holy Spirit (Boettner 2013). In performing their sublime task, they remained themselves in thought, will and consciousness. Readers can even chance upon the peculiar mannerisms of some of these writers. They also wrote in their own language: if they spoke Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek according to their nationality. If they were educated, their writings reflect their culture. If they were not educated, their writings would give this away as to style and manner of handling. The divine and the human were not separate but were, instead, in perfect harmony in every word of Scripture. Yet the primary influence was always the divine and human influence was only secondary. In this collaboration, they were not originators but only receivers and announcers of inspiration (Boettner)
The doctrine of inspiration, however, does not mean that Scripture writers ceased to be erring creatures(Boettner 2013). Moses himself who wrote much about the history of Israel and is acknowledged as the greatest prophet in the OT committed an offense at Meribah for which he was banned from entering the promised land. Balaam, Saul and Peter were great spokesmen of the Lord but they committed blunders. Peter’s personal flaw led Paul to resist him for it. But their personal faults did not interfere with what they had to do. The inspiration of the Holy Spirit allowed for personality characteristics in them. What they wrote or spoke is not to be taken as something separate from the pure Word of God and not worth heeding. Their writings and speech express not only something they themselves thought out, inferred, hoped or feared. These were also something given or transmitted to them. Some of these inspired messages were not welcomed but forced upon them. In any case, they could neither say more or less than what was revealed to them. Neither did inspiration make the prophets who wrote Scripture omniscient. The inspiration was confined only to the particular revelation or message given to them. Each inspiration was highly specific and limited to itself. In other matters or concerns, they were at par with their contemporaries (Boettner).
The Basic Biblical Theology and the Canon of Scriptures
Simply defined and understood, theology is the science of God (Faith Bible Church, 2013). It comes from the Greek words “theos” or God and “logos” or study or science. It is the study of God, His Word and His works. It is true theology when based on the Word of God. Simply understood, it is a serious study of the Holy Bible. Biblical theology is thus the study of God from the individual parts and authors of the Bible. Each of these parts or books has a separate and distinctive contribution to the Bible. All the parts complement one another without contradiction. It is also a narration and documentation on the chronological development and progression of God’s revelation and work in human history, which peak in Jesus Christ (Faith Bible Church).
“Canon” also comes from a Greek word, kanon, which means “measuring instrument,” and later came to mean “rule of action (Ryrie, 1999).” It pertained to the creeds at the time of the early church. It was adopted for use in the Bible, such as for the listing of accepted books, recognized as a would-be component of the Bible. Canon refers to two things: as this list of books, which passed tests and rules that determined their authoritativeness and canonical-ness and as the collection of canonical books, which contain the rule of Christian life (Ryrie).
The OT of the Bible that Christians know is Tanakh to the Jews up to this time (Ryrie, 1999). Tanakh is an acronym for three distinct part of the Hebrew Scriptures, namely the Torah or Law, the Nevim or Prophets and the Kethvim or Writings. It is common belief that Moses wrote much of the Torah, the first five books of the Tanakh, when the Israelites camped at Mt. Sinai. They immediately accepted as true what he wrote and gave them on the basis of his being a prophet and as one who was endowed with special revelation from God. Moses’ writings and special revelation would constitute four out of the five books of the Torah. The Nevim was also accepted as God’s direct revelation to His chosen people. The Nevim contained the works of both major and minor prophets and those of Joshua and the Judges. These were immediately accepted and revered as if written right at the throne of God. The Hebrews regarded these early Scriptures as holy even during apostate times in Israel (Ryrie).
The Torah and the Neviim, or “the Law and the Prophets,” were accepted and obeyed as canon centuries before the time of Christ (Ryrie, 1999). It was a different case with the Psalms, the Proverbs, the Book of Daniel and the other books, although they were long established and used, especially during specific celebrations or events. The Council at Jamnia in the year 90 formally adopted them as canonical Hebrew Scripture. Then the Council declared that the Tanakh was complete with the addition of the revelation. The Bible, however, is self-authenticating or canonical from their time of writing because they were breathed out by God. The investigation, ascertainment or declaration of any Council is not necessary for these to become acceptable. They were inherently canonical by virtue of their having come from God Himself (Ryrie).
