My Morning Do . . . “Acceptance of Others”

~~ by tkbrown

10 September 2020 — Acceptance seems to be shunned in this day and time. The “going thing” seems to be disagreement, protests, and persecution. There seems to be a tendency to equate acceptance with agreement. This perception is not reality based. Acceptance does not necessarily mean agreement.

The news today is filled with disagreement. From domestic disputes to world organizations, disagreement seems to be the norm. While some disagreement is a part of everyday life, and while harmful values are never to be condoned, we–as Christians–are to accept the right of others to be different from us and to believe differently from us. During His life here on earth, Jesus encountered many who were different from Him, but He never ridiculed, persecuted, or punished anyone for being on a different path. He did express rage toward the moneychangers and the merchants in the temple because they were defiling His Father’s house. He did not disagree with “what” they were doing. He disagreed with “where” they were engaging that activity (John 2:13-16 — NKJV).

When He met the Samaritan woman at the well, He discussed aspects of her life–apparently in depth–but He never once ridiculed or persecuted her because of who she was. If He had gone off on a tangent, ranting, raving, and destroying her property, would He have made a positive impression upon her? Would He have made a positive impression upon any of her acquaintances whom she brought back to the well to meet Him? Through the entire event, no one fought anyone to get a point across. Jesus impressed the Samaritan woman and her acquaintances with His acceptance of who they were, not with anger and malice toward them. John 4:39 says, “And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, ‘He told me all that I ever did.'” (NKJV) Jesus impressed upon her that He did not agree with or condone her way of life, but He never harmed her in any way.

My mother frequently referenced the old saying, “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” — Anonymous. She was right! That is what Jesus was impressing upon the multitudes as He delivered the Sermon on the Mount. He said, “‘Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets,'” (Matthew 7:12 — NKJV). During His time here on earth, Jesus had many differences of opinion and fact with others, but He never once addressed the issue in a harmful, ridiculing, or disrespectful manner. His responses were always short, kind, and to the point.

In today’s world, there are many different cultures–much the same as the world was in Jesus’ time. As Christians, what is the best way to lead someone to Christ: By lashing out, ranting, and raving at the difference with which we do not agree, or by quietly discussing the difference in what we believe and what the other person(s) believe? Christianity is a program of attraction, not of repulsion. Violence, ranting, and raving does not attract those who love God. We, as Christians, are instructed never to treat someone differently than we would want to be treated if the situation was reversed (John 2:13-16 — NKJV). We are also instructed to love our enemies. Again, in His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “‘But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,'” (Matthew 5:44 — NKJV). The news today is filled with difference being addressed in many ways. The question we, as Christians, hold in our heart is: How would I want someone else to deal with me in this same situation? Food for thought in today’s world.

Have a Blessed Day!

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Scripture References are from the Holy Bible — New King James Version (NKJV).

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For God so Loved theWorld — Part 2

~~ Notes: by tkbrown ~~
Photo by: Comfreak
at pixabay.com
Source: Holy Bible (NKJV)

In Part 1, we discussed the choice to ‘believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God’ or ‘not to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.’ It is our individual, personal choice whether or not we are saved by God. If we believe, then He offers a plan — through Christ Jesus — whereby we can be saved. If we do not believe, then we have already condemned ourselves to an eternity of darkness without salvation. Here, we can read this message directly from His word (NKJV).

John 3:16 — “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

John 3:17 — “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

John 3:18 — “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he wo does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

While Jesus was on the earth in human form, He was given power to reveal this plan to all mankind through His personally chosen disciples. If we study the New Testament through, we can see how Jesus personally called His disciples — one by one — to follow Him and become ‘fishers of men.’ He did not choose these disciples from the educated and the elite of the synagogue or from the community. He chose ‘sinners’ whom He knew to possess the character traits necessary to understand His will and to relay that will to people from all nationalities and walks of life. Before He ascended back into heaven, He instructed these disciples in the manner to convey His power to those who would believe.

Matthew 28:18 — “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.'”

