People’s Stories

Click on the link and find hundreds of stories of people’s faith.  http://shareyourstorynow.org/

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I Can’t Hear You

Faith comes by hearing but I refuse to listen.”

I must be honest, that’s how I feel it is when I talk with people sometimes.  I share Biblical teaching with teens several times a month who are from all sort of backgrounds; evangelical, born again, Jewish, agnostics, Catholic, even Muslim.  Some, especially the born again and agnostics, sit and read or try to sleep.  They’re saying to everyone, “Faith may come by hearing but I refuse to listen.”

I visit with people who have faith a background of faith, but have chosen to believe that the way they work out their faith which involves trying to be moral and not needing to associate with any church fellowship. They give “ear-service” (the listening equivalent of lip-service) to myself and others, and just move on without allowing it to affect them.  They are saying in essence, “Yeah, faith does come by hearing, but I’m through listening.”

The apostle Paul told us in Romans 10:17 that faith comes by hearing and it is by hearing the word of God that people come to believe.

First, if you are not a follower of Christ and you are reading this, please listen to the word of God. You may hear it from a friend or someone in your family, or a preacher at a church or read it in the Bible or some blog or something. Listen to it. God sent the word for you to hear and if you will listen to what God says and the heart of what he is saying to you, you will find that likely you will want to believe or at least want to know more about Jesus.

Second, if you a Christian, remember that God has sent you with the sweet message of love and grace. Keep telling those you encounter with God’s love and Word, and be like Christ, humble, loving, forgiving, and gracious.

“Faith DOES come by hearing and experiencing the word of God”

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What Type of Sorrow Do I Have?

Leonardo_da_Vinci_Judas_Iscariot_and_the_Apostle_Peter_300“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death,” 1 Corinthians 7:10.

Let me illustrate with the lives of two Biblical characters.

Judas didn’t have a pure heart, at least toward the end.  He loved money and in my opinion, his betrayal of Jesus was meant to force Jesus’ hand, to assume the throne in Jerusalem (my opinion only).  Whatever Judas’ reasoning, he still betrayed Jesus.

When Jesus was tried and then crucified, Judas was sorrowful (see verse above).  The way he dealt with his guilt was to go out and hang himself ( http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+27:3&version=NIV ).  He couldn’t deal with it emotionally and he committed suicide.  He was guilty, he had sorrow over it, and he killed himself.

What if he had repented?

Peter was in the courtyard when Jesus was being tried by Pilate.  Earlier he claimed that he would never, never deny Jesus.  In those moments, he denied any association with Jesus.  When the rooster crowed and Jesus looked at him, Peter was filled with sorrow and guilt ( http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+26:75&version=NIV ).  That’s when Peter ran off and we don’t see him again until Sunday morning when Mary Magdalene and the other women told the disciples that Jesus was alive.

The first person Jesus saw after he left the garden that morning that he raised, was Peter.  1 Corinthians 15:4 &  5, “he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve.”

This is my speculation, bu I believe there are two things that happened with Peter when Jesus appeared to him, alone.  That he was encouraging Peter as a leader, a stand up guy for when Jesus would ascend and the apostles would preach His resurrection from Pentecost on, and forgiving Peter who was repentant for denying Jesus.  These things seems obvious because of a number of reasons such as, Jesus is about forgiving.  But the Peter we see in Acts is different from the Peter we see in the Gospels.  He is still bold, but has contained his impetuous nature and balanced it with Jesus is alive and has given us a mission and has moved on from denied and remorse.

Jesus is about forgiveness.  If Judas had asked forgiveness from Jesus, Jesus would have forgiven him.  Apparently, Peter did while Judas didn’t.

In an earlier post ( https://blogthechurch.wordpress.com/2009/10/30/before-she-falls-off-the-cliff/ ) I wrote, “But it takes an enormous level of trust in God to repent.  Will he accept my repentance?  Will he forgive me of my sin if I ask?  Will it matter at all?

Peter trusted Jesus enough to ask forgive.  PTL!  See the difference between godly sorrow and worldly sorrow?

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