AMEN! What a wonderful post! LOVE GOD AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER! Here is another verse to be blessed with:
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. . .for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.” (Psalms 133:1, 3b)
FOLLOW PEACE WITH ALL MEN
“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Heb 12:14)
Can you bake a wedding cake, sell a wedding bouquet to a gay couple or video tape their wedding?
Legalizing same sex marriage is just that, legalizing it. It does not mean that it has to meet your approval, nor does it mean that you must find same sex marriage acceptable. For those who are in a homosexual relationship that is now legal, it does not mean that they will now be recognized as practicing an approved or acceptable behavior. While some are naively blind or don’t want to think of non-acceptance for what has been now declared legal, their deep moral conscience has only been masked and rationalized since the once immoral and unacceptable behavior has received public recognition upon its legalization in many states in America.
All that said, I come to my main point. Each person has his own self will and has to make his own choices. We are responsible for our own choices and each person will have to stand before God one day to give account for how he lived his own life, the choices he made and how he treated his fellow man. Will our testimony be one of living a life of faith in God and loving our neighbor as ourself? Will it be one of reaching out to others with Christ’s love, or will it reflect a life of self righteousness, religious pride and good works?
How can we Christians be the light of the world and salt of the earth? What will you do with this scripture:
“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” (Heb 12:14)
“Follow peace with all men”
All business owners who serve the public should serve ALL paying customers. Simple as that. If not, they are unfairly discriminating and creating situations of ill will and preferential treatment of certain paying customers over others who pay with the same kind of money.
Since when do our transactions and relationships depend on mutual beliefs, philosophies and life styles? Many Christians today are being scorned as ‘queers’, bigots, irrational and judgmental, poor testimonies of the gospel of Christ’ love that they are supposed to spread in all the world, beginning in their own communities.
Some Christian business owners are being challenged today to provide their services to homosexuals, which they refuse to do so based on their religious beliefs. Many will end up in costly legal battles and ultimately close their businesses. This need not be! The Bible says to “Follow peace with ALL men…” It does not say that you must a first agree to their belief system or life style. If Jesus thought that way about us, none of us would have been found acceptable! We are all sinners saved by the grace of God.
When I meditated on this scripture, I saw that ‘Holiness‘ was mentioned AFTER “Follow peace”. The case in point is that there is a lesson in this scripture that we must be a peace-loving people, first of all. Yes,we need to work on HOLINESS which is a personal heart and attitude matter between us and God. And the Bible teaches us to LOVE GOD AND OTHERS- the good, the bad and the ugly. It is an evidence of the Holy Spirit in our lives; Jesus in us that draws men unto God. There is nothing, no thing, good in and of ourselves that places us above anyone else. It was God’s great love and mercy toward us that He sent Jesus to rescue us from our sinful lives, and nothing we did to deserve God’s grace. Romans 3:23 states, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” and in Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Then the last part of Hebrews 12:14 says this: “no man shall see God.” It means what it states, 1) Follow Peace, 2) and Holiness (next), 3) without which (BOTH of these essentials- Peace and Holiness) “no man shall see God”. If we are not a peaceable people, we will likely not attain holiness, and we stand to lose out on the blessings and rewards God has in store for us.
In conclusion, we should try to interact and do business with everyone, without discrimination and prejudice. Let’s not speak out of two sides of our mouth and be hypocrites. After all, our laundry may be done by idolaters and we and they have no problem with that; we pick up fast foods and go out to fine dining restaurants and our food is prepared by atheists, non-believers, or even those who practice spiritism, ancestor worship, meditation and mysticism, and no one is stopping us from enjoying our meals. Walk into some of these places and we may see altars to their gods where they may even have incense and candles burning. We may do our banking and pass by pillars with dragons that adorn the entrance, etc. Think of all the people we patronize, where we do our business. Do they all think like you or me? Not likely!
And did you know that a lot of our favorite foods, the bulk of packaged oriental goods and frozen vegetables and fish are grown and processed by non-Christians in Asia? Are we ready to change our diet? I don’t think so. We all need each other, irregardless of our beliefs and life styles. I hope in 2014 we will be a kinder people to one another and God’s name will be glorified in us. It was at the birth of Jesus that the angels praised God saying,
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth , PEACE AND GOOD WILL toward all men.” (Luke 2:14)
HAPPY NEW YEAR- 2014!
GOD BLESS YOU ALL !
1 cup of Good Thoughts
1 cup of Kind Deeds
1 cup of Consideration for others
3 cups of Forgiveness
2 cups of Well Beaten Faults
MIX these ingredients thoroughly and ADD Tears of Joy and Sorrow
and Sympathy for others.
FLAVOR with little gifts of Love and Kindly service.
FOLD IN 4 cups of Prayers and Faith to lighten other ingredients
and raise the texture to the great height of Christian Living.
AFTER POURING all this into your Daily Life,
BAKE WELL with the heat of Human Kindness.
SERVE WITH A SMILE!
This was shared today at our Senior Fellowship
First Chinese Church of Hawaii
Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us.
GOD IS LOVE; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment:
because as he is, so are we in this world.
THERE IS NO FEAR IN LOVE; BUT PERFECT LOVE CASTETH OUT FEAR:
BECAUSE FEAR HATH TORMENT. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
We love him, because he first loved us.
If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother
whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
And this commandment have we from him,
THAT HE WHO LOVETH GOD LOVE HIS BROTHER ALSO.
