The best life is a God First life

Category: Love (Page 1 of 6)

If you love me, you will keep my commandments ~ Jesus

40 Christians on a bus

40 Christians on a tour bus for the week, a day has come and gone. How many of us will get to know the bus driver’s name? Is he married, does he have children, is he a Christian? Does he believe in Jesus? Is he In Christ?

By the end of the week, will the bus driver think of us as “good samaritans”? As 40 Christ-loving, Christ-sharing Christians concerned for his well-being, for his soul, Christians willing to vest some of our vacation time sharing the love of Christ with this stranger, or will we be just another group of people he drove around for the week?

This is a challenge for all Christians as a group or as individuals. So that we plant the seeds of truth in all that we do, will those we meet know more about Christ’s love for them after we’re gone than they did before we met them?

And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” – Mark 16:15

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. – Philippians 2:3

 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. – John 13:34

Rhetorical question: How can we claim to love others and not seek every opportunity to share the most important message of our lifetime? The saving message of Christ, the message that can bring eternal life in heaven with our creator.

Let us plant Seeds in all that we do

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

God First!

Abundance of love

To have an abundance of money is not something I can truly understand, however; having an abundance of loving and caring brothers and sisters in Christ is.

We are so blessed to be servants among servants for the Lord. We love our brothers and sisters in Christ both near and far and pray consistently for your well-being and success in sharing the message of Christ.

LOVE is so much more than a mere word

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8 ESV)

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13 ESV)

“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:” (1 Peter 4:8-10 ESV)

“And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40 ESV)

God First!

God is in control

We are extremely blessed to have the Bible. When we study God’s Word, we find those involved in the stories we read know only what is before them. However; We, get to see the plans of God come together over and over as we read through scripture. God has given us 66 books of God-breathed evidence and instruction to help us understand that putting our faith, hope, and trust in God is absolutely the best commitment we can make and share with others, especially those we hold dearest to our hearts.

The evidence we find in God’s Word, our surroundings, and science proves God exists. It proves God is our creator and is everywhere, all-knowing and all-powerful; it proves God is in control!

God’s word gives us comfort in knowing that by following the teachings of the new covenant, we can have eternal life in heaven.

This world is not our home; we are just passing thru

  • 2 Timothy 2:15 (study)
  • Romans 10:17 (Faith comes by hearing)
  • Hebrews 6:17 (God is unchanging)
  • Ephesians 1:11 (God is in control)
  • Matthew 6:1-34 (the kingdom of God)
  • Romans 6:1–4 (baptism)
  • Hebrews 13:14 (this world)

God First!

It’s “My Life” I’ll live it like, I want!

“It’s “My Life” I’ll live it like, I want!” What teenager hasn’t made a similar statement. What adult has never said a similar statement? Few, I’m sure. Before COVID-19, when entering worship, someone often handed out a list of prayer requests gathered by those working in prison ministry.

Later, when reading the request before praying for them, I noticed a high percentage of those requests from prisoners were for loved ones. Many seemed concerned about how their absence via incarceration had caused hurt, physical stress, pain, and financial burdens, negatively affecting those that love them: their parents, wives, children, grandparents, etc.

While behind bars, the concern for loved ones seems to be at the forefront of their minds. I don’t know what got these people in prison, but I do know; our actions affect those we love, and we should consider that when we start thinking, “it’s my life, I’ll do what I want.

No matter what time of life we’re experiencing at this moment, young, old, or in-between, we are examples to those around us, and when we make bad choices, those choices can easily create unnecessary burdens on our loved ones.

Jesus knew what He was talking about when He commanded us to love others as He loved us. Jesus is the ultimate example for our lives, and when he walked this earth, he lived accordingly. If we follow this command to “love others as Christ loved us,” then “living our life like we want to” will mean: living our lives understanding that what we do affects those we love. Regret is avoidable!

  • John 13:34
  • Matthew 15:16
  • 1 Timothy 4:12
  • Ephesians 5:1-33
  • Romans 12:1-21

God First!

The well-being of others

Do you pray for the well-being of others? As I was praying for just that, the following question came to mind: What is the best thing for anybody’s well-being?

I concluded: The testament of Jesus pricks our hearts and opens our minds to God’s grace, His forgiveness, our repentance, and the love of God for us; it brings those who understand what Jesus has done for us an overwhelming desire to do His will and keep His commandments. This understanding stirs our hearts to take action. It makes us want to be “In Christ.”

According to God’s word to be in Christ, we must hear the message of Christ, believe, repent, confess Jesus as the risen Son of God, and be baptized into Christ in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit for the forgiveness of our sins. We need to realize that when we come up out of that watery grave, we are doing God’s will, we have ratified God’s Grace through Jesus, and by doing so, we are forgiven! At this point, we are free of our past sins, begin a new life as a new creature, and move forward in life as disciples of Christ, enjoying all the blessings that encompass our obedient faith.

