love is conditional.
love will tell you how good you are
but treat you as if you are worthless.
love is momentary.
love will make you feel like the most high.
but won’t tell you about the Most High.
love is lowercased.
because this type love is created by man.
it has eroded and is camouflaged for those who don’t understand
you knowwhoLove is?
Love is patient.
He has been waiting for your hand.
Love is kind.
He won’t ever leave you stranded.
Love does not envy.
Love does not boast.
Love has it all, and has promised us the most.
Love bears all things.
Love believes all things.
Love hopes all things.
Love took up your cross.
Love bled red blood for love.
Love cried red tears for love.
Love endured all things for love.
“I Hate You”, by Z-Ro was one of my favorite songs in high school.
Too many years, I done paid the price
Why you gotta put all this, drama in my life
And day after day, I’m on the grind for you
Living lavish drape you in karats, what I’m trying to do But Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii’m, just a man
Trying to do all I can, but you act like you can’t understand Well I done sacrificed, and I done swallowed my pride On the wrong road, trying to follow my pride I was daddy for a while, though I’ve got no seed
But the kids, are my H-E-A-R-T
I’ve been dealing with a lot, so I’ve been losing my mind
Straight up acting before I think, barely using my mind
My freedom is on the line, and my sanity’s gone You picked a fine time to leave me, now this house ain’t a home
I had no problem being faithful,I loved you so much I hate you Because you left me, when I needed you the most
Now, I’m just a young girl from the suburbs, so, there’s really a lot in this song that I can not relate to. But there were some thngs that I definitely could:
1.) Striving to do all that I can for the people that I cherish. (“Day after day, I’m on the grind for you”).
2.) Being willing to take an “L”, or personal loss, if it was necessary in order to fufill some obligation to someone, whether they had necessarily asked me to do so or not. (“Well, I done sacrificed, and I done swallowed my pride”)
3.) Getting so caught up doing what I felt was right for others that I found myself in places and situations I never thought I’d find myself, i.e.: contemplating how to help a friend get an abortion if need be. (“On the wrong road, trying to follow my pride”).
4.) And most certianly: having the people that I had put all of my energy into letting me down when I felt like I needed them most. (“Because you left me, when I needed you the most”).
I ran into a love that put all my pitiful efforts to shame
He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realise just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.
And oh, how He loves us so,
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us all
Yeah, He loves us,
Oh! how He loves us,
Oh! how He loves us,
Oh! how He loves.
We are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.
And Heaven meets earth like an unforseen kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about, the way…
HE LOVED ME
A Man came into my life who:
1.) Did the absolute MOST loving me:
He required nothing of me:
He saw that I couldn’t meet His standards, so
He came down and met them for me – so that He could give me credit for it, then
He saw that I had a debt that I couldn’t pay, so He took care of the payment and made sure the debt was cleared from my account, and then
He offers me a life with Him and in Him forever.
When I was looking to define my life by other means - determine the worth, value, substance, purpose of my life in everything else (family, friends, relationships, etc.) - He offered me identity, love, acceptance, purpose, LOVE, in Him forever – no chance of Him letting me down like all the others had.
Jesus came down, and in His perfect life, His horrific death and torture (physically, but infinitely more so spiritually), and His miraculous (unprecedented) resurrection, fufilled all of those things for me.
The beauty is, He’s more than capable of being this completely reliable, unshakable source of undeserved love for you too. Just believe that what was just said above is true, and let the beauty of that truth cause you to turn from your ways – the ones that dug you into debt with the Father.
I once heard it said, “no one can see your tears in the rain”. Throughout the ages rain is often considered as a symbol for suffering, also tears.
One day everything can be perfect, the next you lose all reason to go on.
Your whole life you were probably told that “God’s hand” was upon you and as long as you seek Him everything will be okay. No one told you that it rains on the just and the unjust…and when suffering happens you’re told to seek His face more and you just need to have…”faith“.
When it rains at your house does it not rain at your neighbors house? When it snows does it snow on the whole neighborhood? When the sun shines does it not shine on the whole hemisphere?
It rains on the just and the unjust. who among us is just…name one person that you know that can say that they are without sin. There has been no human being ever born that has lived up to the glory of God, except God Himself incarnated into human form. God’s standard for just is someone who has never sinned, so therefore all are unjust and God incarnate is the only one just. God is ultimate judge so therefore the ultimate right to judge is based off of His righteous comparison to Himself, anything not like Him is not worthy to be around Him. So God must make it rain with wrath on the unrighteous.
but God, being so rich in mercy, saw that no one is holy enough to be around Him…and He made it rain. How is that showing mercy and being just? How could a so called “loving” God have wrath and pour it out so heavily on sin? Don’t you see that the fact God poured out His wrath is love!
