Religion

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Why do you worship God?


Victoria Osteen, wife of mega church pastor, Joel , may have redefined the purpose and reason Christians worship God. In one of their recent weekly broadcast, Victoria raised eyebrows in the Christian community when she said the following:

“I just want to encourage every one of us to realize when we obey God, we’re not doing it for God—I mean, that’s one way to look at it—we’re doing it for ourselves, because God takes pleasure when we’re happy. That’s the thing that gives Him the greatest joy… So, I want you to know this morning: Just do good for your own self. Do good because God wants you to be happy,” she continued. “When you come to church, when you worship Him, you’re not doing it for God really. You’re doing it for yourself, because that’s what makes God happy. Amen?”

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Jesus is the answer for the world’s problem


There is so much trouble in the world; one can hardly keep up with the frequency of troubling events that keep popping up.

Here in the USA we have more than our fair share of problems.

But the world does not have to exist in a continuous state of unrest. If its citizens could find it important to set their differences aside and see each other as human beings, rather than non-entities, then this wretched world would be a better place.

Still, I am aware that it will take more than spoken and written words to change the world. It will take a revival, but revival cannot happen without willing hearts.

Therefore, I am suggesting people everywhere embrace the teachings of Jesus Christ and apply them to their lives. A good place to start is Matthew 5:38-48:

Teaching about Revenge

“You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. If you got sued in court and your shirt got taken in the process, give your coat, too. If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.

Teaching about Love for Enemies

“You have also heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

God is not dead


clouds5 That one‘s troubles multiply daily and the list of unanswered prayers keeps growing by the minute, are not proof that God is dead–or He is a myth–or He does not care–or He is not listening. If anything, such occurrences could mean God’s timing and your timing are not in sync, or, perhaps you may have been too nonchalant in making your requests. Furthermore, the thorn you seek to remove maybe the link that keeps the chain together. In that case, God grace is sufficient for you.

We know with great certainty both from our own experiences and James’ writing in the book of the same name that the nonchalant prayer requests do not avail much: But, as James rightly puts it: “.. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16). But James did not stop there. In verses 17-18 He called into remembrance Elijah’s petition for drought and rain through fervent prayer.
Less anyone thinks Elijah was some kind of a supernatural being, here is what James says: “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit,” (James 5:16-18).

So, contrary to atheistic thinking, God is alive. He is not a myth. He cares, He listens, and He answers prayers. However, sometimes God’s people have to fight for their blessing like Jacob did. Other times it takes patience and faith like Job’s.

 

Do you think Christmas is bigger than Easter?


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Do you think Christmas is bigger than Easter?

This seems like an easy question to answer. However, opinions and contexts differ. For me, the answer is NO! And I am not the only one. Apparently, the Rev. Ray Pritchard agrees with me. Let us take a gander at what he wrote on his http://www.keepbelieving.com website.

In our society, there are two great religious holidays-Christmas and Easter. For most of us, Christmas is the bigger and greater season of the year. It is the time of year when we gather with family and friends to sing carols, decorate the tree, and exchange gifts. Christmas is the climax of the whole year. Easter? Well, for most people it is just another long weekend, another chance to get away for a few days.

Even Christians view Easter as a second-rate holiday!

Somehow we’ve gotten our thinking mixed up. If Easter had not happened, Christmas would have no meaning. If the tomb is not empty, the cradle makes no difference. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then He is just a misguided Jewish rabbi with delusions of grandeur. If Easter is not true, then Christmas was only the story of an obscure baby born in an out-of-the-way village, in a forgotten land 2000 years ago. It is Easter that gives Christmas its meaning.

Do You want proof? In all the New Testament, no major doctrinal point is ever built upon the virgin birth of Christ. Not one. It is true. It happened. But it is never discussed or mentioned. In fact, two gospels do not even say anything about it.

However, when it comes to the resurrection? That is a different story. In every part of the New Testament, it comes up again and again. Read the sermons of Acts. When the first Christians preached, they did not mention Bethlehem; they talked about the empty tomb. They never got over the fact that on Easter Sunday when they went to the tomb, Jesus was gone.

What does it means to follow Christ?


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In Luke 9:23 Jesus gives us a preview of what it means to follow Him. “… If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and pick up his cross daily and follow me”.

Although taking up your cross involves denying self, the main focus is about following Christ. The cross or burden we carry has to do with the choices we make with our will, the responses we have in our actions, and the attitude we carry in our hearts.

Our cross means that we are putting to death every decision, every response, and every attitude in our life that is not consistent with the love of Jesus Christ.

What if you gave God total control of your life ?


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Life could be much more interesting than it is, if we would yield the Master’s call and allow God to chart a course and direct our steps. It is well documented in Biblical history that those who had surrendered control to God lived more prosperous and meaningful lives than those who did not. Even so, most of us scoff at the idea, because we like to take all the glory for our achievements. We are like the leader of the pridethe thought of giving up control or sharing power makes us nervous.

So, even after we have confessed our sins and promised to follow Jesus, we still hesitate to give Him total control. It is only when our backs are up against a wall that we entertain any idea to give up control, but only temporary. Therefore, as soon as we have crossed the Red sea or the Jordan, or survive the storm we are back to business as usualrebellious and disobedient..

Giving God control of your life means you are part of a team. God now becomes  team leader and director; you become a follower. Unfortunately, this is where the problem begins. Most people do not see themselves as followers. They think it is demeaning. In one of the most tightly contested presidential primary, a Journalist suggested that one of the candidates settle for running mate. The candidate replied with this: “You will never see me running for vice president”.

My friends, you can rest assure; there is nothing demeaning about following God and surrender  total control to Him. The prophets and the Patriarchs and the apostles did, and after more than 2000 years we are still talking about them.
Still, like it or not, God is already in charge, but He refuses to act until you ask Him to. The Psalmist David in one of his dialogues writes the following: “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusted in him”– Psalm 34:8.