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“Karma kar, phal ki chinta na kar.” I’m sure most people reading this will recognise at least one word there- “karma“. A large part of the world’s religious philosophy is built around that concept, of doing good works for one’s spiritual well-being. The line in italics means “Do your duty, do not worry about the fruit of your works.” It is advice from the Bhagavad Gita, one of the greatly loved Hindu texts. When I was younger, I was much inspired by Gandhi’s version of this verse, and I used to scribble it inside my notebooks and diaries (as if it was the secret source of my strength.. lol).
Do read all of this excellent essay about the “Grace vs Law” question. I think a lack of understanding of these questions can present some of the great stumbling blocks for Christians and non-Christians alike. Diana provides some good talking points – and answers!
14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
19 We love him, because he first loved us.
20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
John 15:12-17 (King James Version)
12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.
It is kinda hard to believe in something we’ve never heard of, in someone we’ve never known. Can a 5 year old believe in algebra? Can we love, really love for life, a person we’ve never met? Why do you believe in algebra, anyway? Why do you believe that love exists?
If we creatures can’t even believe in other creatures without having heard, being taught, why would we not put at least as much effort into our education about God?
Here is what the Bible says about Faith, and study:
Romans 10:8-17 (King James Version)
8But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
14How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
15And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
16But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
17So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Matthew 6:24-33 (King James Version)
24No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
25Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
26Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
27Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
28And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
29And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
31Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
If anyone reading gets Channel NRB (it is 378 on our satellite), Ravi Zacharias will be on at 8 PM Central tonight. Well worth watching, he is unsurpassed as a Christian apologist – even if you don’t believe,
I think you’ll enjoy the intellectual exercise.
If you miss the show, his website is here, with radio schedules and also some podcasts are available there. Enjoy! 🙂
Ezekiel 36:26 (King James Version)
“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.“
33And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way?
34But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.
35And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.
36And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them,
37Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.
38And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.
39But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.
40For he that is not against us is on our part.
41For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.
In Christianity there are many denominations and expressions of the faith, being human we tend to gather ourselves into like-minded groups. It’s time for those denominations to stop saying bad things about other Christian groups, to stop being against other denominations – to remember that “he that is not against us is on our part.”
Susan has a powerful post about this,”Whose Church is it anyway?” on her Faith Walk blog. She writes “Our salvation is not determined by our doctrinal accuracy, but by our faith in Christ Jesus… it is always about Jesus; His life, his love, His Spirit living in us.” Be sure to read it all, it is a wonderful post.
“Heirs in Hope” is a blog about forgiveness, and the redemption of evil. Drusilla’s story tears the heart to read but oh how her light shines, how the hope and healing we all have in Christ Jesus shines within her. Drusilla’s writing shows the heart of what Christianity is. For this is our Hope: that in the end, it will all have been worth it, that God will bring the True Good out of all the pain, that all may be judged in Mercy. Thanks be to God.
There’s a fun little tool going around that graphs a webpage, mapping the connections to and within it. Peter did one today on The Age To Come, and it reminded me of the little plant “Cleavers”. The map highlights the sort of organic way in which we interact with the internet with one connection leading to another to another, and seemingly random bits and pieces can begin to make sense when viewed after-the-fact.
We’ve made a couple of “weighty” decisions recently, and have another one, concerning where to live, that we are waiting for guidance on. I started praying about it this morning, thinking also about the internet and the way tiny links can lead to life-changing connections, and realized my prayer couldn’t stop with the “big” decisions, because how do we know what is large in the scheme of God’s plan for our lives? So often it’s the smallest things, the casual word, the series of seeming inconsequential steps over time, that make all the difference. And then of course I quickly realized that the mass of detail, each of which really really matters, would overwhelm me, pull my mind into a morass of confusion, an inescapable black hole – if it weren’t for God. My prayer, today, ended up being just “Help, please help”. And just as suddenly, The Comforter patted me, and my confusion evaporated.
I don’t know what the decision will be, but am not longer (at least for now) concerned about it. God will assure that the serendipitous series of events occur to lead us truly.