Universal Human Rights

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Jesus – images from pixabay.com

GOD desires that all people should be                   saved from eternal damnation.

John 3:16-17 ESV

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

Jesus fulfilled the penalty of death for all sin and all who, sinned, sin now and will sin; by accepting this work you receive eternal salvation and will dwell with GOD in Heaven.  Humans fall short and even in the name of religion perpetrate evil upon one another. You can still be forgiven; even  begin again as a new creation in the eyes of GOD.

2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

GOD’s Love for us is the basis for Universal Human Rights.

Human rights for all – images from pixabay.com

If you need clues concerning the value of all humans in the eyes of GOD read these:

Proverbs 31:8-9 ESV

Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.

and,

Psalm 82:3 ESV

Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.

and,

Isaiah 1:17 ESV 

Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.

Civility – image from pixabay.com

There have been humans who promote non violence but it was and remains a struggle but, With GOD all things are possible.

Non-violence – images from pixabay.com

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All About Prayer

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Praying does us good

Pray – image from pixabay.com

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prayer

“There are no atheists in foxholes.”

  https://quoteinvestigator.com/2016/11/02/foxhole/

Foxholes – images from pixabay.com

So praying (presumably to a higher power) is good for us on several levels and, we may also assume turning to GOD is the main function expressed by prayer . . . but, . . .

Christians have on one hand a framework for prayer and on the other hand flexibility in how we pray.

Holy Spirit- images from pixabay.com

Matthew 6:9-13 ESV 

Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

My criteria for prayer adopts the pattern Jesus taught with the freedom to  personalize, include spontaneity and, include worship, praise and thanks as well as, petition GOD for myself or others ( intercessory prayer).

Philippians 4:6 ESV

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Romans 8:26 ESV 

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

 

 

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Connections

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Since scientists acknowledge we have a “common ancestor” we can assume all people are connected in some way.

Connections – images from pixabay.com

Not just about the creation story in Genesis but connections to people around the world right now.

DNA – images from pixabay.com

Hebrews 11:3 ESV

By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.

The formulas for all living things is encoded in the complex molecule known to us as DNA. We share the complex chemistry of life; people around the world not just family and those near. There is another view of how we are connected: a theory known as six degrees of separation espouses we are only six degrees (or persons), or less apart. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_degrees_of_separation

When the Orlando, Florida mass shooting occurred a coworker of my brother was killed; when the Las Vegas Massacre occurred one of the men in our Bible study told us his friend’s son was there.  my Late uncle fought in The Battle of the Bulge during WWII and he was commended by General George S. Patton personally. Think about it . . . we all are connected.

Human Connection – images from pixabay.com

Yes it is a small world because technology has brought us closer than ever: transportation, commerce and communication.

Acts 17:26 ESV

And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place,

As followers of Jesus, or Christians, we are known as The Children of GOD: We are connected.

Christians – images from pixabay.com

John 1:12 ESV 

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,

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Faith Not Sight

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Three Monkees – The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Monkey’s Sculpture at Nikko: Mizaru Kikazaru Iwazaru (See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil)” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed October 7, 2017. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-c695-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Faith would not be faith if we only believed in what we can feel, see, hear or taste; would it?

Hebrews 11:1 ESV

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Science is unveiling the long held view that “seeing is believing” for what it is: suspect. A program illustrated this when a number of people were positioned around a street where unknown to them a staged auto accident was to occur.  After they all witnessed the incident they were immediately separated and asked to fill out a form and provide a narrative based on what they saw. You can research this one or similar experiments to learn what the results were in great detail but, for this blog I will only write: agreement as to what the facts were by no means would convince me that I was getting an accurate explanation of the occurrence.

Landscape – images from pixabay.com

Perception gives particular meaning to what we acquire through our senses to each of us; even when we seem to agree there are differences.

Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

But does not this also apply to the Biblical accounts? The Holy Spirit helps with this.

GODS WORD – images from pixabay.com

Any thing humans devise, write. mimic or copy can have mistakes and flaws yes, perhaps in some details; perhaps in cultural and social perceptions; perhaps in conveying things using different languages. BUT, the essence of what the Bible reveals with the help of The Holy Spirit such as: Who GOD is, What GOD is like, What GOD’s Standards are, what our relationship is with GOD and that GOD is ultimately in control is clearly explained within The Holy Bible.

John 14:26 ESV

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

Christian Faith – images from pixabay.com

Even Christians can disagree on some things yet we do have a core belief system that must be agreed upon to be a Christian.

Romans 14:1 ESV 

As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.

Our faith in all we know about GOD is presented in the “Old Testament” and “The New Testament”. It is my perception that GOD initiated a relationship with us and therefore we do not need to do a myriad of ceremonies, sacrifices, pleadings and other extraordinary things to get the attention of GOD. Neither do we have to invent images, substitute icons for GOD, nor chant repetitive incantations; all we need to do is acknowledge who GOD is, accept we are part of GOD’s creation and talk with GOD.

John 13:34-35 ESV 

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.”

 

One comprehensive list of essentials of the Christian faith:

https://www.thoughtco.com/basic-christian-beliefs-700357 

 

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Food

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Cornucopia – images from pixabay.com

Food: necessary for life, social consumption is important; Food is: an industry, an asset, abused, hoarded and a temptation for gluttony.

What is gluttony? It seems to me it can be as simple as over eating. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gluttony

GOD provides people what they need to survive: water, air and food.  When we are blessed with abundance we often fall to the temptation to overeat; perhaps overeat again, again, again and again.  There may be less privileged people near yet, we may consume much more than we need and not share with widows or orphans and others without proper food supplies. Worse? We may justify our behavior by blaming them for their predicament: “they are lazy”; “they are wasteful”; “they are sinners”.

All – – images from pixabay.com EXCEPT Luxury Liner Illustration: Rare Book Division, The New York Public Library. “DINNER [held by] HAMBURG-AMERICA
Fine Dining: Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. “Jose Limon with Mary Wigman” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed September 25, 2017. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/0c6c63a0-bde3-0131-3767-58d385a7bbd0

If the world was populated by people without sin then the existence of the poor, orphans and widows would not be so precarious. Perhaps wars, famines and plagues would not decimate groups of people. Since it is not so, even if all Christians living right now behaved as the first ones just after Our Lord’s Crucifixion, death, resurrection and ascension there would still be great need in the world. We are saved for eternity but still sinners and, still the many unsaved people insure that there will be a need.

Migrant-mother – images from pixabay.com

Do not despair; their need gives we Christians an opportunity to express our gratitude for Jesus redeeming us and an opportunity to demonstrate to the world that GOD cares for us all.

 

GOD Spells Out what we Should Do: express GOD’s Love by caring enough for others by sharing what we have and helping them.

Luke 14:13 ESV 

But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,

Proverbs 23:20 ESV 

Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat,

Leviticus 19:9-10 ESV 

“When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.

Isaiah 1:17 ESV 

Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.

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