Sunday Collectives 12/14/15 – 12/20/15
More than any other creation of God, man alone reflects the image of God. We know from the creation record that He created them male and female. All races and nationalities are of this special creation. Thus, God uniquely forms all personalities in His image, deserving of full dignity, respect and love as given through God.
Any deviations or derivatives from the original creation as man and woman are a result of a fallen world and the sin that now encompasses and controls that world. Gender equality is not only a gift, but to be considered as part of the original design and specifically intended for each individual.
God has many qualities and gifts, but of all His qualities, none expresses His character more, nor does He have a better gift than His grace. All grace originates with God. We can classify Grace into two main categories.
These categories are often classified as common grace and special, or what we might refer to as trans-forming, saving grace. Common grace is that which everyone experiences whether one believes in it or not. Common grace is not relevant to us placing faith in it or even believing in God to experience it.
Who helps you when things get tough?
Who is there to help when you are discouraged, depressed, lonely?
Who helps you when you feel all alone?
I was thinking about this in the night. As I thought about what I face, what others deal with, the pains of our world; the question came to my mind, “who is my helper? who will help me with the things I face? Who will help those who are broken by their loss?”
For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen! Isaiah 9:6-7 (NLT)
The prophet Isaiah lived over 700 years before Jesus was born. And yet here are the beautiful words that promise a Messiah, a Savior. Today I know that my Savior lives but I look with Hope for the time that He will come again to take me home with Him forever.
How does it happen? We know Jesus, we know the Word, we have walked in the power of His Holy Spirit, then one day we find ourselves on the outside looking in! Did it happen all at once? Did we not see it coming? Can we ever find our way back?
Sometimes it comes through an injury, delivered by someone we loved and trusted; sometimes through our own neglect, pride. We can’t forgive them and we can’t forgive ourselves. And then the true enemy begins to reveal himself, and make it personal, as he speaks to us regarding: all the time you have wasted; how could they have done this to you?
By Patrick Badstibner
Can there be any other reaction when one has encountered the amazing grace of God, than an overwhelming eruption of emotional joy and praise towards God?
If so, then why do we see so few eruptions? Why are the volcanoes of our hearts not erupting with gratuitous affections and instead are often silent? Have we not met this very same grace?
A Quiet Volcano
In truth, the volcano of emotions that reside in our hearts, are lying dormant. They’re silent and appear to betray that we have barely moved from life to death.