When I first became a Christian, I was told this now familiar verse: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation" (2 Corinthians 5:17a). At first, I was excited at the chance for a fresh start, but as the days went on, after attending hundreds of worship services and fellowship meetings, everything started to feel mundane and routine. I found myself unable to conquer old habits. I was pessimistic, short-tempered, and moody. How could I ever be a new creation?
Then, I realized that being a new creation in Christ does not always mean that I have to be excited and high all the time, but rather it is a call for us to involve Christ's will and decisions in our lives on a daily basis. The Bible says that God is going to give us a heart of flesh, not a heart of stone (Ezekiel 36:26). In the same way, God also rewires our minds to transform the way we think and our attitudes towards people and the things that happen to us. Scientists used to think that our brains had defined time windows during which we could learn new skills. In recent decades, however, neuroscientists have realized that our brain is actually more similar to plastic or clay and can be constantly molded,.....
"You are a king, then!" said Pilate. Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me." "What is truth?" retorted Pilate.' (John 18: 37-38a)
Hours before His death, Jesus announced the purpose of His birth: to testify to the truth as a King. Everyone knows that Jesus came to this earth to bring us eternal life, so that by trusting in Him as the Son of God and confessing our sins, we become justified and righteous by our faith and are able to enjoy a new relationship with God. But what does truth have to do with eternal life? Don’t we usually see words of "hope", "joy", "peace", and "love" instead of "truth" during Christmas time?
Let's look at the following Bible verses, which will help us to understand that the essence of eternal life is to live with truth:
• In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1: 1)
• The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
• Jesus answered, "I am.....
Have you read the book or seen the movie "The Hunger Games"? The games are based on the concept of survival of the fittest. Contestants are weighed, valued, and tested in a system of scores and statistics. Those who are "normal" are fortunate. Others are "abnormal" because of size, intelligence, or abilities. The victors won using unusual tactics, skills, and alliances. This is similar to how success is measured in our society. But what if you and I don't have these skills? What if we were born into unfavorable circumstances? What if despite our best efforts we can never rival our competitors?
The secret to winning in this life does not depend on our abilities or circumstances. God is the ultimate judge, and we just need to know how to play His game, not anyone else's. We learn more about this from Genesis 32:24-28:
So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob's hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, "Let me go, for it is daybreak." But Jacob replied, "I will not let you go unless you bless me." The man asked him, "What is your.....
"But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers." (Psalm 1:2-3)
In these verses the psalmist reveals a startling dynamic: absorb God's commandments, and your endeavors will flourish when the season is right. Perhaps you are familiar with the words of Psalm 1:2-3 and have seen this principle manifested in your life. Maybe you are awaiting the fruit, wondering when God is going to act or bless your efforts. Sometimes it just takes time, but it does not mean that we should feel discouraged or stop pursuing Jesus while waiting. When the right time comes, you will see the fruits of your labor. Meanwhile, you need to come to know your Lord day by day, little by little.
Do not underestimate the importance of spending time with Jesus every day, of continuing to seek Him and wait on Him even when His answers or provision are not immediately forthcoming. Like with any relationship, intimacy with God grows over time, moment by moment, the building blocks being shared conversations and experiences. The benefits.....
But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. (Psalm 1:2-3)
According to the dictionary, success is defined as "the achievement of something desired, planned, or attempted" or "the gain of fame and prosperity". However, I doubt God's definition of success has anything to do with fame or prosperity. Jesus told us in order to be well provided for, we should seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matt. 6:33).
Those who seek fame and prosperity are not guaranteed to share eternity with God after death. Even those who have made many significant contributions to society may not necessarily be considered successful in the eyes of God. Jesus said to those who have used his name to justify what they do, "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." (Matt. 7:21) The Apostle John also wrote, "The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever." (2 John 2:17).....
"Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is." (1 John 3:2)
X-men, Superman, Spider man, the Green hornet, Batman, Bionic Woman, you name it, they all possess super human power. They represent our dreams and wishes: to be more than what we are, to fly high and dive low, to have the ability to rescue those who are weak and beat down those who are proud, to be heros, to have others look up to us. However, before we become superheros we need to become human first, and in order to be human—to be the person that God always intended for us to be—it's going to take a super power.
