TOPICS of 2021
Of all the great truths in the Bible, the greatest, most amazing, and beautiful is the truth expressed in three words:
"God is love".
Human love is a recognition of merit. Many think if I am loved, then I am special. The more they love me, the greater is my value. Likewise the saying, "I love you” can be evaluated and rewarded with my love. Praise, compliments, rapturous glances, recognition of uniqueness are essential attributes of human love. Love needs to be earned, it needs to be supported, it needs to be met. After all, they can stop loving me and instead love another, more worthy than me. The soul seeks such love, seeks recognition, seeks fame.
But the love of God is absolutely different from the love of man, not like the love of this world. God's love is eternal and perfect. This is a fire that will never go out, because it does not feed on the merits of those whom it loves and not on their reciprocity. The source of eternal love is deep in the heart of God, it is His essence, His nature is to love. He stays the same and never changes. This love cannot be stopped or defeated. It is love that conquers everything: pride, lies, treason. Love conquers sin, although at times it seems that sin is stronger than love. But light is stronger than darkness, truth is stronger than lies, love is stronger than sin. God's love is a force that acts and conquers everything.
Forgiveness is a bit of an abstract concept. At first glance, it may seem easy to forgive. But then, forgiving someone close to us who hurt or caused us pain can be a real test for us and our soul.
The first reaction and thought that come to us: “How could you do this? What were you thinking? Did you really hope that I would not recognize or notice? "
Friends, when it comes to us personally or our friend, someone that is close to us getting hurt by another person, forgiving that person is the most difficult task we have to encounter. At that point it doesn’t matter what exactly happened. Forgiving that person isn’t easy.
Almost all of us have been in such situations: we offended someone, someone offended us. In any relationship we have with each other, forgiveness is a constant necessity.
Sometimes we need to be forgiven
and sometimes we ourselves must forgive. And more often, it is much more difficult to forgive someone. Most of the time, we do not see ourselves as guilty. And we carry this burden in ourselves. To ask for forgiveness means to remove this burden from the soul.
Forgiveness is the path to liberation. To forgive is to forget, the Lord himself says: "I will forgive their iniquities and I will no longer remember their sins."
The Lord says I forgive you and not only forgive, but I will never remember those sins again.
After all, the words of Jesus Christ are always truthful, in the Gospel of Matthew 6: 14-15 verses: For if you forgive people their sins, then your Heavenly Father will also forgive you,
15 but if you will not forgive people their sins, then your Father will not forgive you your sins.
Let these words this month be our reflection on such an important topic as forgiveness, which is conditioned by the words: if we forgive, we learn to forgive, then our Heavenly Father will also be able to forgive us.
Like all God's qualities, God's kindness (or, as the Bible calls it, goodness) is so great that it is impossible for people to fully understand it. We lack the ability to grasp in our minds the absolute goodness of God's nature.
God is good! He is kind. His essence, His nature, His personality, His being is the greatest good! Good is the essence of everything He does.
God not only does good. His whole essence is woven from kindness,
All His plans and intentions are good and hold in them great kindness.
Jer 29:11 For only I know the intentions that I have for you, says the Lord, intentions for good and not for evil, in order to give you a future and hope. All God's actions lead to the good of His children.
Rom 8:28 Moreover, we know that to those who love God, who are called according to [His] will, all things work together for good.
God is good in his essence. God's favor is eternal! In fact, good does not exist apart from God, it does not arise by itself - outside, or apart from Him. All the rest of creation can be good and kind only through a relationship with God. God is the source of all good and all good things.
Because humans are created in the image of God, they are able to show kindness (Genesis 1:27). Kindness is goodness, the fruit of the spirit.
The fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, mercy, faith, meekness, self-control. (Galatians 5:22.)
This means that kindness can be developed - it grows as a person learns more about God, his Creator, and approaches Him.
God is calling us: “Be kind to one another” (Ephesians 4:32).
Kindness can cause us some sort of sacrifice. Most of the time doesn’t depend on our abilities or physical strength. It is often enough to smile, say a kind word, offer help, make a small gift of attention. Truly, a small act of kindness can work a real miracle. If kindness is accompanied by the right motives, and especially if it is shown by a person who loves God, it can warm many hearts. Even if your kindness was not appreciated, remember: it was not in vain. It is very valuable in the eyes of God. The Bible assures us that a person who acts kindly, "lends to God." He who benefits the poor lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his good deed. (Proverbs 19:17). So why not look for opportunities to show kindness to those around us?
