Archive | January, 2019

Karma… Or Is It Grace?

14 Jan

Karma…or is it Grace?

Grandfather always taught me to love others and used the Bible to reinforce his words. He told me never do wrong to a person, for any reason, because it will always come back and bite you. It may take a while, he said, but sooner or later you will pay for the wrong you did. The Bible teaches us that we reap what we sow. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. Galatians 6:7

This is what some people refer to as karma. Karma means action, work or deed; it also refers to the spiritual principle of cause and effect where intent and actions of an individual (cause) influence the future of that individual (effect). Good intent and good deeds contribute to good karma and future happiness, while bad intent and bad deeds contribute to bad karma and future suffering.

In other words every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Newton third law, except in this case the reaction may take a long time to come back and bite you. Though Karma had it’s start in the far Eastern religions, it does appear to have seeped into the Christian world also. The Bible does not teach karma. It teaches grace. Grace is where you get what you don’t deserve. Grace is unmerited favor. It is love and mercy bestowed upon us by God because He desires us to have it. As you can see, very different to karma. More like polar opposites. It was grace, not karma, that rescued the baby Moses from death. It was grace that allowed Queen Esther to plead for the survival of her people. Grace helped Nehemiah rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Grace appeared face to face with Saul on the Damascus road.

Grace reached out to you and me while we were sinners deserving death and took our place. And it disappoints me that we have forgotten. It disappoints me we are more inclined to look for karma than we are to look for grace.

John 13: 34, 35 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. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

I think, if we follow this one commandment, and treat every one with love, He will bless us with his grace. If we fail to follow this commandment, He could withhold His blessings from us.

Over the years Grandfathers wisdom has come to me in dark times to remind me of the life lessons I was taught. Galatians 6:7 in particular has taught me that love overcomes all evil and as long I share the blessings and love God has given me, He will always have more for me to share.

Love is never wasted and can be contagious so feel free to give away. In most cases it comes back two fold.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

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Only By His Grace

12 Jan

Only By His Grace…

It is only when we realize that everything we do in life is only by the grace of God that the realization surfaces that what we do with our life matters. It matter to us, our family and most important it matters to God.

In His song Grace Alone, Scott Wesley Brown pretty much lays it all on the line.

Every promise we can make
Every prayer and step of faith
Every difference we can make
Is only by His grace.

Literally, we can do nothing without the grace of God. It is through Him we even exist.

Every mountain we will climb
Every ray of hope we shine
Every blessing left behind
Is only by His grace.

Sometimes we tend to forget that God watches over us and every move we make. Even though we have free will to make the choices we make, He is always there to help guide us back onto the right path when we get lost.

Grace alone Which God supplies
Strength unknown He will provide
Christ in us, our cornerstone
We will go forth in grace alone.

He is always in our corner, ready to pick us up and dust us off as we continue our journey. Too many times we forget that it is by His grace we don’t destroy ourselves in our greed and self promotion.

Every soul we long to reach
Every heart we hope to teach
Everywhere we share His peace
Is only by His grace.

As we reach out to others to help them learn and grow, it is by His grace and the peace He gives us that we are able to succeed.

Every loving word we say
Every tear we wipe away
Every sorrow turned to praise
Is only by His grace.

As we grow in our relationship with God, we also learn just how important love is both in our life and the lives of others, but most importantly how God’s love for us is meant to be shared.

Grace alone which God supplies
Strength unknown He will provide
Christ in us, our cornerstone
We will go forth in grace alone.
We will go forth in grace alone.

Let us all use His grace to help improve someone’s life everyday of our life. For it is only by His grace that we can…God not only orders our steps. He orders our stops.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

The Wondrous God…

11 Jan

The Wonderous God…

How many times in life have we started out looking to help another when we stumble over something completely unsuspected that contains the answer we were looking for in the first place?

Sometimes life is about finding something you didn’t even know you were looking for. To say God works in mysterious ways would be an understatement, for He is always at least one step ahead of you and always there to shine a light on His little surprise at the end of the path.

I’ve been writing since late 1971 and sending copies of my stuff to just about anyone who asked for it, mostly missionaries around the world. I get emails almost daily about how I touched someone because of something I wrote. God gave me the words to put down on that paper and guided me as to what to write and how.