1 JOHN 4:15-21
GOD’S AMAZING LOVE Overcomes Our Fears and Indifferences
“Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference:”
As I sat in Bible class this morning the Holy Spirit began to bring things to my mind about GOD’S AMAZING LOVE.
While we are not of the world Jn17:14, we must go and PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE WORLD Mk16:15, ‘For GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life’ Jn3:16.
We are to share the love of God wherever we are, for we are the light of the world and the salt of the earth, Mt5:13,14. We are to make a difference in the world!
But this is not possible if we insulate and isolate ourselves from the world as Christians, from the people of the world and are not compassionate toward them.
I am suggesting a change of mindset for many of us- a change of attitude about the world that God so loved and Jesus died for, to go forth to tell others about Jesus!
Is it difficult to extend kindness and understanding to the poor and disadvantaged? I remember the first time my 11 year old granddaughter Emily helped serve dinner at a shelter and realized that “the homeless people are just like us guys.” (See ‘Pity the Poor’ at https://heulu.wordpress.com/2012/06/02/202/). Emily said that the families there looked like ‘normal people’! This is a startling revelation for a young child who has always known comfort and plenty, and it would also be for many adults who have not fallen upon hard times.
Jesus was not reluctant to approach society’s ‘cast offs’, a prostitute, an adulteress, lepers, demon possessed, the downtrodden, the poor, and others who suffered ostracism and alienation from the public. These folks were no more sinners than we were before we were saved by God’s grace.
As I sat in class I heard the teacher speaking about faith and how ‘..with God all things are possible’ Mk10:27, I remembered a young hair stylist in the Philippines a few years ago. All of the young men working in the salon were homosexuals, but the one who worked on me was ‘born again’. He showed me a picture of his former self as a transvestite, a cross dresser in his wig and high heels. God saved him and he now shares the love of God with his co-workers and clients. God in His Mercy and Grace touched his life! Praise the Lord!
Next I recalled the time when I was vacationing on a neighbor island and a cruise ship dropped off a shipload of gay men at the beach near our hotel. They came in a long procession with their partners, many hand in hand. I was invited by friends on a glass- bottom boat ride which happened to reserve 3/4 of the seats for these guys, and we all had a great time looking at the coral reef and tropical fish.
I recently became acquainted with a transsexual person through the blogging community, whom God saved, and is now a Christian. This is her site and testimony of her challenges as a Christian and a transsexual person. http://minkyweasel.com.
I thank God for his AMAZING LOVE that overcomes fear and indifference in my life regarding my attitude toward the LGBT community. I know that no legislation will change the way I practice my faith which is by revering God’s Word and striving to obey it. There is also no legislation that will be able to force me to accept, affirm, or encourage a lifestyle that is disapproved of God. However, others have the right to make their own choices, to live by them and to be accountable themselves to God and the law of the land, even if some Christians consider living with them intolerable or inconvenient. That is what Lot chose to do. And we’re living in the days of Noah and Lot as the Bible says in Luke 17:26-29.
Here are some scriptures to remind us to love others with the love of God:
The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. (Ro5:5)
For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. (Mt 5:46-48)
And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: To the end he may stablish your hearts, unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints. (1 Thess 3:12-13)
…There is none righteous, no, not one. For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. (Ro 3:10; 6:23)
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. (Eph 2:8-9)
And finally, let us be encouraged and steadfast in our faith:
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.. (2 Tim 1:7-9)
(Beautiful Bible Scripture in Picture by Darrell Creswell)
“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” 1 John 4:7,8
“That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.“ John 17:21
How important is UNITY? GOD COMMANDED His blessing where there is UNITY. God’s blessing would be where there is harmony, where the brethren would “dwell together in unity.”
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;
As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.” Psalm 133
The Apostle Paul taught;
“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.
Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.” Romans 14:17-19
Jesus also prayed:
“Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: . . .
. . . that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.” John 17:24, 26
There are no if’s or but’s about it, without love for the brethren our professed faith in God is in vain, and that ‘Blessed hope’ (Titus 2:13) would not be ours.
“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14
Philippians Chapter 2- The Apostle Paul describes the Christian community which was to have “the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” (verse 2)
With all the suffering in the world today from the ravages of mega storms, earthquakes, loss of jobs and homes, economic crisis and financial losses, oppression and devastations from terrorism and war upon lives and property, plus sicknesses, diseases, etc., etc. “Why be thankful?!”
We just met an elderly gentleman who used to live in the Queens area in New York City that suffered heavy damages from Superstorm Sandy. He had a one way ticket here and arrived just before the storm hit his former home. After his friend could not board him any longer, he spent a night at the YMCA where we go to exercise. We saw him with his suitcase looking for someone to give him a ride to a homeless shelter. The folks at the shelter said they would provide him with temporary lodging and look for senior housing for him. We know little else about him other than he acknowledges God in his life and trusts the Lord to help him in his situation. After giving him a ‘small gift’, we left him in the company of many ‘down and out’ folks milling around IHS, the Institute of Human Services.
I believe God brought us together with this man because in our car we had a bag of recycled bath towels we had been carrying around for several days, intending to drop them off at the IHS.
“Why be thankful?!” If for nothing else, Robert, and this goes for everyone who is a believer in Jesus Christ, can appreciate this scripture:
Jesus said in Luke 10:20b,
“. . . rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.”