Friday, July 23, 2010
Who AM I?
Creating a family identity is an effective way to instill our children with a sense of permanence, belonging, and stability, paving the road for raising confident, independent, moral children. The stronger that identity is, the more comfortable our children will be in their own skins, because they are a unique part of a strong group-a group that accepts them as they are. This is crucial for their developing faith in their own inner choice-making abilities rather than relying on peer pressure, the media, public schools and colleges’ humanistic alienated philosophies, and other outside influences as guiding beacons. Sadly, children whose families have weak identities often seek guidance from less pristine influences to achieve a sense of belonging that they haven't been able to gain within the confines of their homes. So that, the Holy Spirit inspired the apostle Paul to exhort, warn and advice us and our children to do the right thing in chapter 4 of the book of Ephesians, to find our identity in the person of our Lord Jesus, The Bible God’s holy word, and in our leadership.
For example, in verse one he instead us to walk, to behave, to act, to respond according to our “Vocation,” the fulfillment of our God-appointed task in everyday life, therefore we may glorify God by doing the best in his ability and knowledge continuously to exert its influence in an increasingly secular world. The idea of vocation is central to the Christian belief that God has created each person with gifts, and talents oriented toward specific purposes and a way of life. Our vocation includes the use of ones gifts and talents in our profession, family life, church and civic commitments for the sake of the greater common good, the salvation of the souls. A vocation, from the Latin vocare (verb, to call), is a term for an occupation to which a person is specially drawn or for which they are suited, trained or qualified; or our spiritual DNA. Because repetition is the matter of all learning, I want to share with you some of my favorites and strong verses of the Bible that if you repeat daily aloud it will help you to build up your identity, personality, self-esteem, confidence in Jesus and His Word. Therefore, you will be able to walk in the plan, destiny and purpose that God already have for your life, your spiritual DNA, because you are God’s workmanship-His handiwork-born anew.
Who I am in Jesus Christ
I am the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13)
I am the light of the world (Matthew 5:14)
I am the child of God (John 1:12)
I am part of the true vine, a channel of Jesus Christ’s life and blessings (John 15:1-5)
I am a friend of Jesus Christ (John 15:15)
I am appointed by Jesus Christ to bear His fruit (John 15:16)
I am a slave of righteousness (Romans 6:22)
I am a son or a daughter of God (Romans 8:14, 15)
I am a joint heir with Jesus Christ, sharing His inheritance (Romans 8:17)
I am united to the Lord and am one spirit with Him (1 Corinthians 6:17)
I am a member of Jesus Christ’s body (1 Corinthians 12:27; Ephesians 5:30)
I am a temple, a dwelling place of God (1 Corinthians 3: 16; 6:19)
I am a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)
I am reconciled to God through Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:18,19)
I am minister of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18,19)
I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:21)
I am a son or a daughter of God and one in Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:26, 28)
I am an heir with God since I am a son of God (Galatians 4:6,7)
I am a saint (Ephesians 1:1, 1; Corinthians 1:2; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:2)
I am God’s workmanship-His handiwork-born anew (Ephesians 2:10)
I am a fellow citizen with the rest of God’s family (Ephesians 2:19)
I am prisoner of Christ (Ephesians 3:1; 4:1)
I am righteous and Holy (Ephesians 4:24)
I am a citizen of heaven, seated in heaven right now (Philippians 3:20)
I am hidden with Jesus Christ in God (Colossians 3:3)
I am complete in my Lord Jesus Christ, and I shall no want (Colossians 2:9,10)
I am an expression of the life of Jesus Christ, because he is my life (Colossians 3:4)
I am chosen of God, holy and loved (Colossians 3:12, 1 Thessalonians 1:4)
I am a son or a daughter of light (1 Thessalonians 5:5)
I am a Holy participant and responder of a heavenly calling (Hebrews 3:1)
This weekend's episode of Religion & Ethics Newsweekly will air a segment on Have A Little Faith, Henry Covington, and I Am My Brother's Keeper Ministries. Hosted by Bob Faw, the segment--"Kindred Spirits"--addresses the power of faith and the message at the heart of Have a Little Faith: despite our differences, we are all men of God.
Please check your local listing for air date and time on your local PBS station.
Reading Analysis, "Have A Little Faith." A sample of Humanism and New Age, the religion of the 21-century.
"Have a Little Faith", by Mitch Albom is an incredible book about religion, human nature and basic aspects of life. On his journey to a poor, run-down church he meets a man named Anthony Castelow ("Cass"). Mitch is a bit hesitant in giving the Church money considering the preacher was a former drug-user/seller. Also he was but in jail mulitple times and Mitch wasn't sure he could be trusted. However, after speaking with Cass all things change. Cass tells Mitch the story of his own personal life. How when he was struggling and had nothing to live for Henry, the preacher, was there for him. When Cass didn't have a dollar to his name or even clothes on his back Henry supported him and even let him live in his house for over a year. After hearing the rough stories that Cass has gone through and all the sacrifices Henry made for him, his perspective changed dramatically. He learned to no longer judge people based on their past but on the present and what they will accomplish in the future.