It takes super power to be a human. I am not referring to a physical power like flying or transforming into something extraordinary, I refer to the ability to restrain our inner power and exercise it in the right place and at the right time. It's natural to want to be super, to grow in stature, to advance in knowledge, to contribute and to make a difference. That is our "stem" desire, placed in us by God to urge us forward to express our inner potential. What we reap.....
"In the beginning was the Word and the Word was God and the Word was with God…Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made." (John 1:1, 3) God has created this world through Christ because Christ was there with God right from the beginning. After the Fall (when Adam and Eve disobeyed God's commands and were cast out of His presence), God wanted to recreate us. Salvation is the initial step of such re:creation! "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Corinthians 5:17) God wants to recreate us through Christ. We are to be like Mary bringing Christ into birth through our speech, actions and the choices we make.
A lot of people think accepting Christ as our personal Savior is all it takes to receive eternal life. But God's re:creational plan doesn't stop there, in fact, it starts as soon as we confess our sins and ask Christ to enter our hearts. God certainly wants us to spend eternity with Him in heaven, but He also desires to bring eternity into our hearts or our spirit. According to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, everything on earth will deteriorate with time, but our hearts are the.....
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1)
Most fairy tales start out with "once upon a time a long long time ago" and end with "and they lived happily ever after." We love fairy tales and their happily ever afters and we don't question their validity because they represent our dreams. But oftentimes people question the validity of the Bible and its opening statement. The Bible is a book that is widely accepted and published, yet many regard it as a fairy tale, something that is make-believe. It is true that there are many things in common between the Bible and fairy tales. In fairy tales there is usually a prince or princess that is fooled by an evil witch. Unaware of their true identity, they are eventually rescued by another prince or princess and then brought back to the castle and reunited with the royal family. The Bible starts out with a loving God who creates the world and human beings. When the first man and woman were misled by Satan, they are driven out from God's presence. But God loves His children and He sent His own Son to come to the world to make peace and reconcile us with God. Then the last book of the Bible, Revelation,.....
"When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?" (Psalm 8:3-4) Originally written in Hebrew, the word "consider" in this verse could also be translated as "see" or "look upon", implying David is "observing" or comtemplating the sky and the heavenly bodies. In other words, David was both lifting up his head to look at macroscopic objects and also carefully examining the work of God's fingers, the things God created with microscopic detail. David's observation did not stop at the level of craftsmanship, he was able to connect to God's mind and realize that God did all of these wonderful things solely for us, the son of man. That is the true meaning of observation.
Out of the five sense organs, observation no doubt largely relies on our vision. In fact 70% of all sensory receptors are located in the eyes, and our brain devotes 40% of its surface tissues (cortex) to process visual information. However, many of us only see without considering the underlying truth. While "videre" means truth in latin, its original root means to.....
Have you ever met someone that looks exactly like you? Even though we share 100% of the same gene components, our gene sequences vary by 0.1% which makes us different. In fact, there is one out of 64 trillion chances for you and your siblings to look alike. Just look at your fingerprints! They are one of a kind. There will never be any other person in this whole wide world that will share your fingerprint pattern. Not even your identical twin! The reason for this is that fingerprint patterns are not dictated by genes, they are formed by pressure from the environment such as the amniotic fluid surrounding the fetus in the womb. If something as insignificant as amniotic fluid in the womb could make such a difference on our bodies, how about all the experiences we encounter throughout our lives? They make all of us—including identical twins—different and unique.
Yes, God wants us to be different. He gives us exactly the same gene components so that you and I can interact, bond, feel a sense of belonging, and be understood, but He also makes us different so that we are not pressured to imitate each other but have the freedom to express ourselves based on our internal.....
Where a twenty-something blogs about redeeming ordinary things and the quest to live in the middle of God's grace.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. Psalm 139:17-18b. A biweekly revelation into the precious thoughts of God!
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