Little Wonders:
This is my Life in Jesus;In Private.
Background Illustrations provided by: http://edison.rutgers.edu/

No Other Name

Three days ago, a lot of passionate souls in-Christ came to Saved festival 2014 who come from all kinds of different backgrounds to celebrate that there is no other name that has been given under heaven and earth to save and that is Jesus. As much as I want to stay out of denominational debates such as baptisms, doctrines of free will vs predestination, and doctrines about the rapture. It is our desire as to point people to Jesus, and let the Holy Spirit guide them to to the ONLY truth that has been revealed to us.I have decided to not squabble about the things that divide us, but instead to focus on the fact that “we just know” Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.
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I know that there are people out there that disagree with me, and feel that how you were baptized is extremely important (i.e. sprinkled or immersed, or at all), and that is fine. I love you and respect you, and I am very glad about it . These types debates within Christianity are something we don’t want to get in to and would rather spend our time focused on the things that we agree on instead of things that divide us. The most important thing JESUS! Amen!

So with that being said,I know that if we post anything about Grace (the unmerited favor of God, especially that we only need to believe of what Christ Jesus has done on the cross for us to receive salvation and no by workks), that it is going to offend Christians who hold the Old Testament laws as sacred. And even though I disagree, and truly believe that we are free from the Old Testament laws.

I respect all of our friends who have strongly held views about keeping the Old Testament laws, and I hope that our disagreement of interpretation of scripture would not keep you from supporting our work in Christ. 

Now I know that me posting this will open up this discussion even further. But I believe this is a good discussion to have and I am willing to lay my beliefs out there for everyone to see (which is not something I would normally do). It is not my hope to divide, or to condemn, or to prove wrong. I know that when I state my beliefs on this matter, there will definitely be people who will respond in disagreement. I think this conversation is important because this is not a conversation about differences within Christianity, this is a conversation about “What is being in Christ?”

So here we go…
 
Paul said in Romans 5:20-6:2 “God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord; Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it?” 

So the answer is, NO. Just because I embrace grace does not mean I embrace ungodliness and sin. Quite the opposite, I believe the only way that I can be righteous is through GRACE. 
 
“Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.” - (Titus 3:7)
 
"This new life that God has given us through grace has also given us access to life in the Spirit(Galatians 5:18-22)

Now what I am about to say, I say this respectfully. Because I am going to refer to the Jewish faith, and hopefully not insult them, (especially true followers of Judaism) but simply state that following the Law of Moses is not Christianity. These are two “separate” religions. Paul said, 
 
"So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law. Listen! I, Paul, tell you this: If you are counting on circumcision to make you right with God, then Christ will be of no benefit to you. I’ll say it again. If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised, you must obey every regulation in the whole law of Moses. For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace. But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive by faith the righteousness God has promised to us. For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love.” - (Galatians 5:1-6)

Did you hear what Paul said? If you think that KEEPING THE LAW of circumcision will bring you favor with God, you are wrong. He even goes as far as to say that if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! These are not my words. These are the words from theNEW TESTAMENT. Word Christ. Paul says if you think it makes you righteous by following one law then you need to follow all of the laws. ALL OF THE LAWS? No one can do this (except Jesus). Paul was explaining what TRUE CHRISTIANITY was to the people who tried to intermingle the LAW with God’s new way of making people right with God, the way of GRACE through FAITH IN JESUS. Paul even got upset with Peter, when Peter succumbed to peer pressure and was showing favor to people who followed the law. (
Galatians 2:11-16).

I want to highlight some very important phrases in these verses. Paul said they were not “FOLLOWING THE TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL MESSAGE.” Paul said that when Peter became a Christian he “DISCARDED THE JEWISH LAWS.” And made it clear that in Christ, “A PERSON IS MADE RIGHT WITH GOD BY FAITH IN JESUS, NOT BY OBEYING THE LAW.” But most importantly, Paul asks a serious question to Peter. And this is the question that I would like to ask to all Christians,
 
 “WHY ARE YOU NOW TRYING TO MAKE THESE GENTILES FOLLOW THE JEWISH TRADITIONS?” 

Why?

