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I’m serious when I say this, but I really think these two messages changed the course of my life…
My Conviction in a Nutshell
Preposition #1: God is the ultimate good or else He would not be God. Then our joy is most complete in Him, because He is the ultimate good.
Preposition #2: Love is only true when you are looking out for the best interests of the other person. Therefore, for God to glorify and magnify Himself, it is not megalomania, because He’s simply loving us in working all things for His glory.
Conclusion: For God to reveal more of Himself to us and point our joys in His direction, is the ULTIMATE expression of love. And when we pursue God in this way, there is no greater calling and act of service then to allow for others to see the glories of God.
“And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.”
Jesus Christ according to Luke 15:20-24
Can God really be so good? We were slaves, but made sons. We are sinners, but made righteous. We were lost, but found. We were dead, but now alive!
What good is a label on an empty jar? Or better put, What good is a Christian when they are not filled with love?
Really. What good is the most righteous and upright Christian, if he/she does not display the love of Christ? What good is the sum of tireless service projects, short-term missions trips, and all night prayer meetings, if we do not display to the world the love of God by our love for one another.
What good is the “Welcome Sign” when all we do in our churches is huddle with our backs turned to the world?
Call me critical and label me hypocrite, but what would the world be like if we all learned how to love like the gospel has displayed for us.
He knew no sin. But He became sin for us. So that we might live. And that He would die. At the cross, He was labeled “King of the Jews”. And rightly so. Jesus came to us a servant. He died on the cross as a criminal. But He was raised from death as God. And now sits high on his throne like a King.
I desperatly need to understand this.
Here’s the article that inspired this post.
By now, you should have heard about this phenomenon called facebook, a social networking site with over 67 million users. In a world that craves a sense of belonging and human interaction, facebook has served as a technological savior. Now, in the world of facebook, relationships are determined by someone initiating an invite to be “friends” and the other accepting or declining that invitation. But relationships within facebook go beyond just “friends”. It offers you alternative labels such as, “Engaged to”, “Married to”, “In a relationship with” or even “It’s Complicated with”.
With the prominence of facebook, there’s been an interesting phenomenon going on. Relationships with the opposite sex are taking on a whole new digital form these days. It’s leading people to wonder, “What’d they ever do before facebook?” Things have changed. The telephone call has been replaced with the wall post. Asking someone on a date is made easier with event invitations. And the awkward “defining the relationship” stage (DTR) has been condensed into one easy step: an invitation to change your relationship status.
Let me explain. Let’s say you got this girl you’re really interested in. What usually happens these days is that the relationship starts with playful wall posts or what I would call, “wall game”. It’s on the level of “AIM game”, but just a bit slower. As you get to “know” each other more, you’ll find that your “wall-to-wall” interactions go from the once every other day flirtations to what I would call the “wall bomb”. A “wall bomb” is where you literally have the transcript of a conversation littering one another’s walls. At this point, it’s assumed that you’ve already committed to attending a date (in the traditional sense of the word), wherein the guy will send the girl a private event invitation with all the specifics. After the event has passed, you usually face a “relationship status” dilemma. Up until this point you’ve been listed as “Single”, but now you can choose to change it to “It’s complicated with”. Or if you’re confident that the event was a success, then, as a guy, you can take the leap of faith and send her an invitation to change her relationship status to “In a relationship with”, well…you. This is usually where you find out what she thought of the event (notice that in facebook language it’s an “event”, not a date). Then the waiting begins…
And as the saying goes nowadays, “It’s not official unless it’s on facebook!” Relationships are no longer defined by the good night kiss or the morning after call, but have been replaced with a changed facebook relationship status. And until several of your friends comment on your wall about what just popped up on their news feeds, you know it’s not official. Relationships have taken on a whole new digital form. I guess it’s taking a page out of the old school way of doing things. Remember those notes you’d pass that read “do you want to be my girlfriend? circle ‘yes’ or ‘no'” ?
I won’t comment yet on what the repercussions of this kind of dating are (maybe in another post), but I’ll tell you one thing for sure: Facebook has changed the way we relate with one another. I’m almost certain that in the near future you’ll have a plethora of relationship statuses available for your choosing. Might I suggest: “Has a crush on…”, “Infatuated with…”, “Having a fling with…”, “Has a thing for…”, “It’s awkward with…”? Or even for those that are Christian: “Is praying for…”, “Is courting…”, “Is asking for a miracle with…”?
It’s too bad though, with all those possibilities, you can’t ever be in a relationship with yourself.
This goes to show how far a smile can get you. It’s tough consistently being nice to people, isn’t it? Not that I propose to be nice at all, but in a world where you expect reciprocal reactions, it’s always tough to be dishing out the smiles, when all you get in return is a blank stare or even worse, a one finger salute. But what I often forget is that it’s better to give than to receive and even in the most extreme case it is wisdom that the Bible teaches in Proverbs 25:21-22,
If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat,
and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink,
for you will heap burning coals on his head,
and the Lord will reward you.
Saudi Arabia is banning all things Valentine’s (anything red, basically) read the CNN World report
“We will send patrols to check out public parks, restaurants and shopping malls, which are the starting points for potential sexual activities that will be done at home or motels,” Bangkok police spokesman Suporn Pansuea said.
Funny how love has come to be associated with evil, enough so that whole countries are “banning” it. What’s next? A ban on joy?
1 John 4:10-12, “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.”
Let us recover the true intention of love on this day and magnify God’s example. Let’s love one another as God has first loved us (1 John 4:19)