Honor GOD 2 Moral Issues

Honor God 2 Moral Issues

Still Soverign

Note: all images pixabay.com unless noted otherwise

The Standard of GOD

‘”The Law of GOD” is archaic, unrealistic, inhibits my freedom and is childish.’ If this is what you think you are not a Christian. You cannot claim Christ and shun GOD at the same time. While Jesus Christ fulfilled the penalty for all sin (even ours) His sacrifice did not abolish The Law. Cultural and language distortions have confused people (especially modern people) but GOD has not changed: The Holy Character of GOD remains intact.

Compass

You honor GOD by living by the moral standard that is revealed in the Bible.

Do not disregard a clean life and responsible stewardship in all things for these things please and honor GOD.

Matthew 5:17 ESV 

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.   (Jesus)  

Decide
GOD is Holy and the standard by which holiness is judged.

1 Peter 1:16 ESV

Since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

Understanding our position with respect to GOD

Isaiah 55:8-9 ESV

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

More than Ethics

Therefore we honor GOD when we conform to what GOD requires; it is not for our own pleasure that we exist.


SONG:  When I Look Into Your Holiness

Song: Holy Holy Holy Lord God Almighty – Hymn (Lyrics) – LATRIA worship songs

 

 


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Perception

Consciousness: The sum total input from all our senses and our perception of what it means.

GOD provides us with the gift of our senses and the gift of our intellect; how we perceive what it all means and interpret it with our consciousness can be is dependent on whether or not we believe GOD. Since I am a Christian my source of guidance for this process comes from The Word of GOD; in particular what Jesus taught.

 

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The Bible is the lens and filter by which we Christians should examine what we do and who we say we are.

Best Help Here – image pixabay.com

Diligent study of GOD’s Word will strengthen our ability to avoid temptation and sin and live a more GOD influenced life every day.

Bad or Good – image pixabay.com

 

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If we reject GOD and choose evil or even the appearance of evil we and others will look at our lives and our existence from that point of view; Choose GOOD; Choose Jesus and eternity with GOD.

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Coming in July: Honoring GOD



SONG:Here to Eternity – Hillsong Worship

 


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Memory Issues

Memory Issues

Falling Away from GOD – image pixabay.com
Dorot Jewish Division, The New York Public Library. “Sepulchres of the judges of Israel” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Judges Of Israel Accessed June 1, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-5d16-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

When the Hebrews were settled in the land GOD promised (some of the land that is) and things were relatively peaceful the people would forget what GOD had done for them.  During the time of the Judges there became a cycle of falling away from GOD and dire consequences then GOD would raise up a Judge to lead them back and defeat their enemies. This cycle persisted for twelve judges; the period ends when Saul became King.

Stumble – image pixabay.com

Some of us Christians may be hard pressed to admit it but, we easily forget when GOD has answered our prayer(s) and drift into a carefree nonchalant frame of mind until the next crises. That behavior can be explained with this familiar phrase, “What have you done for me lately?”. We probably do not mean it that way but it still appears that way to others.

Deuteronomy 4:9 ESV

“Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children—

An Even Worse Attitude?

Faulter – image pixabay.com

An even worse attitude may be taking GOD for granted. Assuming that the answer to prayer will be what we think is right, sometimes relying on GOD’s Grace to cover what may otherwise be our sin.

Romans 6:1-2 ESV

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?

And a Still Greater Error ?

An even greater error would be taking matters into our own hands then expecting GOD to approve and bless our action afterwards. Instead:

Repentance – image pixabay.com

1 Chronicles 10:13-14 ESV

So Saul died for his breach of faith. He broke faith with the Lord in that he did not keep the command of the Lord, and also consulted a medium, seeking guidance. He did not seek guidance from the Lord. Therefore the Lord put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse.

Even Moses Faltered

Moses
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Moses Fountain,Washington Park, Albany, N. Y.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 24, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-a305-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Moses struck a rock at Mount Horeb as GOD instructed and water flowed for the people during the Exodus but later GOD instructed Moses to speak to a rock to bring forth water but he hit it with a stick again: this displeased GOD  and evoked anger.

 

 

 

 


SONG: Steven Curtis Chapman – Remember to Remember

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=14&v=uJz_rv5qC4s

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The Carrot or the Stick

The Carrot or the Stick

Carrot – image pixabay.com
Bamboo Stick- – image pixabay.com

Some people want to portray GOD as just love while others as a vengeful god spewing “fire and brimstone”. Christians who study scriptures diligently must come to the conclusion GOD is both. To become a Christian we must admit we are sinners and repent. Elsewhere in the Bible there are numerous references to The Love GOD has for us and creation – of course Sin, Fallen Angels, Satan and Evil is excluded.