Our FAITH in Jesus to lead us to righteousness. Peter DISCARDED THE JEWISH LAWS. And in Hebrews 8:6-7 it says “But now Jesus, our High Priest, has been given a ministry that is far superior to the old priesthood, for he is the one who mediates for us a far better covenant with God, based on better promises. If the first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need for a second covenant to replace it.” Did you get that? If the first covenant was faultless then there would be no need to REPLACE IT!!! And again in Hebrews it says “When God speaks of a “new” covenant, it means he has made the first one obsolete. It is now out of date and will soon disappear.” Did you get that? It is now out of date!!! It is obsolete!!! Not my words. Words of Christ
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Now I know that someone who would disagree with me will say “Jesus did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it.” (Matthew. 5:17) I 100% agree. And he did fulfill it, SO I WOULDN’T HAVE TO! He made a new way to make me righteous, the way of FAITH IN CHRIST! And some others will say, but what about the rest of that verse…
 
“’Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved. So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven“But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!” 

I believe the Old Testament is amazing! I love it. Our worship team had been studying it. Jesus here on the Sermon On The Mount encourages people to obey the law and to teach them to others. But then he gives a warning, “unless your righteousness is better than the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” Now Jesus just said not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear and to not even ignore the least commandment. But then he goes on and begins quoting the law and using the word “BUT.” Now remember and keep in mind that verse in the book of Hebrews where it said if the first covenant had been faultless there would be no need to replace it…so listen closely. 

Six times Jesus says “This is what the LAW says, BUT this is what I SAY.”
 He nullified 4 commandments in this speech by saying don’t divorce, don’t make vows, don’t resist an evil person, and love your enemies, right after saying someone who ignores the least commandment will be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. Now I don’t have all the answers and I’m not a professional Bible scholar, but this seems to the beginning of doing away with certain laws in the old testament and replacing them with better ones as Hebrews puts it. Here is short list of laws done away with or replaced in New Testament:

1. Divorce
2. Fulfilling vows
3. Punishment must match the injury
4. Hate your enemies
5. Law of circumcision (Galatians 5:2-3)
6. Law of dietary regulations (“All foods are acceptable” Romans 14:20)

But the LAW convicts us of sin. It is our moral compass for us to know what is right and what is wrong. I believe the Ten Commandments show me what sin is. So how do we know what laws to follow and what laws to ignore as a Christian. 

So in response to men saying that new Christians must be circumcised and follow the whole law of Moses, Peter responds with “So why are you now challenging God by burdening the Gentile believers with a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors were able to bear? We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus.” Burdening the new believers with a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors were able to bear? That doesn’t sound like what Jesus described following Him would be like. 
 
Then Jesus said, 
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

So what is being in-Christ. Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” We must be born again from the inside out. Jesus came to change our heart. But the words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you. For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. These are what defile you. Eating with unwashed hands will never defile you.”(Pharisee law). Faith in Christ has transformed us into a new way of living for Him and following Him. 
 
"This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ." - (2 Cor. 5:17- 21)
 
James 1:27 says “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. Life in the Spirit produces the Fruit of the Spirit love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! And we should be on our guard against the things of this world as followers of Christ.”
 
"Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever." - (1 John 2:15-17)
 
With all due respect, the old commandments have been replaced with better one. Instead of don’t commit adultery, don’t lust. Instead of hate your enemy, love your enemy. Instead of don’t murder, don’t even be angry with someone. We have a new covenant with BETTER PROMISES!

So in conclusion, which commandments do we follow and which ones do we not. Jesus said this in Matthew 28:19,
 
 “Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” 
So now I hand it over to you who have actually taken the time to read my thoughts on what being in-Christ is. I hope that these words encouraged you to not embrace a grace that gives you the freedom in indulge in the flesh, but instead a grace that gives us right standing with God through FAITH in Jesus Christ and not only to believe but to become a disciples of Jesus and as our God’s own children with the purpose of Loving God because He first loved us, knowing Jesus Christ, and making Him known til’ the ends of the earth.

May the grace of Jesus be upon us all.
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23 Things Only People Who Love Spending Time Alone Will Understand

Foreword:

I have been alone and not lonely long before it was cool. Well, except Jesus who has been the former for 40 days. I guess He invented that; not in a such melancholy,feeble-minded manner. Besides, it was part of his wonderful plan to fulfill His purpose on this earth two thousand years ago. So, yeah.

