Abundant Life

If You’re Going to Be A Christian…Then Act Like It!

act-like-it

If you’re going to be a Christian…then start representing! Stop moping around…giving people attitude…and complaining about every little thing that throws off your day. People are watching you.

How do you think you’ll ever be able to convince someone that they should investigate Christianity if their only interaction with Christianity is poor old you and your negative outlook on things? Have you ever considered that you’re actually hurting Christ more than helping him with how you treat other people? Do you think that showing up on Sunday and listening to the band or singing in the choir is going to bring others to Christ?

Christ said that you should “let your light so shine” so that others will want come unto Him.

Instead…you’re like a walking fire hydrant extinguishing any light that might be burning faintly within others.

So if you call yourself a Christian…then just start loving others and overlooking their faults. Quit trying to make everyone else pay for their sins. God’s got that under control. Become ambassadors of mercy instead heavenly bounty hunters and you’ll never have to beg someone to listen to your message about Christ again.

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Abundant Life

Teaching: The Bible says to “love your enemies” (Matt. 5:44). How can the death penalty be love?

Every Sunday I provide videos and valuable links to the Truth or Tradition teachings. We’ve been following the Truth or Tradition teachings for many years now and they have truly blessed our family. We have found peace and happiness through our beliefs and we walk confidently for God. My hope, by passing on this information to you, is that what you find here, or on the Truth or Tradition website, will guide you to a better, more blessed and abundant life.

If you would like to read my views on religion and how we got started with the ministry, you can read this.

Let’s get started:

People are commanded to love God, one another and their enemies. This is the case today, and it was true in the Old Testament also. Yet it is clear that the death penalty was commanded by God many times in the Old Testament. The first and greatest commandment is to love God, and the Bible is very clear about how we do that: we keep His commandments.

John 14:15, 21, 23 and 24
(15) If you love me, you will obey what I command.
(21) Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.
(23) If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
(24) He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

These verses are clear, and reveal the action model of the love of God, which is the biblical model of genuine love. Christ spoke very plainly and said that if we do what God commands, then we love God, and if we do not do what God commands, we do not love God. One of God’s commandments was that murderers be put to death, and it is not loving God to ignore what He said.

It is true that Christ taught us to love our enemies, but we must understand what he was saying when he said that. First and foremost, he was not contradicting his Father and the commands of the Old Testament. He was stating them in plain language. It was part of the Old Testament Law that people were to be loving, even to their enemies. Although many examples could be given, Exodus contains some very clear verses:

Exodus 23:4 and 5
(4) If you come across your enemy’s ox or donkey wandering off, be sure to take it back to him.
(5) If you see the donkey of someone who hates you fallen down under its load, do not leave it there; be sure you help him with it.

Since the teaching about being loving, even to someone that hates you, was a part of the Old Testament Law, we need to carefully examine the words Christ spoke.

Matthew 5:43-45
(43) You have heard that it was said, “Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.”
(44) But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
(45) that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

Christ said, “You have heard it said,‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’” It is fair to say that most Christians think that it was God and the Old Testament Scriptures that said, “Hate your enemy,” and that Christ was changing the Old Testament Law. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Old Testament Law taught people to love, as we saw in Exodus (and there are many more examples beside those two verses). It was the religious leaders who perverted the Law of God and taught people to “hate your enemy.” The well-respected New Testament scholar, R. C. H. Lenski writes:

This [“hate your enemy”] is the way in which the scribes and Pharisees taught the people the second table. They mutilated even the words they quoted from Leviticus….This omission in the usual rabbinical teaching was no innocent abbreviation …This was a flagrant perversion of the law which included all the members of the Jewish nation down to the lowest and extended even to the stranger. [8]

It is imperative to notice that you can love your enemy and still obey the Old Testament Law, including executing justice and even going to war. Biblical love is not an emotion or a feeling, but is acting on what God commands. The words of Christ in Matthew make it plain that Christ knew that God loves His enemies, and even blesses them by sending them rain and sun even though they do not “deserve” His love and blessings. Exodus teaches us to be loving to our enemies and those who hate us by helping them out. The same God who teaches us to love our enemies in both the Old and New Testaments also commands the death penalty in both the Old and New Testaments.

It is love to obey God, and by having a swift death penalty we love the people in our society [many of whom are our enemies also] and offer them the best chance for a life free from fear and crime. By having a swift death penalty that is justly meted out, we are giving everyone the best chance to see the high value of life—theirs, and the lives of others. Without a swift and just death penalty, the value of life is cheapened. Most people in the United States, for example, live every day knowing that they may be killed by a drunk driver or by a robber in a convenience store. If they are killed, and if the criminal is actually caught, they know that their life was “worth” a few years in prison, if even that, because that is all that the criminal will have to pay. How can we call that “justice”? How can that teach the value of life? We assert that it cannot and does not, and that is a major reason the United States is overrun with crime today.