Romans 3:21But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement,through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
God poured out His wrath on Jesus! The words sacrifice of atonement can be replaced with propitiation or wrath satisfying sacrifice. God justly poured out His wrath…on Jesus instead of you. Jesus once and for all absorbed God’s wrath on the cross. In the same manner that Jesus became sin on the cross freely for you…He freely gave you His just standing with God. So God saw Jesus as unjust and you as just…and He punished Him with every death you should have died every time you sinned…every single time, past, present and future. So if the one person, Jesus Christ God incarnate, who was just got rained on physically and metaphysically…what makes you think you wont?
...is it possible to both love & hate hell at the same time?
Until I realized the seriousness of sin I was unable to realize why I needed to be saved. According to the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, “sin is to ground your very identity into anything outside of Christ”. I thought my good deeds, for the sake of earning God’s favor & avoiding sin, were righteous but in reality they were sin just like any other sin.
In the book of Isaiah chapter 64:6 he basically says our righteousness to God is the same as a filthy rag of menstruation (used tampon). Anything outside of doing things by the grace of God for the glory of God is finding your identity outside of Christ, damnable sin. Hell was my driving force.
Fear of hell will never change the fundamental structures of your heart…and will never keep you out of hell. Heaven is not a place for people who fear hell but a place for people who are loved by and love God.
The only thing to counteract this fear of hell is love, because perfect love casts out fear. You do not know how much Jesus loves you until you realize how much Jesus suffered for you. Unless you believe in hell you will never know how much Jesus sacrificed for you. On the cross Jesus suffered the pain from hell more than anyone would ever experience in hell. Ignoring hell and saying God is “love” is saying that God is not love because for God to be love you would have to know what He went through to prove that love.
As Tim Keller once said, “He came not to bring judgment but to bear judgment.“ In other words Jesus did not come to send people to hell but to experience hell for people. In order for God to be love He had to prove His love by paying the price. Knowing that Jesus just rising from the dead is enough to just believe in Him but by searching the Bible you realize why Jesus had to die. Knowing why Jesus died is the key to understanding His love. Jesus talked more about hell than everyone in the bible put together…because Jesus took the full wrath of God…which is hell, on the cross. In Psalm 22 it says that Jesus’ heart melted inside His chest from the agony he felt; It pleased the Father to bruise the Son. God delighted in destroying Jesus because He knew the fruit it would bear, you being saved from hell and having eternal fellowship with Him forever. Jesus came not to condemn the world but to save the world because the world was already condemned. Our iniquities (hidden sin) like the wind take us away but Jesus is our rock and foundation planting us firmly into His will if we would only take our identity and place it into Him completely.
…are you one of the few? (#shoutout to @VesselsofMercy)
So much of our sin is rooted in our failure to honor God as He should be honored in our lives
“Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused.” Romans 1:21
For many of us we know God, we know the truth, and we know right from wrong. But we’re still sinning.
-We’re still having sex because we think it represents a deep love connection and we’re addicted to the passion
-We cheat on our time sheets just to make sure we have enough money to pay the bills
-We wild out with alcohol and foul language at parties just to fit in
Romans says the problem is not ignorance of the law, most know sex before marriage is wrong, lying is wrong, stealing is wrong, drunkenness is wrong, and most of us know that profanity offends God.
The issue lies with our hearts. We fail to honor God as supreme ruler over everything in our lives…
-If we honored God as our Supreme Lover and Closest Friend, who created the deepest love connection through His son Jesus Christ, we wouldn’t seek love and passion in sex. We would learn that our relationship with God the Father is deeper than any love connection sex could form.
-If we honored God as our Supreme Provider, we wouldn’t need to cheat on our time sheets in order to make sure the bills got paid, we would rest in His ability to care for His children
-If we honored God as the most important person in our lives, truly believing that His opinion is the only one that matters, we wouldn’t sin just to fit in at parties. We could rest in the fact that He chose us no matter what we look like or how ‘cool’ we appear.
For most of us we could trace a lot of our sins and find them rooted in our failure to honor the God we claim to love as He should be honored. If we say He is the ultimate, if we profess that He is our everything, then we have to honor Him in our lives as our ultimate. This means giving him the top spot in our lives, making Him our top priority. A lot of us believe in the power of Jesus Christ, but how many of us step out on our faith and allow Jesus to be our everything??? How would our behavior change with God in the top spot?