Blessings like the knowledge that we now have never-ending life available to us in heaven, a spiritual world not made with human hands, where there is no more pain, tears, or death. That God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are now within us, helping us walk this world without being of this world. We can now take comfort in the knowledge that the blood of Christ continues to wash us even when we make mistakes.

So, What is the best thing for anybody’s well-being? The message of Christ!

With this understanding, I continue to pray that we all take time to learn and share the message of Christ for the well-being of all!

[Scriptures for consideration]

  • 1 John 5:3
  • Romans 10:17
  • 2 Corinthians 5:17-18
  • 2 Peter 3:9
  • Acts 2:37-47
  • Acts 16:30-33
  • Acts 8:30-38
  • Romans 6:23
  • Romans 5:15-18
  • Ephesians 2:1-10
  • Luke 17:10
  • James 2:17-18
  • 1 Peter 1:17-25
  • 1 John 1:7

God First!

Why would you want to cheat yourself like that?

As I pondered my answer, I realized; this is exactly what we do when we don’t take advantage of opportunities to grow in Christ and build on our relationship with Him.

What happens when we make time to attend as many studies as possible? We draw closer to God, and He draws closer to us; we get to know God and fellow seekers of truth better and our actions demonstrate where our heart’s desire resides.

My heart’s desire once demonstrated my love for; time, eating, tennis, TV, relaxation, fun, laughter, etc. I made time for all these things because my heart’s desire once put them on a pedestal. During that period of life and without realizing it, I was not putting God First, but rather at My convenience.

In a discussion about not attending Sunday bible classes, Worship service, and other growth and edification opportunities such as Sunday evening or midweek bible studies, a friend asked me: Why would you want to cheat yourself like that?

As I thought about his question, I realized the validity of his point. That’s exactly what we do. If I don’t prioritize these opportunities, I’m cheating myself. But, that’s not all; I’m cheating others, starting with my family, those who may follow my lead or depend on me to get them to and from services. So, bottom line, I asked myself, What kind of example am I being?

By not prioritizing my attendance at every opportunity, am I not short-changing family, friends, and myself by not leading us toward spiritual growth? When we don’t attend, we miss out on knowledge, better understanding, fellowship, and growth opportunities. In addition, we miss out on being examples to others. Examples that demonstrate our gratitude, understanding, and belief that God should be first in our lives.

I now look forward to every opportunity to increase my understanding of Scripture and to grow through the uplifting unity of fellow believers by sharing and growing in the truth of Christ with one another.

If you are not attending at every opportunity, I offer this for your consideration…

Why would you want to cheat yourself like that?

God First!

I wrote most of this before the COVID-19 virus, which forced us into our homes to worship online. Yet, the point is still the same. Are we prioritizing our worship time and Bible study? Are we taking advantage of every opportunity for spiritual nourishment? Do our loved ones get to see our commitment by our actions? If not, Why would we want to cheat ourselves like that?

66 Books of absolute truth we should learn

We can never understand the whole truth if we only learn part of it!

The Holy Bible is the whole and absolute truth of God! It is 66 Books of God-breathed wisdom and instruction that our creator assembled for our betterment and understanding. The Old Testament has 39 books of ”before Christ” history, including hundreds of prophecies over hundreds of years about Christ. The New Testament has 27 books telling us of the Son of God, Christ. Telling us how to accept God’s offer of grace through our obedient faith in Christ and how we can each “put on Christ” or be “In Christ.”

Scripture defines “obedient faith,” telling us how to lay up treasures in heavenly places and have our souls live forever in a heavenly home not made with hands. God’s Word shows us how God extended us grace through Christ. It lets us know that when we hear the message of Christ, believe in Christ, repent, confess Christ as the living son of God, and make the decision to be immersed in the waters of baptism, we can be forgiven of our sins and walk in newness of life. (Acts 2:38, Romans 6:3-11)

New Testament scripture stresses the importance of sharing the gospel and teaching others, however; How can we teach what we do not know? We need to study! Our children need us to study! Why? So we can accurately teach them God’s word and spread the truth according to the truth.

It is through understanding and our obedient faith that we can know a peace beyond our understanding.

  • Don’t we want that?
  • Don’t we want that for our children and others?

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it, the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

Romans 1:16-17
  • Grace:Ephesians 2:8, Romans 3:24, Titus 2:11, Acts 15:11
  • Belief/Faith:Hebrews 11:1, John 8:24, Romans 10:17, Acts 3:19
  • Repentance:2 Cor. 7:9-10, Luke 13:3-5, Acts 17:30
  • Confess:Romans 10:9-10, Matthew 10:32-33, Luke 12:8-9
  • Baptism by immersion for forgivness of sin:Matthew 16:15-16 1 Peter 3:21, Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16, John 3:5, Matt 28:18-20, Ephesians 4:5, Romans 6:3-4, Colossians 2:12, Acts 8:36-39, Mark 1:9-10, John 3:23

God First!