We are not loving God or people if we refuse to justly deal with criminals who will harm others. It is not loving people to allow an unsafe society to continue simply because we find it difficult to obey God’s laws. We are not really being loving if we allow murderers to go unpunished. The Bible says if there is no godly punishment of the wicked, then people who would not otherwise sin may be led into temptation, and that is clearly true. Just and quick punishments are a deterrent to evil behavior.

The article above was taken from The Death Penalty: Godly or Ungodly?

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Thanks for reading.

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More from Write From Karen

Thursday Thirteen

Thursday Thirteen – Things that Begin with C

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Thirteen “C” Words that Describe my Life

Scrolling through my life, one letter at a time.

1. Cautious –
Considering I’m constantly thinking ahead and planning everything down to the last “what if,” I’d say I’m a pretty cautious person. I don’t like to take risks and I like to know what’s going to happen so I can mentally prepare myself for the outcome. I’m physically cautious but I won’t walk on eggshells. I’m cautious with people – I get very uncomfortable if anyone gets too close.

2. Catty –
Even though we make fun of females and all of their hormones, it is indeed a real issue we have to deal with on a monthly basis. And trust me when I say, I can be one of the cattiest, and nastiest people you’ve ever known when my hormones start raging. However, no matter how crummy I’m feeling, I will never go out of my way to be catty to people. I wasn’t brought up to treat people that way. However, if you provoke me, all bets are off. 😉

3. Censor –
Unfortunately, I have a sailor mouth. And if it wasn’t for my family being my physical censor, there’s no telling how bad it might get. I find myself going through spurts where all I do is run my mouth and it’s embarrassing when my kids are the ones telling me to clean it up and “stop cussing mom.” *blush* Aside from my mouth, I don’t believe in censoring ourselves – we have earned the right to think for ourselves and the moment we stop exercising that right and allow people/government to censor our lives, we’ll lose control of those freedoms.

4. Challenge –
I like challenges. I like tackling challenges. As long as I don’t have people breathing down my neck or any sort of deadline, I love trying to figure out problems through trial and error. I view life as a constant challenge that must be tamed and enjoyed.

5. Charismatic –
I’ve been told I’m charismatic and I suppose, on some level I can be. Though I’m not a big people person, I can be what someone wants me to be pretty easily. I’ve always been a take charge sort of personality and haven’t been, nor will ever be, happy to simply follow someone. I would be one of those annoying people who challenge everything. (See? That challenge word again).

6. Cheap –
If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, then you KNOW the answer to this one. There is hardly a blog entry that doesn’t include the word cheap somewhere. I believe in stretching your dollar as far as it will possibly go and will forego a lot of creature comforts if I think there’s a better deal out there or if it would be more prudent to put that money into some sort of moneymaking account. As a result of this cheap gene, we are debt free (this includes our house though we did just finance my new Vibe. But we’ll tighten our belts and pay it off early simply because, that’s the type of people we are).

7. Choice –
I believe everyone has a choice in every situation in life. Sometimes the choices are easy, sometimes they are incredibly hard, sometimes they are consciously made, sometimes they are unconsciously made, but everything comes down to choice. There’s no way we can know if we’re making the right choices, all we can do is make the best of the choices we make. Choices are important and can be incredibly hard, but it really all boils down to having the courage to make that choice.

8. Christian –
I’m a Christian and proud of it. I was saved in 1977 and I’m absolutely sure I’ll be one of the people Christ takes back with him when he comes back for us. There is no doubt in my mind that I will have eternal life. I don’t belong to any religion; I am a child of God and have devoted my life, and the lives of my family, to studying God’s word and living the abundant life.

9. Clever –
I am not a smart person. I’ve never been that great of a student and any good grades I’ve received in my academic career have been through a lot of sweat and tears. I do have a lot of common sense though and I suppose that can make me appear clever at times. But seriously? I’m an airhead and an idiot. There are times I can’t believe I’ve opened my mouth and said some of the stupid things I’ve said.

10. Coffee –
A must have. I’ve grown to like coffee. I’ve grown to rely on coffee. I drink a cup every morning while I go through my morning computer routine and I alternate days I drink coffee in the afternoons. I have to, I get hooked and then get those terrible caffeine withdrawal headaches when I cut back. If it weren’t for those headaches, I’d drink coffee all day, every day.

11. Conservative –
Though I hesitate to label myself as a Republican (for I don’t agree with everything they stand for and actually agree with some of the things the Democrats stand for), I would say I’m a conservative soul. As mentioned, I believe in the bible, don’t agree with homosexuality, believe woman should have the right to choose what to do with their bodies and believe people who commit murder deserve the death penalty. I believe children should be spanked (note I said spanked, not beaten), and think organized religion is more interested in power and money as opposed to educating their congregation. I believe people should work for what they want and not expect the government to hand them things for free. Are there any more politically incorrect issues I can address? 🙂

12. Confrontational –
See number 11.

13. Cynical –
I am a very cynical person. I tend to be sarcastic in humorous and sneaky ways so that people aren’t quite sure if I’m being serious or just pulling their legs. I like to keep people guessing because the minute people “get” me is the minute I become boring, and bored. 😀