It’s fun to be with the one’s you love, people whom you are connected to, but spending time alone is not such of a butthurt; it is not a necessity but a luxury. Like sleep; to keep yourself together intact, and remind that you also need to love one’s self first before anyone else.

Don’t get me wrong. Jesus loves me first, I love him because of that and I am to love others just as He loves me.

Here it goes:

1. A weekend in which you have no plans, no responsibilities, and nowhere at all to be, ranks as one of the best weekends you’ll ever have.

2. Sometimes friends will try to make plans with you and you have no reason to decline except for the fact that you just want to be alone that day. (Your plan is to have no plans, people need to understand that by now, right?)

3. A good album, book, or television show can keep your attention far longer than any party, club, or bar could.

4. Going away to a remote cabin in the middle of the woods to just exist for a period of time sounds like the best idea for a vacation that you can think of.

5. There is nothing more exciting than planning a long, solo road trip, because you know you’re going to be able to think your thoughts, listen to your music, and play your audiobooks for hours and hours on end. Is there anything better?

6. When people say they can’t eat alone at a restaurant, you’re like, really? That’s one of life’s simple pleasures! Food? Good. A book? Good. No conversation whatsoever? Perfect.

7. The worst trait any potential lover could have is “clingy.” You need your space like you need air to breathe. It’s essential. If they need to be around you all the time? Dealbreaker.

8. Even if you are attached, you carve out hours of alone time just to keep your sanity (and to keep your relationship healthy and happy, too).

9. The only person you’d ever consider marrying would be someone that also loves spending time alone, otherwise that thing’snever going to last.

10. If anyone that knew you were to describe you, one of the words they’d use emphatically to do so is: independent.

11. Your intuition is on point because you spend an insane amount of time alone and cultivating it.

12. While people around you hate being single, you consider it such a joy to be able to be at the whim of your aloneness and this feeling is especially better if you live alone, because you have so much time to do all your little things that you do when nobody is around.

13. You’re always working on a project –usually something artistic– and you start to get antsy if you haven’t been able to work on it for a few days.

14. When you do hang out with people, you prefer seeing them one on one or in a small group. The more intimate and deep the conversation, the better.

15. You are an observer –watching and studying people’s behavior– and, funny enough, are usually quite well-liked, which can serve to be a problem considering how much time you want to spend by yourself.

16. A full day by yourself makes you feel more you than anything at all.

17. You tend to enjoy cold, rainy weather, as it gives you even more of an excuse to hibernate in your home and read, sit by the fire, think, curl up, write in your journal.

18. If you are not thinking about life’s big questions, you must be dead.

19. Because you put a premium on spending time alone, you are more present and attentive when you do spend time with people, because you don’t feel as though you’re missing out on time by yourself.

20. You would much rather go on a hike or go to the beach by yourself than with anyone, which isn’t to say you dislike going with people, it’s just a more engaging experience when you do it alone.

21. Sure, it’s fun to drink wine with friends, but having a bottle of wine to yourself at the end of a long day? 100% perfect paradise heaven.

22. Traveling to a new place by yourself (even if the new place is only ten miles away) is your idea of a great time. You are always either planning a solo adventure, going on a solo adventure, or coming back from one. Experiencing the world through your own eyes without anybody else’s opinion is not just a desire, it’s an essential need of yours.

23. There is absolutely nothing that can touch the feeling of when someone cancels plans on you and you are suddenly left with surprise alone time. You’re all, “Oh good, more time to be with me!” and it’s truly an untouchable feeling of happiness. image

25: Silver and Black

I’m a guy for all intents and purposes should have even made it. It was only by Grace that I was able to flip the tables around and decide that I would not stay that was I should be.

I know that I am loved for who I am, but I feel responsible to be the best in what I do not only to myself but to the people whom I think deserve to to be shown the best of me. I felt that I failed them so many times in times that mattered the most to a point that I almost gave up on me.

But as the saying goes, ‘when the going gets tough, the tough gets going.’ It is never easy but never it will be impossible. As long as you can feel you can do something for a change, do it; redemption is the sweetest even in your worst heartbreak.

So as I move forward, the more now I realize how important life is and make the most out of it. Besides, I think the two most important days in your life is the day you were born and the day you find out why you were born.