Jesus assured His disciples that His time on earth was to impart His teachings to all mankind via the disciples. He assured them that God is concerned even about the grass in the field which is here today and gone tomorrow. If God loves even the grass in the fields, how much more does He love us. We who are made in His own image are loved so much that He sent His only Son to die on the cross as payment for the sins of those who choose to believe — thereby choosing salvation and eternal life with Him. First, we must seek His kingdom and His righteousness, then these things can be ours.

Matthew 6:30 — “Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

Matthew 6:33 — “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

The New Testament is the ‘last covenant’ or ‘will’ imparted from God to mankind. If we are to know what we can inherit, we must study that will and obey the commandments outlined within it. The guidelines are all spelled out for us in the New Testament of God’s word – the Bible. If we believe Him, we will study this covenant which was delivered via His Son’s death and we will strive to obey the blueprint presented. Paul told Timothy to continue in teachings outlined in the Scriptures which provide all that is needed for salvation.

2 Timothy 3:14 — “But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them.

2 Timothy 3:15 — “and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

2 Timothy 3:16 — “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,”

2 Timothy 3:17 — “that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Thus, if we choose to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, we will study His word — the Bible — to discern His guidelines by which we might be saved. Once we have studied and obeyed the plan of salvation outlined in the Holy Scriptures, we must continue in His teachings. Even in His kingdom, we find those who strive to obey and those who do not obey. If we believe, we will obey His teachings because we believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who came to earth to provide a way by which we can be saved. Those who do not believe engage in profane babblings and wrest with the scriptures to their own destruction. Therefore, it is our will to be saved or to not be saved. God accepts the choice we make and will not force the issue. Do you believe? Will you obey? I pray that you will.

“For God so loved the world “

~~ Notes: by tkbrown ~~
Photo by: Aaron Burden
at Unsplash.com
Source: Holy Bible (NKJV)
John 3:16-18

John 3:16 — “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

John 3:17 — “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him [His Son] might be saved.

John 3:18 — “He who believes in Him is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

The first of these three verses is probably the most “quoted” scripture in the entire Bible. It is, also, probably the most misrepresented scripture in most of the Bible. The reason being, it is typically quoted out of context, instead of continuing with the next two verses that explain John 3:16 more thoroughly. Those two verses, John 3:17 and 18, are typically ignored.

I would ask that you look at the three verses together, rather than taking John 3:16 out of context. When we read them as a unit (paragraph, if you will), we see that He is telling us: the result of Jesus coming into the world to save the world is an individual choice. Either we believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God, or we do not believe. Either we believe God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to save us from our sins — or we do not believe.

He takes this explanation one step further by presenting a metaphor. When we read between the lines, He tells us that He will deal with each individual as a parent would deal with each of his/her children individually. A parent would not punish all of her/his children for the guilt of one — would he/she?

God explains that He did not send Jesus Christ, his Son, to condemn the world, “but that the world through Him might be saved.” In verse 18, He explains that he/she who believes in Jesus Christ as God’s Son is not condemned — “but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

So, when all three verses are read, and discussed, together — we see that each individual human being decides her/his own fate. Either he/she believes in the name of Jesus Christ as the Son of God — and we are then saved — because we will follow His commandments. Or, we do not believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and we are condemned already — because we do not believe, we have condemned ourselves.

It is as a parent disciplines her/his child(ren). The child who ‘took the candy’ condemned him/her-self by the taking of the candy. No one else forced her/his hand. He/she made that choice totally apart from the other child(ren). Those who were not involved in the taking of the candy, should not be punished for the sins of the one who did. That is how God deals with people in the world. It is a program of attraction or repulsion. Either the individual man/woman is believing in Christ Jesus and doing that which is right — and will, therefore, be saved by God. Or, she/he does not believe (a personal choice) — and has, therefore, condemned him/her-self to eternal damnation.

Which do you choose? Do you believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God — sent to the earth by God to save those who believe? Or, do you believe Jesus Christ was just a man or a prophet — who died like everyone else, and was not raised on the third day? If you believe the latter, you have already condemned yourself. God is not the one who condemns the non-believer – the non-believer condemns her/him-self.