The Church regarded NT documents, though a separate collection, as parts of Scripture and put them together (Ryrie, 1999). These included the four Gospels, and Paul’s letters, which were copied and circulated for teaching. They have been regarded as equally important as the Jewish Scriptures, or more important as some consider them. The identification of the documents was the very same process by which the New Testament canon developed (Ryrie).
About 110 years after the death of Jesus, a certain teacher of Christianity named Marcion was uncomfortable with the view of a wrathful God of the OT as incompatible with the loving God of the NT (Ryrie, 1999). He rejected the OT view and published a canon from edited versions of select documents, such as the Gospel of Luke and 10 of Paul’s epistles. His initiative called the Church’s attention to the need of selecting and using only truly canonical or authoritative documents to establish and defend church doctrines. Mancion was not credited for initiating the process of forming the canon but for stirring the controversy, which led to or accelerated and solidified the development of the current process. At that time, the four Gospels and the Pauline corpus were already gathered and circulated. The four Gospels were referred to as The Gospel. The Pauline corpus was the collection of Paul’s letters. Ignatius, the Bishop of Antioch in 115 AD named each of these documents as Scripture. General letters by Peter, John, James and Jude were later excluded. These used to be part of the Acts of the Apostles. By the year 200, most of the New Testament was already composed. The Muratorian Fragment identifies Luke as the third Gospel then John, Paul’s 13 epistles, Jude, two epistles by John and the Book of Revelation as constitution Scripture. Origen in the early 300 lists the four Gospels, Paul’s 13 letters, Peter and John’s and the Revelation. He mentions that some documents were subjected to debate, such as Hebrews, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, James ad Jude. Eusebius’ list consisted of all the documents except James, Jude, 2 Peter and 2 and 3 John. These were also under dispute by some although accepted by most (Ryrie).
In the year 357, Athanasius, Jerome and Augustine listed 27 of the NT documents aone (Ryrie, 1999). The church in the west approved these 27 documents at the councils of Hippo Regius in 393 and Carthage in 397. Farther east, the inclusion of 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John and the Revelation was made only in the year 508 in a version of the Syriac Bible. And by the year 397, the Christian Church considered the canon of the Bible as complete and closed it. It means that no more books or documents could be discovered or written for inclusion. The canon cannot be reopened for any addition to the 66. Even one more epistle of Paul would not be considered canonical. It would not be unlikely that Paul wrote more than the 13 already officially recognized as canonical. But even those were not included in the canon (Ryrie).
|Posted by frieda lara on July 25, 2020 at 3:10 AM||comments (1)|
it is only by the grace of God that a human being can do anything good. Christ Himself says, "None is good but God." So let us not congratulate ourselves for merely cooperating with God and His grace when we do even what we think is a great act of goodness. All glory belongs to Him. A changed person only gives God that glory when he displays works of goodness that are truly only God's. A person with a renewed mind is an abode to God and he does only those that God will do in his place. A human being needs God's Spirit even to train and bend his will to cooperate with God's grace. Salvation itself is only His gift freely given as something won by His Son and shared with those who will accept Jesus' offer by following His commands and living as He lived on earth. The terms of agreement are unconditional and irrevocable. We owe everything to Him, even our very energy to offend Him!
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|Posted by frieda lara on July 25, 2020 at 3:05 AM||comments (0)|
fallen nature has no power to change itself, e.g. turn away from any kind of sin. It is not subject to our weak will, which is inclined to sinning, being fallen, in the first place. That cures vanity entirely. Only God has the option to renew us but He needs our accepting His grace, not just to avoid pornography but to turn into new creatures that we are meant and destined to be. When God reads the desires of our hearts to obey His command, He responds by sending His Spirit to renew our minds and we begin to live in the reverse of our fallen nature, i.e., we develop a spiritual instinct to repulse all sin, not only pornography.. We begin to love what Go loves and hate what He hates. None of it is to our credit. It is more than deliverance by another human being. It must be God's very action.