Faithfulness - article
Why is faithfulness so precious in the eyes of God? Faithfulness is one of the most important qualities in the nature of God. As it is written in the letter of James, God “has no change and not a shadow of change” (James 1:17). God is always faithful.
SO WHAT IS FAITHFULNESS?
If you look into the dictionaries, then the explanation of the words "loyalty, faithful" can be found as follows: compliance with truth, reality, situation; correctness, accuracy; something that does not raise doubts about its reliability; undoubted, obvious.
A faithful person is someone who does not betray, fail, change, reliable in any circumstances.
LOYALTY TAKES EFFORT
Struck by sin, human nature is prone to change, infidelity. This is manifested in the fact that people do not keep their word, violate obligations, do not complete the work they have begun, cheat on their spouses, under pressure, circumstances easily change their minds and behavior.
It takes effort.
This is especially true for Christians. It is a great mistake to think that, having found peace with God, having entered into a covenant with Him, having become a part of the Church, no effort is needed. It is actually quite the opposite, when a person leaves the general course of the sinful world, going to destruction, he needs to make great efforts to remain faithful to God, the Church.
FAITHFULNESS IN EVERYTHING
Faithfulness must be shown in all areas of life.
Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life ”(Rev. 2:10).
The daily life of a Christian also requires constancy and faithfulness, daily battles with oneself and devilish temptations. It's incredibly difficult to be faithful in seemingly unimportant, routine things. But for God there are no trifles.
I am sure that all Christians made a firm decision to study the Bible regularly, to fast, to get up early in the morning for prayer every day, to pay tithing consistently ...
The Lord is merciful! His mercy is renewed every morning! The Lord is faithful! And it expects from us a store of fidelity in everything, as far as our strength allows us. Then we will be pleasing to God.
What is true friendship according to the Bible?
The Lord Jesus Christ gave us the definition of a true friend: "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you" (John 15:13-15). Jesus is the pure example of a true friend, for He laid down His life for His "friends." What is more, anyone may become His friend by trusting in Him as his personal savior, being born again and receiving new life in Him.
There is an example of true friendship between David and Saul’s son Jonathan, who, in spite of his father Saul’s pursuit of David and attempts to kill him, stood by his friend. You will find that story in 1 Samuel chapter 18 through chapter 20. Some pertinent passages are 1 Samuel 18:1-4; 19: 4-7; 20:11-17, 41-42.
Proverbs is another good source of wisdom regarding friends. "A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity" (Proverbs 17:17). "A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother" (Proverbs 18:24). The issue here is that in order have a friend, one must be a friend. "Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses" (Proverbs 27:6). "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another" (Proverbs 27:17).
The principle of friendship is also found in Amos. "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" (Amos 3:3 KJV). Friends are of like mind. The truth that comes from all of this is a friendship is a relationship that is entered into by individuals, and it is only as good or as close as those individuals choose to make it. Someone has said that if you can count your true friends on the fingers of one hand, you are blessed. A friend is one whom you can be yourself with and never fear that he or she will judge you. A friend is someone that you can confide in with complete trust. A friend is someone you respect and that respects you, not based upon worthiness but based upon a likeness of mind.
Finally, the real definition of a true friend comes from the Apostle Paul: "For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:7-8). "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends" (John 15:13). Now, that is true friendship!
James 1: 2-4
"Accept with great joy, my brothers, when you fall into various temptations, knowing that the test of your faith produces PATIENCE; patience must have a perfect effect, so that you are perfect in all its fullness, without any lack."
To be perfect in all its fullness, we need a perfect action of patience.
Patience - why is it necessary?
Hebrews 12: 1-2
"Therefore, having such a cloud of witnesses around us, we will also cast off every burden and sin that is stalling us, and we will pass through the field that is before us with patience, looking at the ruler and finisher of the faith, Jesus, who, instead of the joy that was before him, endured the cross, ignoring shame, and sat at the right hand of the throne of God.