An important theme in the book "Have A Little Faith" by Mitch Albom is acceptance. Acceptance is the ability to have different views with people but still maintain a stable environment. Whether it's a Catholic who disagree's with Hindu beliefs or simply a man who is asked to do a eulogy for a passionate role model, acceptance is key. The book's main focus is for people to learn to have individual views and ideas but not question other people's beliefs. If questions erupt and arguments break out peace is not in order and therefore the society becomes unbalanced. An unbalanced society isn't able to function properly and causes major damage in the future.Why fight about certain beliefs if it's simply easier to accept other viewpoints and move on?
True peace comes from understanding that we can never attain this physically in the society we live in. Jesus himself warns us in the Passage John 16:33: 33These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. As long as crime exists in one form or another then we are at war. Moreover, is this passage He state that peace only abide in Him, “that in me ye might have peace;” no Mahomet, neither Buda, nor the Virgin Mary or any one of the saints, nor through the Karma, reincarnation or Yoga, only in the name and person of Jesus. Religion might bring a temporal level of calm, as well as an aspirin produce a temporal relief of pain, but the diseases are still there, but there would always be elements of imbalance that make it impossible for this calm to be eternal.
The peace we seek is the knowledge that our Lord Jesus is the only truly source of peace, happiness, social balance and justice. Doesn’t matter what kind of imbalance exist in our society, we know that if we abide with the Most High that gives us peace in our hearts. True peace is Christ and the acceptance of Christ in our hearts. He brings the balance to all things by teaching us how to live contently without those things that we think we ought to have, as is quoted in Mark 4:37-39, “37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. 38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? 39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith? 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”.
He also teaches us how to live without revenge, anger, hatred and all the facets that are part of our surroundings. We can make our surroundings better, improve our livelihood but given our lust, vanity, desires and human wisdom there would always be the imbalance in society. Even the fear of death can cause this imbalance internally within us. Our Lord and Savior has taught us how to accept death with the knowledge that this comes first before resurrection. In the bible we are given the words: For this, king of Salem, priest of the most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of kings, and blessed him; To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;'
Our Lord and savior is not only peace in name but he is peace in spirit and understanding.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Our Lord Jesus in the Chapter 16 of the book of Matthew went one step further, not only challenging his 12 disciples, but us of course if we consider ourselves disciples of Jesus, to go a extra mile in our commitment for advancing and establishing his kingdom in earth, not physically or geographically but in the heart of every human being. He stood in front of a main geographically area called ”the gates of hell,” Please click on the link for detailed information about this geographic area), with his twelve disciples, as he can stand with us asking today to identified the gates of hell among our community, our schools, our colleges, our workplace, our court house, our county, our region and our nation and tear it down, casting it down, and demolish it along with all the imaginations, and philosophies that constantly are rising up against the truth that was establish in your heart, as well as the heart of every believer . Moreover, He made a very simple question, which probably He is making to us every day, what the people of this place think who am I? Do the people of this specific location really know me? What is their mind set or approach about me, and my kingdom? Does they only have a religious conception about me, and my kingdom? What culture is driven out their lives, homes, marriages, and business? The answer of the disciples was not a very encouraging report to Jesus, they informed him that the people have a misconception and confusion about who really Jesus was; then Jesus made a transcendental and corner stone question to his disciples, his followers, his inner circle, his beloved, in the same manner He is addressing the same question to you and me, who do you say that I am? For some seconds was a deep silence that probably you can hear the heartbeat of the disciples, then Peter raise his voice and said, “ You are the anointing one, the Son of the living God.” Jesus immediately rejoices in happiness and not only bless him but graduate him as well as the rest of his disciples, He said to him,” you were Simon (a feather that constantly is being blow by any current of wing, or the reed changed into a rock, a emotionally roller coaster) naturally impulsive, Matthew 14:28; 17:4; John 21:7. He was tenderhearted and affectionate, Matthew 26:75; John 13:9; 21:15-17. Also he was full of contradictions, at time presumptuous, Matthew 16:22; John 13:8; 18:10. Other times he was timid and cowardly, Matthew 14:30; 26:69-72. Moreover, he was self-sacrificing, Mark 1:18; yet inclined to be self-seeking, Matthew 19:27; gifted with spiritual insight, John 6:68; yet slow to apprehend the deeper truths, Matthew 15:15-16. He made two great confessions of his faith in Christ, Matthew 16:16; John 6:69; and also the most cowardly denial, Mark 14:67-71. But after his Pentecostal baptism of the Spirit, he became a “rock” fulfilling the prophecy of Christ, John 1:42; Matthew 16:18; Acts 1:8. After that he was courageous, immovable, unchangeable, and unshakeable, Acts 4:19-20, 5:28-29, 40 and 42. What about you?