Sunday, February 22, 2015

The New Christian War

Christian's are under attack around the globe. They are being lined up and slaughtered, realistically and figuratively on a daily basis. The church is now putting the word out it is time to fight back.

I heard a prayer today in my church that vowed God's vengeance against these unholy acts and the unholy people who commit them.

A holy war of sorts has begun. The war will be won in a unique way though. It does not require killing an enemy.

Understanding the enemy and fighting them is part of the battle. Muslims, Jews and Christians all share a belief in the same God but have different beliefs about how they should worship him and if the savior has come or who he actually is. Differences aside their God is the God of the Torah, the God of the Bible and the God of the Quran.

So who is the real enemy? The false religions that say they are doing things in the name of God but create war instead of peace.

So how should we fight people who martyr us, who condemn us and create false images of the God we all worship?

The first thing we should do is not react with violence back. Yes, they have martyred good people. So we must not let those people die in vain. We should tell their stories much like the story of Jesus. They died for their faith and they should be remembered and held up as such. Make sure they did not die in vain by becoming the cruel enemy we detest.

How do we do this? We should fight them with big ideas.

Instead in the word's of Pastor Steven Breon use big ideas straight from the bible.

Big idea 1:  Live like there is a God.

Live your faith and let others around you know there is a God. He is here and present and provides grace for all who choose him.  Stand fast in your belief when other's may shout you down or provide doubt. Share God with kindness and joy and gladness each day. Pray

Big idea 2: Nurture the love attitude

Jesus was a warrior that won the world by using love and not a sword. Matthew 26:52 “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.

This is the way we will conquer our enemies, by showing them love, by teaching to love us as well as themselves. If we want peace we have to teach that peace is the only way. 

Big idea 3: Teach the Children

It is time to educate the world about God. Bring the church to the children. Make them believers of a God of peace and understanding. Teach them that war is only a path to a life time of destruction and pain. God will heal the sick and poor and will provide for the means of everyone that seeks him but only if there is peace will his people be able to come to them.

What are you doing to make a difference? Have you taken to a bully pulpit calling for the extinction of  another religion or people? Have you cried for war with weapons instead of words? Have you asked God to intervene?

All to often we look out instead of up. We look to governments, armies and vigilantes to solve the problems of the world. It is time to look to God and our Christian community for answers.  Live like there is a God and ask for peace and it shall be given. Nurture love and you will receive love back.  Teach the world about a loving God and not a God of war and like children we may all get along.

 © 2015 A. Quintin Smith

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
1 John 4:18 NIV

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Understanding Paradise

Death Walk

Floating around a corpse lost in a coffin.
 Grasp paradise this is the cross.

The spirit ascends to a heavenly place.
 Transcend time, dimension and space.

It's not the Garden of Eden of the antecedent past.
Heaven with gates reached home at last.

Who will await the being as it does enter ?
Recognized without body the newest member.

 © 2015 A. Quintin Smith

Everyone has a version of paradise. often described as a "higher place", in paradise there is only peace,prosperity, and happiness. Paradise is a place of contentment. 

Everyone seems to be waiting for it to come to them. 

God made a paradise for man before he created him. 

 God planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. A river watering the garden flowed from Eden. God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

You all know what happened. Adam and Eve ate from the tree and paradise was lost. They were kicked out of the garden because God did not want them to eat from the tree of life and live forever. Why? Because they had become like those in heaven and knew the difference between good and evil. Not because he hated them but because he loved them so much he didn't want them to suffer. .

God knew with this knowledge they would never have peace, prosperity and happiness again. They could never be content with life inside or outside the garden. 

The bible like any good story starts in the beginning but as in any good book it fills in gaps along the way. What Adam and Eve didn't know was before they were conceived there was a great war in Heaven. One-third of the Angels were led  by Satan himself against the faithful Angels of God. Satan and his warriors where defeated, banished to a newly formed hell. 

This same Satan, in serpent form, came to Eden and condemned Adam and Eve. He provided the truth. Peace and happiness are fluid. Even the heavens have trials and tribulations. Paradise is not always content. 

Paradise to some people is the Tree of Life, an everlasting life without end. Somehow along the way some want it so much they forget to live the life they have now. They have no concept of creating a Paradise here, for that they must wait. 

But paradise is not a place, not a home, not a garden, not even heaven. 

Paradise is a change of spirit. Peace, happiness, contentment may only come from within. Our spirit is the key. 

God knows you will only find paradise when you find him. Because his love is so great that nothing you can do will change his spirit. He will bring you peace and contentment if you let him. 

So why are you waiting on paradise when it's right in front of you? You have everything you need. Ask for God's spirit to enter your heart, your mind, your soul and it will happen.  It will bring you peace. It will give you life everlasting. Paradise is God within. 

Why do most people do without?