Live it “UP”
I hadn’t seen my high school buddies in over a year. We had been close to being the three musketeers in high school; if there was mischief or good times to be had we were right there. We had been away at separate colleges and with summer time finally here we were all set to get together, share freshman year stories, reconnect and live it up. In fact, “live it up” became our moto for the trip. We had been planning for weeks a good time of partying, drinking, and being up all night. In the end, we had a great time. We enjoyed ourselves, but each year and each summer our times of ‘living it up’ got quieter, and not so wild or crazy. As we got older – allegedly more mature – we found that we didn’t ‘live it up’ so much.
Adulting is hard. Life after college is full of pesky responsibilities and obligations. Those that successfully navigate it seem to naturally lose their ‘party’ edge; likely for the best. The Downside to loosing that edge however, is allowing the opportunity to resign ourselves to the doldrums of life. Going through the ‘adulting’ motions, and getting by day by day. We lose the fun and the drive that we had younger in life. Yet in Matthew 18:3 we see where Christ informs us that, “…unless you turn from your sins, and become like little children, you will never enter the Kingdom of God.” So, repenting from our sins, and becoming like children, do we also need to be carefree, excited and wide-eyed in the Grace we’ve so generously received through our lives in Jesus that we should just……..live it up? “I’m free in Christ, and free indeed……so YAY”…. Not quite.
We need to remember in our childlike emulation of Christ; that a life in Christ is a lifetime of daily commitments. Each day is new, each day has its new temptations, trials, and pitfalls. The Bible tells us to live correctly – Righteously. We find in Lev. 19:2, and 1 John 3:7 “Give the following instructions to the entire community of Israel. You must be Holy, for I, the Lord, am Holy.”, and, “Dear children, don’t let anyone deceive you about this, when people do what is right, it shows that they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous.” Respectively. So, we are told to live correctly, and be as children, but not lackadaisical, so how in the world do we know what correct is, how to put all of that together?
The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Colossians (3:1-2) shows us, “……Set your eyes on the realities of Heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of Heaven, not the things of Earth”. We live correctly by focusing and centering our lives upon Christ. In short, we should “live it UP” [vertically]
This image from Colossians is remarkably similar to Jesus’ own answer to the question of how to live. When asked which was the greatest commandment to follow, Jesus responds that it is to Love God with all your heart, and the second is like it: to love your neighbor as yourself (Matt 22:37-39).
So how do we apply this in our current circumstance, in our current societal and political climate? To truly understand the answer to this question, we must first understand how Jesus loves us.
I have a friend named Rick, who recently told me that he realized how Jesus loves him-and loves us through a story on the radio. He told me that he had heard the story of a woman in a candy store, who saw a man about to purchase some candy, but she saw that he had also slipped a handful of candy into his pocket. He was going to pay for most of it, but not what he had hidden in his pocket. Not wanting the man to steal the candy, but not wanting to make a scene either, she simply approached him, mentioned that she had seen him hide the candy and that she only wanted to pay for the candy in his pocket. No-one would have to know, and she didn’t want any trouble. “I would just like to pay that for you” she told him. After some reluctance and denial, the man agreed, she gave him some extra money and all was well. In relaying this story to me, Rick said, “then it hit me. That’s what Jesus did on the cross. He took a look at all of the sin and burdens from it that we have hidden in ourselves and said, “I’d just like to pay that for you” for ME!” He was very moved that Jesus loved him-and all of us deeply and personally enough to pay that for us. It was a very powerful moment, and he is absolutely right.
Gods response to the sin of the world was to love us completely, self-sacrificially, and through the blood of Jesus on the cross removed the stain and burden of the worlds sin. God comes to each of us personally, looking at the sin we carry hidden in the pockets of our hearts, taps us on the shoulder and softly says, “I’d like to pay that for you”. We, like the man in ricks story, have to respond. We have to accept and trust in Jesus’ rescuing work on the cross just as the man had to trust the woman not to out his attempt at theft. Our response to God must be to follow the way of Christ, to follow His commands. Our response to Gods self-sacrificial love for us must be to self-sacrificially love God as well. To live our lives, UP – focused on Him. This is how we, today, as Paul advised, “focus on things above, and not on earthly things.” We focus our lives on Jesus, because He focused his death on us. We live righteously, because He lived righteously to show us how. We are holy, because He is holy.
If we truly love God as He loves us then that means we must also love all of us, the way He loves all of us. If we truly love God, then we must necessarily love each other.
John says this exact thing in 1 John 3:16, “We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So, we ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters”. If we love others, if we live it UP, then our lives will demonstrate that. We should live in childlike wonder and awe of the love of Christ and the gift of His grace bestowed on us and we should example that to others in such a way that no one needs to hear a word we say.
How do YOU, love?
“This is the message that you have heard from the beginning, to love one another. We must not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one, and killed his brother. And why did he kill him? Because Cain had been doing what evil, and his brother what was righteous. So, do not be surprised dear brothers and sisters if the world hates you.” 1 John 3:11-13. You’ve heard the saying that if anything is worth doing, it’s worth doing right. And if it’s worth doing it’s worth doing completely. Nowhere is this more true than with love, most especially living a life of Christs love, this is truly living it “UP”.