According to the 2009 Houston Area Survey, “abortion attitudes are unchanged since the mid 1990s, but their intensity is less.” In other words, there are still some who view the act of abortion as “morally wrong,” yet at the same time, some of these same people don’t feel it is necessary to lay down a law that strictly prohibits abortion.
Here are some specific statistics from the Houston Area Survey.
In 1997, 55% thought abortion was “morally wrong,” as did 57% in 2009; 59% in 1997 were opposed to a law making it harder to obtain an abortion, as were 54% this year.
In the 2009 survey, 57% said they believed that abortion is “morally wrong,” yet only 38% were in favor of “a law that would make it more difficult for a woman to obtain an abortion.” It is these “tolerant traditionalists” — area residents who support the right of others to make personal choices of which they themselves might disapprove — who have helped turn Houston into a “progressive” rather than a “traditionalistic” city.
One night I got on twitter and tweeted, “Who is against abortion, but not for a law banning abortion? And why?,” and I received 5 responses: 3 in the form of “at replies,” 1 via sms text, and 1 via email.
Of the 5 responses, some based their stance of not favoring a law banning abortion, although being against abortion, on condition, whether that condition be of the wife or of the child.
“I’m against it [abortion], but you never know what the situation is based on. If the woman was raped, then I feel she should have a choice to terminate her pregnancy,” T.K. Sadler, a junior at University of Houston, said.
“When it comes to birth defects that are detected in the womb, I wouldnt want the child to suffer,” Vyanna Carroll, a junior at University of Houston, said.
Others didn’t base their decision on the situation of the conception, nor the condition of the “child” in the womb, but instead they took a look at the implications and possible results of implementing a law banning abortion.
“If you make it [abortion] illegal, people will just find ways to do it anyways; illegal ways or unsafe ways,” Sandra Aderibigbe, senior at Texas A&M said.
“[I'm] against abortion morally but legally, if you begin restricting women and their bodies again it is a major loss to women’s rights,” Denise Alex, recent graduate of Texas A&M, said.
I also received a response that had absolutely nothing to do with a victim of rape, child defects, illegal action, or women’s rights, but had solely to do with the human conscious.
“To me, it is contradiction to say ‘I would not do that,’ and in the same token say, ‘But you can do that.’ It’s a form of relativism. I think when you realize that there is an outside force that governs the general morals of human beings, we must see that the outside force must be right, due to general moralistic consensus, and that we can be wrong if we do not align ourselves with that force. As Paul stated in Acts 17, that “unknown god” or “outside force” is the Creator of the Universe; God.” – David Dawkins, senior, University of Houston.
When I was young I walked down that church aisle I don’t know how many times.
It seemed like every time somebody did an invitation to come to “God” I ashamedly went down. One time my dad even made fun of me for going down at some youth conference saying, “I thought you got saved them few times…why you still acting like you not”. He was talking about how I was still living my life as if I never went down the aisle with tears in my eyes saying “today is the day I’ll remember for the rest of my life”…and would completely forget about it next week.
It was a cycle for me…man speaks…I walk up…someone hugs me…people clap…tells me my life is going to be different forever…and rinse, lather, repeat. I laugh when I think about how Kanye said “I‘ve been baptized at least three or four times“, because I really have been. That one line would always get me to come back up there, “If you were to die today do you know where you will spend eternity”. I would be like dang why he had to ask that…man time to take this walk of shame because I have no idea where I would go if I died today.
I was pretty sure I was going to the Americanized unbiblical fiery pits of hell with red satan and his tail with pitch fork accessory.
Don’t worry, because the Biblical imagery of hell fire is merely metaphorical…for something infinitely unimaginably worse.
My driving force for doing good was the idea that hell was not the place I wanted to beforever, for-ever, for-ev-er… I did good deeds outside of the purpose of pleasing a Holy and Righteous God…but isn’t that the same thing pharisees said and did?
I was told of the free gift of salvation but I was never told of the free gift of sanctification. Philippians 1:6 says, “And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” The Apostle Paul speaks in past, present, and future tense of the work of Jesus Christ. He says a good work was started in you…that good work is the completed work on the cross. Jesus began the process of sanctification by initiating salvation by dying on the cross to sin, satan, and death. Upon salvation the Holy Spirit moves into your life renovating your mind to not gratify the desires of the flesh. You will not be perfect but you will be when Christ comes back. All Jesus asks for is a lifestyle of repentance, hating what God hates and loving what God loves. The process of sanctification is a linear journey beginning with Christ and ending with Christ; the Author and Finisher of your faith…but what do I do about my fear of hell…? (to be [or not to be?] continued)