My waking thought for today, other than wanting a coffee, was this; Satan is the lawless one, the father of lies, the wicked one, the embodiment of what it is to be anti-Christ. God, on the other hand, is the law giver and is bound by His own decrees. His holiness, His righteousness, demands the perfect keeping of the law. Perfection is the nature of God. God demands perfect obedience. Man's nature, like Satan's, is anti-Christ. Even when man does good, it often has an evil motive (pride, selfishness, self-centeredness). But God manifested Himself in the flesh, born a baby in a manger, lived a sinless perfect life for 33 years before finally dying on a Roman instrument of death, to pay the price that He Himself demanded for disobedience to His own laws. In turn, He clothes us with His righteousness without the possibility of facing his wrath. Jesus, God in human flesh, came to seek sinners.
"Interesting how we, in multi-cultural America, spend so much energy trying to make people fit into an indefinable church culture, rather than teach the Gospel and let those people reach their peers like they did in the early church."
In Christian circles the term "saved" is quite common. In scripture, the word is often associated with salvation. It means, to be delivered from some sort of impending disaster. It’s a wonderful term. As Christians, however, being delivered from a rightful punishment because of our sin is the fruit of what salvation is really all about. Being saved is about RECONCILIATION. When we believe the Gospel, ceasing from our efforts to satisfy God by our own works, God adopts us into His family and we become His sons and daughters and lawfully a part of the family of God. Being saved is all about reconciliation. Deliverance from the reality of eternal judgment is simply one of the many fruits of belonging to God by faith in Jesus Christ.
I find it interesting that people across the world, at this time of year, reenact the crucifixion of Christ. I’m certainly not judging the sincerity of these people who place themselves on a cross to do this, but if we full well knew the cruelty and severity of the cross, we would abhor it for ourselves. The paintings and figurines of the depiction of His crucifixion do no justice to the Bible depiction of the horror and dreadfulness of the actual event. I can only love the cross as it applies to Jesus. I have no love for the cross as an object; however, because of Christ’s work of sacrificially dying in my place on the cross, I can embrace my cross daily for His sake.
At death, what do you have? All your material possessions will go to your kids, most likely. At death we are left empty. Every millionaire loses his millions on that day. The richest man will stand before God like the poorest of the poor. At death our prestige or fame is of no value because we are dead. There will be nothing to entice God with because nothing that we have can go into eternity with us. That is, except Christ Jesus the LORD. With Jesus we have sonship, perfection, all the riches of heirs, and so much more.
OK, another thought from my mental mill. There is an obvious division in mainstream Christianity. I mean that there are two major groups within what the world calls, Christianity, whether it’s Biblical Christianity, or not. Those two groups are Protestants and Catholics.
I grew up a Catholic, mainly because my mom was one. Also, in order for my dad to marry mom, he had to promise to raise us Catholic. So, Catholic it was. I was baptized as an infant, went to church every Sunday, went to confession, took communion, and made my confirmation. As I got older I was inclined to look at other “religions” within so-called Christianity. To me, being a Catholic because my mother was a Catholic, because her mother was a Catholic, made absolutely no sense to me, so I chose to no longer identify as a Catholic.
Oh, so you’re a Protestant than! My answer to that is, absolutely not. I am neither a Catholic nor a Protestant. Protestants were those like Luther, who like the name implies, “protested” against the Catholic church. I am not in protest against the Catholic church. I may not agree with much of the beliefs of the Catholic church, but I do not protest against them. They have as much right to adhere to their belief system as I do to mine. So, I declare that I am not a protestant.
OK, you’re a Baptist than, right? I do not call myself a Baptist either. Though one may show that the name Baptist was born out of Protestantism, I have become disillusioned with the name, mainly because, like Heintz catsup, Baptist come in 57 different varieties these days. Perhaps there was a time when the name identified a people; today it doesn’t. Consider Westboro Baptist Church. I don’t know a single person in a Baptist church that aligns themselves with that group.
So what are you then?
I am a sinful man bought by a Holy God with the precious undefiled blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am a man with absolutely no hope in myself to warrant any favor with God, but has thrown myself on the mercy of a God who loved me enough to sacrifice His Son for me. I am dead to any attempt to gain favor with God, but rely wholly on His work of the cross. I am a CHRISTIAN in the Biblical sense.
Just a mini thought here. Sometimes people will give you the cold shoulder, be upset with you for no apparent reason, and avoid contact because they're bothered by something you said or did. Why is that so? My thought is this. Is the problem oftentimes a question of another person's motive? In other words, do we attempt to determine another person's motive and respond based on our judgement of his motive?
No one can know for sure why a person does or says a certain thing. We cannot judge motives. We can judge a lot of other things, but a motive is something within the heart and only God understands that.
When we judge a peoples motives, are we elevating ourselves to a status only reserved to God?
Thoughts to Ponder
Tom Genovese, Sr.
What you read in these pages comes from my contemplation, meditation, or just plain thought about for no specific reason. I am the author of these pages unless otherwise specified.