Painful Anniversaries

Some anniversaries are heartwrenching as we recall moments in time that shattered our hearts, such as; terrible life-changing accidents or the passing of loved ones. August was once a month of celebrated births for our family but now includes the dates of painful loss that tears at our very being. One August, I found myself praying for emotional strength and comfort that only God can provide for my loved ones in the coming days. As I prayed, I found myself stating, ”Father, please help all my family and us in these coming days as I don’t know what to do” as I spoke these words, it dawned on me, I was doing it!

Nothing is more powerful than God’s help, whether He provides comfort to our hearts and minds beyond our understanding and/or places projects and people in our lives to help us through.

Praying is so simple one might diminish its value in their minds and forget just how powerful communicating with our creator truly is. Scripture tells us the prayers of the righteous are the most powerful.  This tells me If I want my prayers well heard, I will pursue righteousness with all I have to give. Scripture also tells and demonstrates that the closer we draw to God, the closer God draws to us. 

Let us Pray often with righteous prayers from loving hearts then, trust God!

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:8

“Therefore say to them, Thus declares the Lord of hosts: Return to me, says the Lord of hosts, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts.” Zachariah 1:3

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.Mark 11:24 ESV

“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 ESV

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” James 5:16 ESV

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you”. –John 15-7

God First!

The Mirror of Reflection and Growth

Our dual battle between good and evil starts with the desires of our hearts and minds. (James 1:15) When we act with goodness, we glorify God. When we act on evil desires, we sin against God.

Our actions show our heart so let us not be afraid to better ourselves by embracing the mirror of reflection and growth.

Let us ask ourselves daily:

  • Are my actions demonstrating where I know my heart’s desire, should be?
  • Am I proud of my actions?
  • Would Jesus be proud of my actions?
  • Did I reject temptation?

If the answer is “Yes” then you do well if your answers are “No” remember God forgives, He even forgets, If bad habits have formed it’s not too late to replace them with good habits. Scripture tells us to repent, which means: To change direction. There is never a better time to change direction than the moment you realize you need too and reflection helps us get to that point.

 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Matthew 6:21

God’s word tells us how to focus our minds and hearts, how to overcome the temptation to sin. (Philippians 4:5-9)

  • Hebrews 8:12
  • Matthew 5:44
  • Matthew 5:16
  • Matthew 22:37–39
  • Grace: – Ephesians 2:8, Romans 3:24, Titus 2:11, Acts 15:11
  • Belief/Faith: – Hebrews 11:1, John 8:24, Romans 10:17, Acts 3:19
  • Repentance: – 2 Cor. 7:9-10, Luke 13:3-5, Acts 17:30
  • Confess: – Romans 10:9-10, Matthew 10:32-33, Luke 12:8-9
  • Baptism by immersion for forgivness of sin: – Matthew 16:15-16 1 Peter 3:21, Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16, John 3:5, Matt 28:18-20, Ephesians 4:5, Romans 6:3-4, Colossians 2:12, Acts 8:36-39, Mark 1:9-10, John 3:23

AdvocateforChrist.com

God First!

Injustice, Anger, and Control

Sometimes controlling anger to injustice can be a real challenge, and exercising control is not what we want to do; it’s like we’re choosing to absorb pain rather than do something to stop it. The pain can seem unbearable at times, but all things are possible with God, and it’s worth it to stay the course and follow the example of Christ.

Jesus exercised ultimate control; He could have called 10,000 angels at any moment. At any moment, Christ could have and stopped absorbing all the pain He suffered. However, Christ’s love for God and mankind proved greater than any temptation to lose control.

All that love for His Fathers Will and all of us had a tremendously positive effect. The trickle-down effect of Christ absorbing all that pain was our salvation. The life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus demonstrate God’s love for us.  Every soul now has the opportunity and promise of eternal life when we accept God’s grace by our obedient faith; Heaven is our home. 

Jesus could have gotten angry and lashed out the way many of us might respond, He could have ended all of us at any moment, but instead, Jesus was consumed with love and compassion and exercised control.

Jesus had experienced pain and rejection before, but He knew; what He was about to suffer was far beyond all those previous experiences combined. This knowledge of what was to come had Jesus sweating blood on the Mount of Olives. He prayed for a different solution, but if not, he wanted to submit to God’s will, not his own.

And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. 40 And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” 41 And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” 43 And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. 44 And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”

Luke 22:39-44

Jesus exercised submission to God’s will, but rather than show anger; He demonstrated love and constraint; Jesus tells us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. I admit this is difficult sometimes, but if it were not for our betterment, Jesus would not have told us to do so. Also, keep in mind what Jesus says in Romans 12:14-21 and trust Him.

  • Matthew 26:53 (12 legions of angels)
  • Matthew 19:26 (all things possible)
  • Luke 1:37 (nothing’s impossible)
  • Philippians 4:13 (christ who strengthens me)
  • Matthew 5:39-44 (love your enemys)
  • Matthew 22:37-40 (All encompasing)
  • Romans 12:14-21 (I will repay, says the Lord)

God First!

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