Wednesday, 13 December 2017

How do you love Jesus?

You hear it all the time.  "We're just trying to gather together with people who love the Lord."

But how do you love the Lord?  What does it mean to "Love the Lord"? 

Our first problem is that we think we know what love is.  Do we really know what it means to love - or does God have to teach us by giving us the Ten Commandments?  "Love is the fulfilling of the Law" (Romans 13:10).  The Ten Commandments are God's teaching on love.  Love for God, and love for the neighbour (Matt. 22:37-38).  It is the first table of the Law (Commandments 1-3) that teaches us how to love God.

But we think we know love.  We aren't looking to the Commandments to teach us - we're looking inside ourselves - to our hearts.  Have you ever got the impression from someone who says they "love the Lord" that what they mean is "He makes me feel good"?  I have strong emotions for the Lord.  I love Him.  Yes, so do I - but what about when He disciplines you as your heavenly Father?  What about when He doesn't give you what you pray for because His Will is different?  What about when He doesn't make you feel good - do you love Him then?  Is love for God more than warm feelings?

God teaches what it means to love Him - and it is not what we would first expect.

1. You shall have no other gods.
2. You shall not misuse the Name of the LORD your God.
3. Remember the Sabbath Day by keeping it holy.

***According to God, Loving Him is entirely about how we treat His Holy Word, not about how He makes us feel.  Our love for Him is an action, one He describes in the first table.***

First Commandment:  Is God and His Word first?  The first thing we trust?  The first thing we look to when we want to understand and receive goodness? 

Second Commandment: Does God's Word and Name have such a place in our lives, our heart and minds, that its purity is primary?  Are we chiefly concerned with whether His Word is presented truthfully and faithfully?  Are we praying for this?  Studying diligently to be sure its happening in our midst?  Is His doctrine important?

Third Commandment: Is the hearing of God's Word the ordering principle of our life?  The thing upon which our lives are built?  Do we recognize that without His Word our day is unholy, but by His Word all things, even we, are made holy?

This is love for God - Jesus teaches.  It is about trusting, studying and hearing His Word.  It is about growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18). 

Beautiful Savior is trying to gather together with people who love the Lord - in study of His most faithful and merciful Word and promises.  Come, learn, grow.  To Him be glory both now and to the day of eternity.  Amen.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Are you a Rebel?

*This following post was written by Rev. Ted Giese and used with permission.

Are you a Rebel? There are two kinds of rebels. There are the kind who rebel against the World and its influences on society and culture, and there are the kind of rebels who rebel against God and His Word. Which kind are you?

In the Old Testament we are warned, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20) While the World is currently castigating sexual abuse in Hollywood, the News Media and Government, it is a snake eating its own tail - for it was the World through these very agencies of power that gave licence and encouragement to both young and old to have sex before marriage, to live together before marriage, to live together without marriage, to seek divorce for “irreconcilable” differences, to downplay the effects of pornography and promiscuous behaviour, to fight one by one for the rights of every kind of sexual behaviour imaginable, to soften attitudes on adultery and abortion. For years they have said evil is good - To do what feels right - to be true to your own heart. Yet Jesus says “out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.” (Matthew 15:19)

In the last 60 or so years the Church has often failed to push back hard enough against the sexual revolution. We’ve talked a big game but have folded like a cheap suit for fear of losing you. But we have done you no favours. Forgive us. Permissiveness only helps spread the darkness. It hides the light. In the darkness you have experienced pain and suffering; you have sinned against others and others have sinned against you.

What would truly be rebellious today? What would make you a real Rebel these days? If you’re in a relationship and you’re living together, if you’re engaging in pre-marital sex … then ask yourself is this the person for me? Should I be getting married to them or should I be breaking it off? If the answer is yes then get married, have your common-law relationship blessed by God; the fee to purchase a marriage licence is $60. Come to us and we will help you. If you are having an affair break it off and fess up to it, face the music and seek forgiveness in Jesus. If you have had an abortion or you have coerced someone into having one and you feel the guilt of it and need forgiveness, come to us and we will help you with private confession and absolution. Maybe you want to have a big family but the World is pressuring you to be financially afraid of having children, to be afraid of global warming or whatever the fear of the day is, be encouraged; have your children, make a family for yourself and gather together here at Beautiful Savior.

This Christmas be a rebel, buck the trends and temptations of the World; turn to Jesus and to God’s Word. And remember in a dark World it is Jesus who says, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12) The World without Jesus is darkness. Come, gather around the Light. Come talk to us, we'd like to help.