God is not Dead

(I would have liked to have published this before Christmas, but since It is still within the season, I will still share these thoughts!)

December is a busy time. Some of us may find that the weeks disappear at an alarming rate, and our blood pressure beginning to spike, as we stare uncomprehendingly at the growing to-do list. Between Christmas parties, baking, decorating, cleaning, hosting, gift-buying, etc; it is no wonder some us have shot nerves!
In a world ( and month!) of Go, go, go – it is easy to forget the simple, yet powerful themes of this season:
~ Hope
~ Peace
~ Joy
~ Love
Previous years, I had found myself disappointed in the attitude of people; one of greed, self-indulgence, impatience, disrespect; the list goes on! I would always tell myself, I will never become such a person.
But this year something seemed different.
Maybe God was opening my eyes to his active, ever-present love in the lives of others. This season, I was encouraged. I saw consumers chatting cheerfully with cashiers; I saw kindness extended to strangers on more than one occasion, as a customer with a full cart, would let another with just a few items, ahead of them in line. ( Such happened to myself once or twice!) And I heard stories of generosity; people buying strangers coffee, buying strangers their groceries. A stranger paid for my sister’s fuel! ( $58 worth).
As the Christmas song says ( ‘I heard the Bells’):
“God is not dead, nor doth he sleep”
It is too easy to look at all that is wrong with the world and ask “Where is God?”
I think God is alive in you and me;
If only we choose to let him be.

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If I Could Tell the World Just One Thing…

newsboy_megaphoneJewel (singer/songwriter) began a song  with
“If I could tell the world just
one thing, it would be
we’re all okay…

And not to worry, ’cause worry
is wasteful and useless in
times like these…”

Along with the song, the question that has plagued my mind is, If I could tell the world just one thing, what would I say?
I could give advice, but advice would not necessarily be applicable to every person’s circumstance.
But the truth is.
My struggle is, how do I make truth known?
How do I tell the world – or even just one person – One thing?
Perhaps relationships and how we treat others will say way more than our words ever will alone.

1 John 3:18 –Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”

Galatians 2:16-21; Justified by Faith

“16 Know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.17 “If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! 18 If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a law-breaker. 19 For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”
~~~~~~~~

Looking back, even as recent as a few years ago, I see how… naive I was in my faith. Like somehow, my heart remained oblivious to some of the fundamental truths that shape me today. The depth of understanding I had regarding God, and his love; the trinity, the crucifixion of Christ; The Holy Spirit and its fruits, etc, were memorized stories from years of attending Church, and a Catholic School. I never questioned it; I never dug deeper. I accepted these things, placed them high on the shelf, then committed myself to being “good”. And by my efforts, I could make it up there. Or so I thought.
Through God’s grace, time revealed how flawed my thinking was. How untrue, and uneducated my understanding was.
In the above scripture, it states we are not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ.”
What is ‘the Law’? Paul makes reference to it over and over again in the New Testament. I admit, in my early years of being a Christian this “law” thing completely baffled me. We are no longer slaves to the law? Huh?
I googled it, and this is what I found;

” When “the law” is mentioned in the Bible,  it harks back to the days of the Old Testament. There  are hundreds of commands given to the Israelites, but  the phrase “the law” refers specifically to  the compilation of decrees found in the first five books  of the Bible. This whole body of law was given the name  Torah. ”
( For the rest of this article, you can go to : http://www.biblica.com/bibles/faq/17/ )

Why the Law? Paul says in Romans 3:20 :
”  20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.”
We all sin and fall short of the glory of God. Some may find this almost devastating; ‘Has everything I have done been for nothing??’.
Rather it should be humbling, I think. To know that the God of the Universe sent his only Son as the final and Ultimate sacrifice for the atonement of our sins.
As I type all this, the hymn ” How deep the Father’s Love for us” starts playing in my head.
Once again, I am reminded that it is simply not about me. God is who he is; what I do, say or believe won’t change that. Despite my flaws, He loves me and invites me join in His kingdom work. To live by faith.