Over the years I’ve started writing this blog, now in its seventh year, to reach out and touch people in their time of need. Little did I know when He started me doing this blog, that I would start hearing from people I’ve not seen in years to hear how my words have helped them in so many ways.

I’ve mentioned before that sometimes I am woken up in the middle of the night with urgent thoughts that He wants me to write about. Many times as I write, I feel Him watching over my shoulder, patiently making sure I word it exactly as He wishes. It is times like this that it becomes very clear we serve a very Wonderous God.

My blog posts are written to touch people when they hurt, have questions they need answers to and to help them understand what a wonderful God we serve. I encourage my readers to ask questions of me and to comment to me their feelings about what I write. I will answer everyone of them.

Email: Efchristi2@yahoo.com

Like I said before: Sometimes life is about finding something you didn’t even know you were looking for.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

Basic Instructions

9 Jan

Basic Instructions…

Like many of us, I’ve often wondered why we didn’t come with an instruction manual when we were born. Just about everything comes with an instruction manual, but not a newborn baby. It could be because as adults we have been raised with instructions, even though some of us fail to see that.

Grandfather had a book of instructions that he raised me on, it was called the Bible. The Bible, is normally called by the church the Word of God, was named something different by my Grandfather. He called the book the Handbook Of Life or “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth”. Everything you need to know to live a good life can be found inside. All we have to do is follow it.

However, these are Basic Instructions, God also gave us a brain to educate ourselves to become more advanced in our life. Some have used it very well, others are still stuck trying to learn the basic instructions.

Now I realize that some will take issue with this, but look how far we as people have advanced since the days the Bible was written. These innovations didn’t just come out of nowhere, God gave them to us. He showed us the way to discover them, educated us to refine them and lead us to where we are today.

In a nutshell, life is only as good and strong as you make it. If you follow the basic instructions life can be very full. The problem comes when we choose to go in another direction. God is there to guide you, if you ask. He is more than happy to give you His love and He asks so little of you in return, love your neighbors as I have loved you. Yes, these are part of the basic instructions.

I think Grandfather was right when he called the Bible The Handbook Of Life for it does contain the Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. Follow the Bible and shine your light!

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

What Is Truth

8 Jan

What Is Truth…

It was the summer of my 11th year when I decided to turn the tides and ask Grandfather a question. Grandfather, what is truth?

Well now, he said, that is a question men have been asking for ages. Philosophers have been asking that question since the beginning of time. You know what philosophy means don’t you? Yes, I responded it means the love of knowledge, so what answer did they come up with?

Well, they all had a different idea of what the truth is and decided they had no concrete answer. So the answer is no one really knows.

Well, I said, that is not an answer for I know what truth is. The answer is the absence of the answer… in the silence is the truth.

It is His not saying anything that said everything, in His not answering, that the question was answered. Truth is deeper than words. The truth wasn’t the truth about something or even The truth about Him… It was Jesus standing in front of Pilate’ s eyes, in flesh and blood reality. When Pilate turned to the people and said I can’t find Him guilty of anything. You see the idea of truth, the talk of truth and the study of truth is not the truth.

Philosophies and religion may be about the truth, but that which is about the truth can also blind you from seeing the truth itself. Don’t let yourself get caught up in the realm of the about and lose sight of that which the about is all about. The truth is that which is… as God is. The truth is Him. So the only way to know the truth is to know Him.. directly, personally, in His presence, face to face, heart to heart. What is truth? God is truth.

So what is the answer to all the philosophy, the love of knowledge? It is to love the truth. Therefore the answer is to love Him.

Your challenge today is to stand in His presence, be still and know He is God.

Grandfather looked at me, smiled and said you have learned your lessons well. Three months later I was presented in front of the elders of the tribe.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

The Sixth Day…

5 Jan

The Sixth Day…

It was warm Friday afternoon where Grandfather and I were sitting under a tree next to the river fishing, when he said under the Hebrew calendar this is the sixth day of the week and being the sixth day it is very important that we understand why it is so important to man.

