Why God is Kind

Romans 2:4 explains that God’s kindness is intended to lead us to repentance?image

God is good.

Not everyone believes this and some have life experiences such that it is indeed hard to believe. Yet not one of us gets treated in this life as our rebellion and disobedience against God deserves. Herein lies the problem.

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How do you Identify Yourself?

Acts 27:23 proclaims the God to whom I belong and whom I serve…How do you recognize yourself?images

Everyone we meet for the first time asks, ‘what do you do?’ What do you say?

It would be odd for any one of us to say I belong to God and serve Him. This was how the Apostle Paul identified himself when speaking to his captors and other prisoners just before their shipwreck.

Were we to identify ourselves as Paul it would feel weird, besides we know that people are just making small talk by being polite in asking about our work. However I think the real issue is deeper for us.

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Fulfilling Good Intentions

Matthew 26:41 warns we watch and pray so that we will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing,image but the flesh is weak.

God understands we are a people of good intentions but powerless to fulfill those intentions. Diets prove that to us on an all too frequent basis.

Even deep loving intentions are often unrealized like Peter’s promise not to ever deny Jesus which he failed within hours of making. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

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Appeasing God

Matthew 22:36 asks which is the greatest commandment?image

No doubt every religious person from all time all over the planet has asked himself and his god what must I do to please you? Religion is the answer to that question.

Over time and in many places that answer has become quite burdensome to those who seek to please the god of their or others creation.

The One True God made a personal appearance as one of us in Jesus and so the question was asked of Him what must we do to appease You? The answer is simple and immensely difficult.

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Are WE on a Mission?

Acts 20:26 comments I am innocent of the blood of any of you.images

The Apostle Paul understood completely his mission to tell others about God’s offer of a pardon to all of humanity through Jesus His Son for all the evil humanity has ever done against God. Paul remembered the warning God gave to the prophet Ezekiel about failure to not warn Israel of approaching judgment.

God intended to hold Ezekiel accountable for faithfully declaring His command to repent lest the people perish without opportunity to make amends with God. Paul understood that God, by entrusting His message to His people of forgiveness through Jesus, held the same expectations for Christians as He had for Ezekiel.

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Happiness or Joy

Acts 16:34 describes he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God.image

What’s the difference between being happy and having joy?

I would suggest happiness is a result of circumstances and joy is the result of attitude. Feelings tell me whether I am happy or not but conviction tells me I have joy.

Interestingly, God promises joy but not happiness.

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Exclusive or Inclusive or Both?

Acts 15:19 observes that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.image

Whenever we start something new we have to define what it is so we can name it and then determine who is in and who is out. The Christians had this dilemma when starting the Church.

They began by calling themselves The Way, since Jesus claimed to be the Way to heaven and the fulfillment of the Jewish religion as the Way to God and the Way of God. They were first called Christians by pagans because they always mentioned the Christ, this name stuck so that is what they became known as.

The question quickly arose among them for a proper definition of Christian.

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The Secret of Heaven

Matthew 13:11 Jesus taught the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to imagesthem.

With an ideology that God loves everyone so everyone is welcome in heaven, the idea that God is withholding information about heaven from some and revealing it only to others is frightening.

Certainly the Creator loves everyone He has created. Absolutely God wants everyone in heaven.

Regrettably, He never gives the impression that everyone will be in heaven despite His love or desire.

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Drawing a Line in the Sand

Matthew 12:30 observes whoever is not with Me is against Me, and whoever does not gather with Meimage scatters.

On occasion in the gospels, Jesus, God Who has become man, throws down the gauntlet and demands we choose sides. This passage is one of those times when Jesus invites us to separate ourselves into wheat or chaff.

What does it mean for us when God demands we choose but we refuse to even engage the discussion?

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Why all Religions Can’t get us to Heaven

Matthew 7:14 warns small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.images

This generation finds offensive God’s instruction that He has only one way for entering heaven. It seems more fair, more loving, more gracious for all religions to be acceptable to God so that all people can get to heaven.

The problem with this thinking is that it ignores the love of God and the sacrifice God made for saving people.

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