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|Posted by frieda lara on November 24, 2019 at 3:25 AM||comments (0)|
Jesus commands His true believers to be as perfect as His and their Heavenly Father. It is not a prompt, a hope, a preference or recommendation. It is a command that must be complied with in order to enter the Kingdom. But we are weak, self-serving, sinful people and this command is far above our level of utmost accomplishment.
But our Lord will not command something that is not achievable. Especially if is a requirement for salvation. Is He unreasonable? No, He is not and never shall be. He said it to let us see the dignity of our existence. That God creaed us for great thngs, for perfection. He wants us to ever keep that divine intenion ever before us. We are not to be satisfied with being average and say that we are not equpped for such a grand objective.
But if the Son of God set that goal before us, it has be achievable or achieved -- with His grace. So we tell Him that as true believers, you want to fulfill the objective that He established for us, poor sinful creattures. So we go limp and let the Lord work on us like a potter. He will renew us in His power. And what a Potter does always leaves something of himself in his nd-product. If the lives nn us (which is His desire, if we let Him), He will conform us into Himslf Who is perfect as His Heavenly Father. If w do not interfere with His work on us, His command will be acieved. What stand against the fulfillment of His command, though, is myriad. The worlld, the flesh and the devil will always interfere with His work. It is the work of a lfetime. The world will alwayd distract us from our true destiny every given moment. The flesh too will rebel against this infintely high ambition that God sets for us for creating us. And the devil can be expected to spoil it with his thousands of years of expertise in the business of temptation.
But God's pan can never be frustrated. If we try our best to cooperate with it and with His grace, that transformation is not only possible but certain. If we live in God's love and alway make Him first in our lives, we will develop His character inch-by-nch until He crowns our effort with success. We become more and more like Him and less and less like our past selves. If we team up with Him, we will always win and beoome wha He is. We shall have fulfilled His command of becoming perfect as His heavnly Father. We do not need outside implements to shape this up. Everyting will come from within if He lives in us. We do not need outside help. All we need is God. With Him, we are not few or ever become outnumbeed, for He and you are a majority.
Living as Christ Lived and as St. Paul Preached How He Lived It -- Living in Unconditional Fulfillment
|Posted by frieda lara on September 24, 2019 at 8:00 PM||comments (0)|
St. Paul taught the Phllippians the secret of a life of contentment by accepting and being thankful and content with what comes. This is something that not even many professing Christians do or can do. But the lack of attachment to the ways of the world is precisely what characterized the liffe of Christ Himself and imitated perfectly by S. Paul, whom He directly touched on his way to Damascus to destroy Christian believber. Below is St. Paul's revelation of how he lived in resplendent independence from both the ipleasures and pains of this world:
"I have learned in whatever state I am, therewitth to be content. I know how to be abased and how to abound. Everywhere and in all things, I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, to ab ound and suffer need. I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me." (Philippians 4:11-13).
A true Christian is not affected by the extremes of what happens in the world or himself/herself. He or she is content with what the Lord sends, trusting perfectly that what He send is what is good for the true Crhistian.The true Christian has a balanced view of all occurrences. He or she experiences both bounty and abasement, fullness and need, praise and abasement. He or she is indifferent to either extreme because his/her trust in God's providence is well-goounded and no necessity can distract him or her from obeying His laws and doing what He tells him or he to do or stop doing.
Yet the fact is that even the most devout Christian of this time prays for temporal things and complans when misfortune befalols them. It is extremely difficult to detach from our personal pleasures, from ourselves. If this is our case, we are falling short of Christ's own way of life against which ours wll b measured. The time to assess our lives is now.
|Posted by frieda lara on September 18, 2019 at 3:20 AM||comments (0)|
We are very fortunate beings and we must unceasingly thank God for the gift of life or existence. We need not do anything to deserve this. Out of His infinite goodness, love and mercy, He created each of us with the potential of earning eternal happines while on a limited period on earth. And He gave us laws and much encouragement to achieve that!