If we love correctly, then we will act correctly – (the moral or obedience test)
If we love correctly, then we will act correctly. “And we can be sure that we know him if we live by his commands. If someone claims, “I know God, but doesn’t obey God’s commands, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. But those who obey Gods word truly show how completely they love Him. That is how we know we are living in him. Those who say the live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.” 1 John 2:3-6. Do we curse the person who cuts us off in traffic? Or do we pray that if they truly need to hurry to their destination that arrive safely? How do you love through life’s annoyances, those little pesky disturbances, frustrations when things just don’t go correctly? Do you get annoyed, frustrated, upset, or do you take those annoyances, and frustrations and live them, love it UP? Time and time again through scriptures we see how Jesus loved, accepted and pointed those following Him to God. Jesus never turned away or denied anyone who sincerely sought his counsel or assistance, and neither should we. Jesus never failed to point UP, to encourage those HE spoke with and taught to the Father, and neither should we.
If we love correctly, we will ACT correctly – (the social test)
Happiness comes from little things here and there. Getting a card, laughing and catching up with friends. Receiving a surprise gift perhaps. But Joy…abundant, life nourishing from the deepest parts of our being type of joy comes only from God, and living a life centered on just that. This type of joy transcends a weekend with the guys at the beach, this type of joy is truly living it up!
If we do not hold malice or hatred, if we do not allow worldly things and desires to cause us to stumble; if we live correctly and righteously as Jesus did, then we will be true reflections of Jesus’ light and love.
“If anyone claims, I am living in the light, but hates a fellow believer, that person is still living in darkness. Anyone who loves a fellow believer is living in the light and does not cause others to stumble. But anyone who hates a fellow believer is still living in darkness. Such a person does not know the way to go, having been blinded by the darkness.” 1 John 2:9-11.
If we are ‘in the light’ as john says then we don’t fear the ‘darkness’. In high school, after school and before practices all the guys from the various sports teams would sometimes gather in the athletic trainer’s office to get a treatment, or check-in with the head trainer, or other such preparations before practice. Often times there would be a type of sibling rivalry between the teams, saying that my sport is better than yours, or one sport was more difficult than another. When these mini-rivalries would get heated, and loud, and or overly braggadocious, Wendy, our head trainer would bang on her desk and shout, “LOOOOOOOVE each other!” to quiet us down.
I sometimes wonder if, similarly, God sometimes looks upon our quarreling and squabbling. Complaining about this group, or that group or this person or that. I wonder if He hears our gossip, and our news, and our behind the back talking. I wonder if he sees our jealousy and hatred and malice that we carry, that we stir up towards a neighbor, a co-worker, or a random person in traffic…..I wonder if God sometimes sees all of this and wants to bang on his desk and shout, “LOVE EACH OTHER!!!!” I’ll bet He does.
If we truly love God, and each other, we should actually love one another. And not allow the darkness of malice, or jealousy or any other infiltration to shade our living in the light-as John says. When we live it UP, there’s nothing to hold us down.
If we love correctly, we will act correctly (the doctrine or belief test)
Have you ever known anyone who seems to be living on another level? Who is always joyful, always upbeat, always praising God and who -despite hardships and bad things happening- lives and loves and laughs through it all? Do you ever see such a person and wonder where they get it from? Or how they can live that way? My grandmother was a person like that, and I used to wonder growing up how she got somehow much more out of church than I did. My cousins and I used to joke that she must have had some type of hidden “Jesus juice” that she could take a sip of. We secretly admired it, and thought it was a bit silly how faithful and joyfully she lived. But we also secretly wanted to try out some of that secret “Jesus juice”. In reality, there is no such thing as a salvation smoothie, there’s no magic Jesus juice, we just didn’t realize the Grandma was just living it up.
Jesus instructs us to love God and love our neighbor. Doing these things cannot be done while focused on material or earthly things. Do you believe that God himself came to earth, in the personage of Jesus Christ to live a perfect life, exampling righteous, correct living, and to pay that for us by his blood and self-sacrifice on the cross? That He did that for you, and for me, to invite us to eternal life with Him? That’s the secret to truly joyful living. If you want to live life to the fullest, and to live it up it can’t be found with a weekend away for parting with the guys from college. And if you have accepted Christ, and focus your life on Him how is it that you love Him, love others, and example it to the world?
Could you do it better?
If we are to live righteously, live correctly, then we must all change our perspective. We must broaden our borders and widen our view. If you’re focused on your fears, your doubts, your struggles you can change your view. You don’t have to be alone in your struggles and your hardships, Jesus invites you to cast your fears and your troubles on Him. All of us in Christ can lean on each other support one another in love in times of crisis and worry, we can band together and raise each other’s spirits, raise each other’s gaze to not only look up, but live it up.
