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Monday, January 09, 2006

You're Running A Good Race...Keep It Up

These days with so many different people presenting their views about God and religion, it's hard not to want to throw your hands up in the air and give up. It's also hard not to want to run ahead and say that if you don't follow me then you're destined for hell. That is why it is so important for each of us to read the Bible for ourselves and meditate on it. We are warned to test the spirits to see whether they are from God, but some of us don't know how to test them.
This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. You dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.
-1 John 4:2-6
I cannot stress enough to you how important it is to open your own Bible and read this for yourself. The last thing I want you to do is to take my word for it that God loves you. He does love you, but take His word for it, not mine.
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as atoning sacrifice for our sins.
-1 John 4:9-10
Because of that one act of love, we were taught to love each other. That is why we have churches full of believers. When the world rejects or condemns us, our church family comforts us. I don't believe that you have to go to church to be a Christian, but I do know that when you are in despair it's easier to stay in the race when you have others who will walk with you supporting you when you can't support yourself.
Some of our churches have lost sight of their goal, but there are still several that still have their eyes on the prize. Organized religion has been very successful in throwing many off course, but there are still groups, sometimes even within organized religions, that are aware of this injustice that has been done to believers. Seek them out and you will find them.
I believe that God sent His Son in the flesh to die for our sins and that he did rise again and is coming back for us soon. God shows His love for us through us because we love each other. Love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. (1 John 4:17) Our perfect love has driven out all fear. We know He is coming and we know that we will be rewarded, not punished.


Anonymous handmaiden said...

This post is truly inspired, and I thank God for giving you these words to share. May our Father who is forever loving, merciful, and gracious, bless you for all you do for his words to be spread.

Monday, January 09, 2006 2:40:00 PM  
Blogger Goingintoalltheworld said...

Really enjoyed your post, Annette. I find it interesting that so many time we have it backwards, inviting people to come to church first and then find a personal relationship with Jesus later. I think if each of us would just model Christ more, we would have many chances to introduce people to Him and what He's done for us. Once people meet Jesus, for real, and have a vibrant relationship with Him, then attending a church is just the next logical step. Of course you're going to seek out others who have the same relationship with a Savior to fellowship with! And yet how many times have we turned people off to the Gospel through packaging it as if they have to accept the church and everything about it before they can come to know God?

Tuesday, January 10, 2006 4:55:00 AM  
Blogger Angel said...

I am back, thought you might want to know. I have skimmed through your last month's blogs and you have been writing quite a lot. I am glad you are on fire for God. I know there is no likelihood that you would come to our church, but I want to say that I think we are one of the churches with our eyes on the goal. People are very real and willing to share their lives and their stories with everyone around them. Praise God for his family.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006 4:10:00 PM  
Blogger Annette Burkett said...

I am so glad you're back! I've missed reading your posts.

You are so fortunate to be in a good church family! I thank God everyday that I too was blessed to find the church that I'm in.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006 12:55:00 AM  

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