There is a field that we must pass through, and we must pass it WITH PATIENCE, looking at Jesus, who also endured the cross with patience, for the sake of the joy that awaits him later. Think about the patience of Christ. He has never done harm to anyone. He healed the maimed, raised the dead, fulfilled the will of the Lord in all its greatness. Despite this, he was persecuted and tortured like no other, until the crucifixion. Did Christ have any reason to be angry and want to give up everything, because the people he served treated him so terribly?
Instead, HE ENDURED.
You suffer when the goal you want to achieve is much more important than the torment that is tormenting you now. So did Jesus. He endured pain and humiliation, seeing what would follow - the salvation of our souls, made possible thanks to his torment. He is a shining example of patience for us, the one we should look to when we run in our race.
Patience: How is it born?
Romans 5: 3-5
"And not only this, but we also boast in tribulations, knowing that from tribulation comes patience, from patience experience, from experience hope, and hope does not shame, because the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit given to us."
James 1: 2-4:
"Accept with great joy, my brothers, when you fall into various temptations, knowing that the test of your faith produces patience; patience must have a perfect effect, so that you are perfect in all its fullness, without any lack."
In fact, who would have thought that the patience that we need so much to fulfill the will of the Lord and participate in the race is born out of sorrows and trials? Perhaps for this reason, the two passages above tell us to accept temptations with great joy and to boast of sorrows!!! For if we remain believers, this will produce patience, from which, in turn, experience, hope, perfect action will grow!
Let us submit to the Lord and let Him do with us whatever HE WANTS. Let us entrust all our worries, all the "affairs of life", to God. "Therefore, having such a cloud of witnesses around us, we will also throw off every burden and sin that is stalling us, AND we WILL PASS THE FIELD BEFORE US WITH PATIENCE, LOOKING AT THE RULER AND FINISHER OF THE FAITH, JESUS."
Have you ever thought about whether you are honest with yourself and the people around you? Didn't you want to look better, weren't you afraid of the truth about yourself?
It is important to be honest and accept the truth about yourself and your life, not to play for the public, not just try to look good.
Every day we pass integrity checks: should I tell the cashier that he gave extra change; should I return to the owner an expensive thing that he lost and found by you; should I frankly admit to the boss that I was late for work not because of traffic jams, but because I simply overslept?
It can be difficult to act honestly in such situations, because in our society the idea is accepted that a small lie is not considered a lie. It is claimed that everyone is lying a little, so there is nothing shameful in embellishing, understating, deceiving. Rather, the ability to lie in time is considered not a vice,but the ability to live.
People have stopped appreciating absolute honesty. They create their own standards for what is considered good and what is considered bad. The Bible says about our time: "Everyone did what seemed right to him" (Sud. 17: 6).
Let people have changed, and their concepts of morality and goodness have changed. But God does not change. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. And God's concepts of morality and goodness were fixed once and for all in the Bible. They are valid today, as they were hundreds of years ago. Therefore, believers need to look up to them, and not to the changing values of this world.
What the Bible says about honesty:
1. "But an honest man thinks of what is honest, and stands firm in all that is honest" (Isaiah 32: 8)
2. "And Solomon said, If he is an honest man, not a hair of his hair will fall to the ground; but if deceit is found in him, he will die" (3 Samuel 1: 52)
3. "Finally, my brothers, what is only true, what is honest, what is just, what is pure, what is kind, what is worthy, what is only virtue and praise, think about it" (Phil. 4: 8)
4. "He who is faithful in small things and in many things is faithful, but he who is unfaithful in small things is also unfaithful in many things" (Luke 16: 10)
5. "... having faith and a good conscience, which some rejected, were shipwrecked in faith" (1 Tim. 1: 19)
6. "The designs of the righteous are true, but the designs of the wicked are deceitful" (Prov. 12: 5)
7. "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor" (Exodus 20: 16)
8. "The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness shall destroy them" (PR. 11:3)
9. "Don't steal, nor lie to one another" (Lev. 19:11)
10. "Therefore, putting away lying, speak truth each one with his neighbor, for we are members one of another" (Eph.4:25)
11. "don't lie to each other, having put off the old man with his deeds" (Col. 3:9)
12. "These six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to Him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren" (PR. 6:16-19)
13. "The king shall rejoice in God, praised be anyone who swears by Them, because the lips are blocked speaking lies" (PS.62:12)