“God showed how much He loves us by sending his one and only son into the world that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love-not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, if God loved us that much, surely we ought to love each other.” 1 John 4:9-11. That sums up the whole message. Love God, Love your neighbor. Live it up.
It is He who made the earth by His power,
Who established the world by His wisdom;
And by His understanding He has stretched out the heavens.
When He utters His voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens,
And He causes the clouds to ascend from the end of the earth;
He makes lightning for the rain,
And brings out the wind from His storehouses.
anti catholic for all the obvious reasons but anti calvinist protestants bc theyre literally all boring as hell
Baptism Is Not A Human Work
Have you ever had a conversation with a Protestant who rejects water baptism as necessary for salvation? This belief stems from the false faith-alone doctrine taught by some Protestant churches that nothing other than faith in Jesus Christ’s work on the cross is necessary. But shouldn’t faith in Jesus Christ include faith in all He taught and did?
Obedience to Christ is Necessary
An article, Is…
3For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: 4That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; 5Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:
—1 Thessalonians 4, KJV
#Jesus #GOD #LOVE #FAITH #Bible #christian #Godislove #JesusSaves #jesuschrist #jesusislord #godisgood #Christ #Hope #pray #ChristianQuotes #Holybible #christianity #prayer #truth #Holyspirit #blessed #amen #bibleverse #instapray #church #Jesuslovesyou #lord #GRACE #photography
“You must picture me alone in that room in Magdalen [College, Oxford], night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England.”
C. S. Lewis
The Da Vinci Code (2006) didn’t go down well.
The film critics weren’t happy. Several secret societies weren’t happy. The entire Catholic Church was p*ssed off.
And yet, somehow, it was the second highest grossing film of 2006. Yes, Tom Hanks had managed to pull the all-too-convenient plot and the he’s-cracked-the-code zoom-ins through to blockbuster success. All the while discovering the final resting place of the Holy Grail.
But what Hanks managed to do in 174 minutes barely broke the surface of the deep (and often dark) history of legendary relics.
Across the world, stories of mythical and magical artefacts are being told. These ancient pieces of our past have been touched, worn, and used by the religious figures that shaped global movements.
Whether these objects ever existed has always been called into question. But there are some stories that add up. There are some discoveries which fit the narrative. There are some things - real things - which can be traced back all the way to the defining figures in our history.
The Da Vinci Code has next to no basis in reality. But the one thing Dan Brown gets right is this:
The real hunt for the Holy Grail is a story worth telling.
Today we explore the supernatural relics that might just exist - and trace them back to where you might be able to find them.
.Yes it is Jesus Christ.
This drawing means a lot to me, My history with the Christian faith is long and although I do not believe it in the end, I still have incredible respect and a kind of sentiment towards it… I’ve been thinking a lot lately and decided that Jesus wouldn’t be happy with what is happening in the world now… I’m sure that he would not be happy that people hate each other and argue about stupid things, using faith as an argument in a quarrel and justification for hatred… this is what I wanted to convey with this drawing
I do not want to offend anyone with this drawing, I do not make fun of Christianity, I would never do it, if anyone is offended, I apologize with all my heart, it’s not what I mean.
Listen, all I’m saying is that the only good Christianity actually did was provide lesbians and asexuals some semblance of safety if there wasn’t any at home. Even that was conditional good, and there totally still was s*xual assault/r*pe happening.
The church still put them in danger of assault from dangerous, delusional men in power, along with putting children in that same danger of being assaulted. Christianity shouldn’t exist within a thousand years of children of any kind because of how far s*xual assault/r*pe. That system should be thoroughly and utterly dismantled and disintegrated.
“You shall not make for yourselves an idol, nor any image of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: you shall not bow yourself down to them, nor serve them, for I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous God”
Hmm and what are you doing? Worshiping an idol? Isn’t this heresy and blasphemy in Christianity?
So much for the “True Christians”
February 27, 2021 – Urgent Prayer and Action Alert From Franklin Graham on the Equality Act (USA) – MaryRefugeOfSouls
Urgent Prayer Alert From Franklin Graham on the Equality Act
Below is a letter from Franklin Graham on the Equality Act which has been reintroduced in Congress.
I am writing to you about a very dangerous piece of legislation—the Equality Act. The Biden Administration has said they want to pass…
¡Ya fueron rotas las cadenas del pecado!
En muchas ocasiones, suelen ser cuestionadas las decisiones de Dios, creyendo tener una una inteligencia superior a la de él, sin embargo, Dios tiene todo preparado.
Muchas veces podremos sentirnos derrotados, sin tener fortaleza alguna para dejar atrás el pecado, pero…
Hoy te digo a ti, que cada una de las cadenas han sido rotas por la sangre de Jesucristo, ánimo, el Señor ya dejó todo preparado, solo necesitamos creer y confiar en ese sacrificio, para poder estar firmes en el camino.
sabiendo esto, que nuestro viejo hombre fue crucificado juntamente con él, para que el cuerpo del pecado sea destruido, a fin de qué no sirvamos más al pecado.