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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Have You Ever Made A Leap of Faith?

Have You Ever Made A Leap of Faith?

      Years ago when I was a sky diving instructor in the Army we loved new students. Many people say I would never do that.  All I can say to that is you do not know what you are missing. When a student made his first jump we would often say he was fat, dumb and happy.  He did so because he had no idea what he was getting into.  He was like a sheep going to slaughter not a clue about what was going to happen to him.  I never had a student I trained refuse to make that first jump.  If they went up they jumped.  I can honestly say I never pushed a student out of the plane.  The last thing in the world you want is a panicked student who can’t think clearly.   When it came to the second jump however, that was a whole different story.  Yes several backed out of the second jump.  Most students were hooked on a totally new way of life.  It almost becomes a religion to many, to others it becomes an obsession.

        Most people who do not want to live a Godly life are not willing to make a leap of faith.  They feel that way because they think you have to give up too much.  You can’t convince them that it is totally the opposite.  You gain so much. It takes a leap of faith to place your life in the hands of God.  The truth though is that it already is. The only thing you are really doing is acknowledging the truth of the situation.  When the spirit awakens in you it creates a thirst to know more about God and how he has revealed himself to mankind.  One who is truly searching is not closed minded but open to receiving the revelation of God in their lives.  The ones who have closed minds are usually the ones who are following the sayings and leadership of a person and not God.  Many supposedly enlightened people have an agenda.  It is usually to convert people to their own point of view. Seldom is that a truly enlightening experience.

     One of my favorite songs is by an artist named Kris Kristofferson and he has a verse in the song , “Jesus Was a Capricorn”  The verse says it all. “Most of us hate anything we do not understand” That is one of the most honest statements I have ever heard in my life. There is so much truth in it.  Even inside the Christian faith there are issues that will divide people.  The issue of speaking in tongues and the gifts of healing are just a couple.  Some groups say those two things are no longer valid.  Still others say if you do not believe in them you are not a Christian. So yes not understanding can cause problems.
       My view on the matter is pretty simple. In the Bible it says, God is the same yesterday, today and forever.  Well he healed in the time of the prophets like Elijah and Elisha.  He healed at the time of Christ and he is still healing.  If he isn’t why are we wasting our time praying for him to do so?  The verses that statement is taken from is 1st Corinthians 13:8-10  Charity never fails: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.  9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

       My view on the matter is pretty simple.  Yes it says those things shall cease, but it puts a condition and a when they shall cease.  Verse 10 makes clear it will not happen till that which is perfect is come.  That which is perfect is Christ.  As this was written when he had already been here and left it had to mean when he came back.  I base that conclusion on a prayer by Jesus himself.  Mark 16: 15-18 is one time Jesus speaks on the matter and it is for those spreading His Word.  When I put in quotes I put the whole part it is in.  The parts I consider important are underlined.
15And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believes not shall be damned. 17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

Then in John 14; 12-31 again he says it is for after he leaves.
     Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. 13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him: but ye know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you.
18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.  19 Yet a little while, and the world sees me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. 20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. 21 He that hath my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. 22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24 He that loves me not keeps not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

25These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. 26But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. 27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me,  ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. 29 And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe. 30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world comes, and hath nothing in me. 31 But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.
 Finally in John 17:17-20 Christ makes clear he requests it not only for his followers, but those who come after.
     17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. 18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. 
20Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
        If you read these in their proper context you can plainly see that Jesus made sure that those that came after had the same powers he gave to his disciples.

      If you look at what God has to say on the matter you quickly learn that things that are issues to lots of people do not even come into view when you are looking from Gods perspective.  Take a look at Proverbs 6:16-19 and you will find things that are an issue with God.  The Bible says there are seven things that are an abomination to God.  Four out of the seven are issues which involve the tongue.  It is funny adultery and homosexuality did not even make the list.  Lying, bearing a false witness, devising wicked imaginations and sowing discord among your brothers are on the list.  Maybe a few things could be grouped under wicked imaginations.  It is not our job to determine what things are or are not in the categories above.  It is anyone following Gods Word to stay away from that fine line that separates good and bad. Guess who has the final word on the matter.  It is not us.

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