Archive for Living Faith

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      One of the most difficult topics today is the pressing issue of how to love someone whose values contradict our own, and how to respond as Christians. Sometimes that is easy. I can love a drunk without buying him/her a bottle of liquor; love a gossiper, without encouraging her to gossip; love the glutton, without calling gluttony good; love a divorcee, without rejoicing and celebrating divorce; love someone of another faith, without accepting their theology.  Yet, in every generation, there are one or more groups of people who define love as explicitly approving their sin as good or godly, celebrating it with them, or denying our own faith and values. When we go along, we are exhibiting man’s love–not God’s love–in the effort to make ourselves or others feel loved. Overlooking sin is one thing. Calling sin as though it were not is serious business.

We long to be loving AND we long to honor God’s Word; however,  we are becoming increasingly confused by how to do both when they seem to contradict one another. Some argue that because we are by nature hypocrites, we should just love. Others say that because God’s Word is true, we should just honor His Word.  He says to do both–and that is what we must do–but we cannot do it in our own strength.

As in everything else, we must lay our selves before God displaying our desire to love others and our desire to honor His Word and, without knowing how to do that, then go forth and do both by His wisdom and power alone–moment by moment. When we try to anticipate in advance what that looks like we are relying on our own logic and end up falling to one side of the other of the narrow way–either celebrating sin in order to be loving, or being unloving in order to honor God’s Word. The greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart soul and mind. The second is to love one another. So let us ask Jesus to help us be more loving . . . cognizant of our own failings and weakness and hypocrisy…without denying God’s Word. Read More→

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2011-nov-dec-magazineAugust 14, 2013 [Living Faith] (by Leslie Ludy): “I believe the majority of American Christians today are far too careless toward darkness and evil. Pop-culture floods our minds and senses with things that are not of God. But for most of us, the glamorized sin that surrounds us is not strange and jarring. It’s normal and accepted. In fact, we go out of our way to enjoy and participate in it. We spend a huge amount of our time and money on it. We allow it to capture our mind, emotions, and attention; then we wonder why our lives are filled with fear, anxiety, defeat, and depression.

Take, for instance, the book series and movie, Twilight. Lots of Christian movie review websites praise Twilight as a wholesome love story. Youth pastors and Christian influencers alike have lauded it as a harmless and even edifying flick, a sweet and artistically portrayed love story that doesn’t show graphic images of the vampires “doing their vampire thing.” But is there really such a thing as a pure, wholesome and God-honoring vampire movie?  Read More→

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Tracey (far left) and Graham (far right) with his brother during the months of Graham’s treatments.

June 3, 2013  [Your Letters, Living Faith, Death]  From my friend, Tracey: It was 3 years ago that our friend Dr Bruce Robinson dropped the bomb. What we thought was a shoulder problem was mesothelioma. The cancer you get from asbestos. To make matters worse it was the worst kind. Sarcomitoid mesothelioma, the most aggressive and painful cancer. The pain Graham was feeling in his shoulder was from the cancer entering his chest cavity and breaking some ribs. He was 49 years old. “You have six months to live, palliative care only, you need a miracle.”  The tears flowed from my eyes immediately. I could not stop them. Read More→

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http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-young-woman-portrait-image10073637June 28, 2013 [Your Letters] It’s so important to remember that we are all sinners and cannot be good in our own strength. Without that remembrance we forget we need a Savior. Julianna wrote me today how she is coming to understand the joy of the Gospel in this way. – Karen
Dear Karen, Yesterday I had a conversation with my husband, where I confessed to him an ungodly thought that has been in my mind for a long time, regarding his family. He got upset and I did too. I wanted to write you for advice, but you’ve already given so much, that I thought maybe it was time to just wait on God to see what would happen. Later during the morning the Holy Spirit graciously showed me my sin. Yesterday, I didn’t want to confess, I just wanted to control the situation and look godly. Read More→
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5cd86bf78dea8eea0b5b74a64b54cc6bJune 19, 2013 [Living Faith]  I came across this well-written description of the difference between righteousness, justification, and sanctification on Jerry Starling’s blog. Jerry Starling writes: These three words are related, especially righteousness and justified. Righteousness is the noun (righteous is a related adjective) and justify is the verb. When one is justified, he has righteousness and is righteous. The word group refers to the process by which one becomes “right” with God. There are two ways you can be right with God. One is never to sin.  . .  Read More→

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dreamstime_xs_10970576June 12, 2013 [Your Letters, Death, Living Faith] (Another response to “In Death and Life – Tracey’s Story)  I’ve just finished reading Tracey’s story with my tears keeping rolling down and crumbled tissues scattered around me. The hymn of “This is my story, this is my song” went around my ears. I sobbed uncontrollably, blowing my nose from time to time. I’ve never been so emotional.When putting their love story together, I marvelled at their amazing life blessed by God. A godly,fruitful and enlightening marriage. The most touching story I have ever read because it is a truly true story which brings us the most powerful testimony. Read More→

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http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-happy-woman-image11835871June 9, 2013 [Your Letters, Death, Living Faith] (A response to “In Death and Life – Tracey’s StoryHello Tracey, You may not remember me. I am Marien, from Venezuela. I used to attend Subi Church in Perth from 2009 to 2011 and I followed Graham’s illness from the distance after. With a judgmental heart. I could not understand why that was happening to you guys. I loved Graham’s preaching, so deep, so rich, and I learned a lot from his sermons. To me you looked as the perfect Christian family, and perfect Christian families are not supposed to suffer; that was my thinking at the time. Read More→

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October 10, 2012 [Your Letters] 10 years ago when I was “house shopping” I started without consulting God, then partway through realized I hadn’t sought His guidance and with genuine repentance I asked Him for help.  I then went so far as to ask Him that if He heard me if he could show me in his word that He did.  I then opened my Bible to the page where I had left off from having read it sometime days or so before and my eyes went straight to this:  Read More→

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October 6, 2012   [Living Faith]   I see so very many people in my classes (as much as 85-90%) who say they are Believers, but when asked what they mean by “believer” they say: because they “believe in God” or “believe in Jesus as a great teacher” or because they said “the prayer.” Read More→

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