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Recent Writings:

Religious teaching and preaching always – always; involves prompting the hearer to pray more, give more, and to try to be perfect.

Biblical teaching changes the focus saying, “The just shall live by faith.”

Does faith nullify that a Christian should pray, that he should give generously, or that he should not give of himself all that he has or is? NO!

The difference is – the difference between all religion and the Christian’s message – is that the Christian is introduced to God the Savior: The Savior saves him who cannot save himself.

Religion teaches that we are alone in the struggle of life. The Bible teaches that God has never left us to ourselves – and alone.

“For, by grace are ye saved through faith, and not of yourselves, it is a gift of God, not of works (sheer self-effort) lest any man should boast.”

Can we imagine heaven be a place of boasters saying, “This is how I made it!” No!

In heaven – and here on earth – the most normal Christian thing is his boast about His Savior. Actually, a normal Christian thing also, the Christian may say of himself, “I was the chief of sinners.” The worst!

The Bible teaches that a Christian is a twice-born person: born of his mother through natural birth, and born of the Spirit through supernatural birth.
. We can “become” a child of God in much the same way as was Jesus. He is “The only begotten of the Father,” one of a kind. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth shall not perish, but has everlasting life.”

Our believing God is a faith response to the inner voice of the invisible Holy Spirit. Faith is always a response – the right response. Faith is pure honesty and is not blind. Faith and love, both having to do with invisible reality, are inseparable. Normal Christianity is distinguished from all religions: every Christian must have become one through a love-faith encounter with the Lord. The Bible teaches that Jesus; “Came to His own, but his own received him not.”

Things we think that we can understand we tend to call natural; however, we actually only understand fragment of the whole truth concerning anything. And much of what we have thought we understood has been overturned by further information later on. Actually the existence of anything that exists is miracle — a product of divine creation.

A Christian is a divine re-creation; that involves forgiveness of his wrong doing; and payment for the debt he occurred by sinning.

Religion always has to do with correcting our deficiencies by our own efforts. True Christianity reveals that God is merciful, that out of His loving-kindness He “saves our lives from destruction,” if we will be honest with Him so He can – He gives us that option.
Furthermore, the Lord desires – as any worthy parent should, desire to “Crown our lives with loving-kindness.” (Psalm 103)

Religion does not present the divine as a Savior. The Bible does.
Religion does not expect the miraculous, but the normal Christian lives by such hope. The Christian’s God is “Mighty to save.”
Religion often mocks the concept of being saved.

But some common sense key factors which distinguish Christianity from religions are cherished.
We agree that for one to lay down his life for another is “The ultimate sacrifice.” God did that.
We agree that forgiveness is greater than judgment and accusation: the Gospel of God offers divine mercy.
We agree that generosity is greater than accumulation and greed: never has generosity been so on display as has it been on the cross of Calvary.

The statement by Jesus, “The thief came but to steal, maim, and destroy” — we see on earth throughout all its days this happening.
“But I have come to give you life, and give it to you abundantly.” (John 10:10)
Abundantly “ever-lasting and eternally blessed. He chooses to have us live in fellowship with Him forever.

A “normal” Christian is someone who took the invitation of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus said, “If any man is burdened or heavy laden” –whoever has eyes to see the condition of this world today must be burdened, or the weight that our sin has brought upon us and those we’ve wronged.
Those suffering as we speak, the terminally ill, the sorrow in the Middle East, their ambitions there clearly expressed – let such as person … “come unto Me.”

A normal Christian is someone who did come unto Him. The normal Christian’s story, his testimony, has been a gospel message ever since and has been there for any willing to seek God in all ages

There is only one, Christianity that is normal to all centuries: “This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long.”

Normal Christianity is a brotherhood of like-minded faith; Jesus being the Elder Brother, by the Spirit, doing miracles in all ages.

He that ministers to you in the Spirit and worketh miracles among you (does so) by the hearing of faith.”
(Galations 3:5)

Buddy

Everyone, at times, experiences the pain of love given but not returned. But, are we too quick in giving up; in turning away those who have disappointed us? Maybe we do, but God does not.

God is self-giving love.
Of himself he says, “Love suffers long and is kind.”

We see the love of Father God in the parable of the prodigal son: the son seemed to do everything wrong. Already the father has given him his inheritance.

Do we not see that even the opportunity of life is a gift from another; and inheritance not deserved, not asked for.
And the “bad” son spoils his life. Using the gift of life-his potentials-
so selfishly.

Let’s not be too quick to judge him. Are we not are looking at our selves?

Perhaps we have not gotten so caught up as did this “Prodigal,” but we are near of kin to him in many ways.

Given his set of circumstances are we so confident that we would not have fallen so deeply as did he?

Perhaps we had someone in our corner. Someone that helped us more than we realize – and this boy did not.

Yet the Father was watching. He was not judging. He was just there – watching, waiting, knowing that life must come crashing down – – – and He would be there; not to scold but rather to reassure. And the time came.

“Kill the fatted calf,” shout the Father, “my son has come to me hoping that I can help him. My son has come home!”

No confession comes from the son’s lips: nor any correction from the Father’s.

Can we do better? Surely not! Is this a picture of happiness? There is none better.

The Father had been long in suffering his son’s plight. Certainly he did not stoop to blaming. The stakes were too high for that.

Oh, dear friends do we not see that happiness can be contaminated before it is allowed to happen – if we do as we are told not to do?
“Judge not that ye be not judged.”

The difference between Father God and us is that He alone has the right to judge but chooses not to. And we, who are hypocrites to judge, do so quite easily; and destroy rather than heal those in our paths.

Buddy

“Faith in God can move a mighty mountain,” we once sang in our church located on Falls Avenue. And through our lives God moved mightily.

Falls Avenue Wesleyan Church became an icon among other churches in America where the Lord was actually answering prayers; where the people prayed expecting miracles to happen: nothing less than a mighty move of God should be expected when we pray.

How long, Christian leaders, pastors, and laymen, has it been since under your teaching: “The place was shaken!”

God is eager to touch the people for whom His Son gave His life.

Instead, the Christian movement has been stifled because many began believing that God does not immediately answer our sincere pleas to Him.

Not knowing what we are doing, we take the Lord’s place thinking that we are the long-suffering, and that the Lord is apparently not ready to come in His healing, liberating power.

Many now exalt long-praying as long-suffering and the God who says He “comes right early” to not really coming quickly to our need.

“The place was shaken wherein they were gathered together; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness. And the multitude of them who believed were of one heart and soul.”

The Book of Acts has been called by some, “The Acts of the Holy Spirit;” by others as “The Acts of the First Century Church;” it is both.

We cannot be effective witnesses except that the Holy Spirit moves in accord with our speech. Nor could Jesus bear fruit except that the Holy Spirit operated in accord with Him.

“And they went forth,” we read elsewhere, “and preached every where the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.”

“And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people – – – and believers were the more added to the church, multitudes both men and women even so much that they even carried the out the sick – – -and they were healed every one…”

This was happening within the confines of a persecuted church.

We linger on earth a short while. Our eternal home is not here. We have been saved and are now His workmanship. We are saved from the world – though we are sent back into it for a season.

Human beings always understand only in part such that the same faith described in the book of Hebrews is that faith which we exercise.
We can be assured knowing this, that the Lord has more-than-adequately revealed himself to us, given his promises to us, and will never leave us or forsake us. We will no doubt feel forsaken. The battle of faith involves taking the Lord at His word.

If we will abide in Him, boldly share Him and his word to those around us who will let us, expect that in going forth He will accompany our words.

Indeed, we must not neglect (telling others and remembering ourselves) “so great a salvation.”

Buddy