There is something about the sixth day that we just seem to overlook, either because we were never taught its importance or never give it any thought.

Genesis 1:26-27 And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of heaven and over the cattle and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.

Yes, on the sixth day God made us in His image. God caused man to bear the image of God, an image of glory and perfection.

It was also on the sixth day, the day of redemption, man caused God, through Jesus, to bear the image of fallen man, as one who had fallen, as one found guilty, and as one cast out. All that was the image of man’s fall.

2Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

So God was judged as a blasphemer because blasphemy was the sin of man. Man passed judgement on God, because man himself was under judgement. As God had made man in the image of God’s glory, man now made God in the image of man’s guilt and degradation. As God has made Adam in His Image, it was now Adam making God in the image of Adam, as one who has transgressed, under judgement and condemned to death, cursed and separated from God. When you look at the cross, you are beholding God in the image of man.

Why, you ask, would God allow Himself to be abused and degraded?

Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”

God allowed Himself to bear the image of man, that man might again be allowed to bear the image of God. God allowed Himself to bear the image of fallen man, that man might bear the image of the risen God.

Your challenge is to make it your goal that your life would become a reflection of His life, your heart a reflection of His heart. Allow Him to make you and form you into His Image. For God bore your image in His death that you, in your life, could bear the image of God. Live today in the image and nature of God!

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

What Is A Christian?

3 Jan

What is a Christian…

The answer to the question “What is a Christian?” will vary greatly depending on whom you ask. To some, it means you were born in a “Christian” nation or you come from a “Christian” family. To others, it means you believe in Jesus or the religion that is based on Jesus’ teachings. Yet others use the word “Christian” to speak of a deep personal relationship between Jesus Christ and an individual.

Since the Bible is the authority for the Christian faith, let’s see what it says about the word “Christian.” The word is only used 3 times in the New Testament and each instance is referring to the first “Christians” of the early church.

    “…So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch” (Acts 11:26).

    “Then Agrippa said to Paul, ‘Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?’” (Acts 26:28).

    “However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name” (1 Peter 4:16).
    They were called “Christians” because their behavior, activity, and speech were like Christ Jesus. The word Christian means, “follower of Christ” or “belonging to the party of Christ.” So, what made them part of this group called “Christians.”
    The Bible says that good works do not make us acceptable to God. In other words, a person can live to a high moral standard, give money to feed the poor, go to church, and serve their neighbors, and yet not be a Christ follower or “Christian.”

      Titus 3:3-6 says, “At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.”

      Ephesians 2:8-9 explains further, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”
      These verses clearly share that salvation (being born again) is a gift of God. Nothing we do can earn us salvation. A true Christian is a person who has accepted God’s gift of salvation and put their faith in Jesus Christ. This includes accepting Jesus’ death on the cross as payment for our sins and His resurrection as proof of His power over death.

      This is all well and good, but does it completely define a Christian? The answer is no!

      Some people believe that going to church on Sunday and Wednesday makes them better Christians than those who only attend Sunday services. Some believe that being a Christian doesn’t extend into their daily life or business, but it does. A Christian is the same person 7 days a week 24 hours a day.

      A Christian is non-judgmental about people who don’t believe the way they do, they reach out to gently lead them to God. It is not always easy, but you are the example they will be looking at.

      Jesus was very clear in the bible about what he expects from us. Love your neighbor as yourself and as I have loved you. As I understand it your neighbor is everyone else in the world, not just the guy next door or across the street.

      He says care for the poor, the children and the widows. Does that mean you can talk about then not deserving a hand up? Or does it mean you can talk about someone behind their back because they are too overwhelmed to find help?

      I often wonder how with so many “Christians” in the world there is so much discontent. So I ask this question:

      Do you follow the commandment Jesus said that above all follow? If not ask yourself if you really are a Christian and what you can do to make things right.

      This reminds me of something Grandfather said. He said the church is not God’s house, it’s a place where people get together and worship. God’s house is inside your heart.

      That sort of proved itself when I asked the pastor about something he was doing at the church. He said it was his church and He could do what he wanted.

      Can you truly call yourself a Christian?

      Walk daily with God at your side!

      Love always,

      Ed