Romans 3:23 ESV

Punishment – image pixabay.com

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Romans 10:9 ESV

Reward – image pixabay.com

Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved

Salvation comes by accepting that Jesus paid for all sin: this is the “carrot”; un-confessed sin and an unrepentant attitude condemns us to hell: that is the stick.

Heaven or Hell – image pixabay.com

The Carrot is Sweet!

Sweet – image pixabay.com

Revelation 21:8 ESV

But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

The Stick is Bitter!

Sour – image pixabay.com

Therefore we as Christians must speak truth: Yes God is Love he provides and has given Salvation through the sacrificial  work of Jesus Christ on the Cross but, to ignore the penalty for unrepentant sin does not help anyone and leads to eternal damnation.


SONG: Kristian Stanfill: My Reward – Official Lyric Video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPOWMApmacY


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Dreams, Visions and Voices

Dreams, Visions and Voices

Holy Spirit as a Dove – image pixabay.com

SONG: Twila Paris – I Will Listen

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUnk1td2sQU


General revelation (creation) suggests to most people GOD as the creator. The Bible Christians use is a special form of revelation:
Inspired Scripture – image pixabay.com
1) Holy Spirit inspired writings,
2) GOD generated visions and dreams,
3) Angelic visitation and,
4) GOD’s spoken voice. 
Let us look at an example of each:

1) Holy Spirit

John 14:26 ESV

Holy Spirit as a Dove – image pixabay.com

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.

2) GOD generated visions and dreams

Genesis 37:5-8 ESV

Spencer Collection, The New York Public Library. “Full-page miniature with four scenes” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 17, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-e9b4-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Spencer Collection, The New York Public Library. “Small miniature of John and full-page miniature of the First Vision” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 17, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-eca0-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers they hated him even more. He said to them, “Hear this dream that I have dreamed: Behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and behold, my sheaf arose and stood upright. And behold, your sheaves gathered around it and bowed down to my sheaf.” His brothers said to him, “Are you indeed to reign over us? Or are you indeed to rule over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.

Acts 16:9 ESV

Apostle Paul – image from pixabay.com
And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”

3) Angelic visitation

Luke 1:19 ESV

And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news.
Angelic Visitation – image pixabay.com

4) GOD’s spoken voice

 

1 Samuel 3:10 ESV

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “Moses receiving the Ten Commandments” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 17, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/b0d728c0-e148-0132-1904-58d385a7bbd0
And the Lord came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.”

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Why the Fisherman, Sinners and Tax Collectors

Why the Fisherman?

The-Fishermen – image pixabay.com

Jesus was not starting a new religion, he came to lead the Hebrews back to GOD. All the people of Jewish hierarchy  were well in trenched in the dogma they established and perpetuated.

Fisherman – images from pixabay.com

Most of the augmented law of  The Pentateuch had been corrupted to benefit the religious and secular Jewish leaders. The Jewish fisherman and other laymen understood “The Law” and traditions but were open to what a new Rabi (Jesus) had to say.

Matthew 23:1-39 ESV

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so practice and observe whatever they tell you—but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, …

Sinners and Tax Collectors?

Matthew 9:11 ESV

And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

Mark 2:17 ESV

And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Jews Seek to Attack Jesus The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “The Jews Seek to Stone Jesus” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 10, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/6728e710-a397-0134-6963-00505686a51c

OK John the Baptist offered a way for the Jews to repent and regain favor with GOD and apparently most rejected him. Jesus came to offer the same to all the Jewish people but it seems only sinners and tax collectors heard and obeyed. Only a very few leaders responded as Nicodemus had. Eventually the hardened hearts resulted in the Crucifixion of Jesus and the offer of salvation to all people (including Gentiles).

 

 

 

 


SONG: Open the Eyes of My Heart by Michael W. Smith, lyrics included.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idQ1n3cdgfo

 


Acts 28:28 ESV

Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen.”


Jerusalem – image pixabay.com

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Palm Sunday

Hosanna on the Highest

Palm Sunday – image pixabay.com

The Hebrews welcomed Jesus on Palm Sunday because they thought He was about to become a conquer and a king in a way that would throw off the rule of Rome. The people hoped for this although Jesus arrived as a Prince of Peace.

John 12:12-19 ESV

The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written, “Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!” His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him. …


Hosanna (Praise Is Rising) – Paul Baloche (Best Worship Song with Lyrics)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAaQ5EEXidc


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Always Do Not Grow Weary Doing Good

Work Together – images from pixabay.com

The Bible in Your Language: https://www.twr360.org/

Support Christians under persecution: https://www.persecution.com/

Galatians 6:9 ESV

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

Ravaged Places – images from pixabay.com

You may grow very tired saving people, feeding people or attending to those who are ill but this “weary” is not about our need to get physical rest. This “weariness” a mental (or even spiritual) tiring that may lead one to abandon the “good work”. No we are not collecting points to enter heaven we have eternity with GOD by what Jesus has accomplished when he shed His blood and paid for sin by dying on The Cross.

Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Assist – images from pixabay.com

The good works demonstrate the love of god and our gratitude for our salvation.

Medical – images from pixabay.com

James 2:14-17 ESV

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

Loneliness – images from pixabay.com

SONG:He who began a good work in you – Steve Green (With Lyrics) Philippians 1:6 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNjZlHARnEk

 


Go now and show the Love of GOD minister to those in need and when the ask why say,”Because God Loved Me When I was Yet Lost.”

Romans 5:8 ESV

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Loneliness – images from pixabay.com

 

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Helping others Shows the Love of GOD

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Support Christians under persecution: https://www.persecution.com/

Hungry Person – images from pixabay.com

You do not have to travel far to find hungry people

People living on the edges of society, homeless and hungry, permeate just about every corner of our land – urban areas and isolated rural areas also. As Christians we can help them; as we do, we demonstrate the Love of GOD and can explain the Gospel to them. We should not make our help conditional nor try to force our belief on them. In The Word of God it says:

1 Peter 3:15 ESV

But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,


SONG: Todd Schreiner – Help and Serve the Poor and Needy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-QnTxcqxv4


Churches offer meals to the degree they can, as often as they can:

https://ethicsdaily.com/dinner-churches-reaching-isolated-people-for-christ-cms-24868/


Jesus Feeds the Many *

*Spencer Collection, The New York Public Library. “‘Îsâ (Jesus) receives food from heaven and is able to feed his followers.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 25, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/d304a860-a153-0135-63e1-05dec81b5a8f

Mark 8:1-9 ESV

In those days, when again a great crowd had gathered, and they had nothing to eat, he called his disciples to him and said to them, “I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. And if I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way. And some of them have come from far away.” And his disciples answered him, “How can one feed these people with bread here in this desolate place?” And he asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” They said, “Seven.” …

 

Sometimes in the aftermath of disasters too.

Bread and Soup Line **
Soup and Bread at the Tables ***

** The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Jim Forrest and his supply camp on Laguna St., San Francisco disaster, April 18, 1906.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 25, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-60b8-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

*** The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Los Angeles relief camp in Golden Gate Park. 10,000 people were fed there every day.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 25, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-609a-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99


Philippians 2:4 ESV

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.


 

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Do Not Hold a Grudge

unfortunately religion often is at the root of human conflict (wars and the violation of human rights)

The Bible in Your Language: https://www.twr360.org/

Support Christians under persecution: https://www.persecution.com/

No Borders Visible Here– images from pixabay.com
How can these believers in religions that worship a loving God allow this to happen? Take the Balkan Peninsula of Southeastern Europe for example:

” The places of lowest religious concentration were Slovenia 65.4%, Serbia with 63.7% and Croatia with 63.6%. Religious differences between Orthodox Serbs, Catholic Croats, Muslim Bosniaks and Albanians alongside the rise of nationalism contributed to the collapse of Yugoslavia in 1991.” https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yugoslavia

Countless peoples around the world have scores to settle with neighbors, some hundreds of years old. Sad to say even Christians can be found in this group.

Old Scores – images from pixabay.com

One of these conflicts became bloody several times within my lifetime: The Northern Ireland Conflict 1968-1998 – An Overview “… Another angle of the conflict was sectarian or communal violence between the majority unionist or loyalist Protestant population and the minority Catholic or nationalist one. …”http://www.theirishstory.com/2015/02/09/the-northern-ireland-conflict-1968-1998-an-overview/#.XJFDNoUnbno

Still Fighting – images from pixabay.com
Before you start judging who is more just, I want you to see how even the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ can bring a peaceful time even in the most dire of circumstances: Global war

“During World War I, on and around Christmas Day 1914, the sounds of rifles firing and shells exploding faded in a number of places along the Western Front in favor of holiday celebrations in the trenches and gestures of goodwill between enemies.” https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-i/christmas-truce-of-1914


CLIP: Christmas Truce of 1914, World War I – For Sharing, For Peace https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KHoVBK2EVE


John 16:33 ESV

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Victim – images from pixabay.com

Matthew 5:9 ESV

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Forgive and Forget; Extent your hand in peace.

Go in the world and avoid conflict as much as it is possible. Let ancient grudges fade away – who living today even was witness to many of these happenings. Take care they are not the children of mythology causing harm to the innocent. You my fellow believer are the Representative of Christ and the expression of The Love of GOD.


SONG:Matthew West – Forgiveness (Lyrics) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KHoVBK2EVE


Dove – images from pixabay.com

No matter what the outcome and when the deadly evidence has vanished future generations may completely forget the great suffering the conflicts of the past had inflicted on humanity.

After the Great Wars – images from pixabay.com

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