Many skeptics and apostates reject this. The enemy of God (and ours too) use those limits and the lack of belief in skeptics and apostates to frustrate God's plan for mankind. I have answered many of their questions and complaints on FB and I am aghast at the magnitude of ignorance among many people, includng those who are supposed to know better. They question God's wisdom and ways, like how He can afford to allow so much suffering in the world despite His love and power. Only ignorance will wail like this.
You know that the Lord gave us free will to choose between good and evil, between Him and His archenemy (and ours too) and He will keep that deal to the last moment, till the last ounce of His patience, which is fast approaching. He will not compel or threaten anyone to seek Him. He wants people to come to Him and ask for Him BY THEIR OWN WILL. Un-answered prayer is one test of faith. This world belongs to the enemy of God, that is why people who endeavor to do good are frustrated, rejected and persecuted. But there is a time limit to that and we await the end of evil in faith and that end is certain. As well as, fast coming.
|Posted by frieda lara on September 11, 2019 at 3:50 AM||comments (0)|
This is a command, not an advice or wish or preference. And the Lord said this to His disciples and would-be followers. We are obliged to obey this command, not by our efforts or mental dexterty but in full response to His grace to be as perfect as His Father. It is a tall order because nothing is short with the Lord. Only those who comply with this command will enter heaven. Realize that perfection is the lone criteron of entry into the Kingdom of God. And Jesus not only requires it but has the means for us to achieve it. Simply ask Him and you will receive if He lives in you.
|Posted by frieda lara on September 7, 2019 at 3:00 AM||comments (0)|
A true believer is a new person. He/she does not see the world and people the way he/she used to. He/she does so only in the way that the Almighty does, because a true believer is a reproduction of Jesus Who is not an inhabitant of the world. So the true believer cannot and does not feel like everyone else. His/her values are intimately and genuinely DIFFERENT from the rest of the world. He/she does not seek popularity or approval, is not materialistic and sees through things and people. He/she does things in full confidence of accomplishing these things in God's power, not in their weakness. His/her light will shine upon the world and he/she will be the salt of the earth. She/he will work miracles.
He/she does not need a following. She/he does not tremble when the world does not rspond favorably. That is expeced because the world is in enmity with God and the true believer is a "non grata" in the world. He/she is in it only temporarily and waiting to be taken out of it by Jesus in the Second Coming. A true beiever should own or owe nothing to this world, as Jesus exemplified in His life on earth There is no other way to live but His way as He is the Way itself.
|Posted by frieda lara on September 6, 2019 at 2:45 PM||comments (0)|
A true believer is one whose faith operates and pervades his/her whole life. If it is real, it will become second-nature or unconscious. We need not consciously believe. Otherwise, it is not real faith.
If we have faith, we trust in God, we trust God. If we don't, we cannot possibly fear because the Almighty is our backer. Hs Spirit in us operates in us. If there is fear in your heart, then your faith is deficient. Ask the Lord to perfect it.
Faith is what makes martyrs perform what non-belibers and those with weak faith cannot. Problems and sickness cannot and do not affect belibvers because their lives are grounded on the Almighty to whom nothing is mpossible. Jesus said before ascending to heaven that what He did on earth, His true followers will also more and do MORE THAN hE DID. Remember that expectation! The Lord is not pleased with mediocre followers. Those who do only wha is expeced of them are not going to be seated close to His throne in heaven. True believers ALWAYS attempt what is impossible with full confidence of acheving what the Lord tells them to do because it is not them, but the Lord, who does what He tells them to do.
People fear because they feel they are too weak or small to perform big things. But true believers are not just people. They are reproducions of the Son of \God Who lives in them and does His work in them and through them. Jesus assures that if you believe, you can move mountains. Or command the mountans to move and THEY SHOULD OBEY YOU. What a wonderful assurance. Have you tried taking this seriously? You can if you fix your sight always on God and His might and away from yourself and your limits. You will fail only if your signt is fixed on yourself which is often the case among many professing believers. Thnk about this.