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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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James387

I love Jesus!

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Hello, I'm James!

 

I've been a Christian for as long as I can remember and it's been an adventure with God from the very beginning. Strangled by the umbilical cord at birth - Jesus saves (1987). F4 Tornado literally went around my house - Jesus saves (1991). Had prophetic dreams of a car accident that later happened - Jesus saves (1994/1995/2001). Knew answers to tests about topics I was completely ignorant about - God gives knowledge (1996). Despite the innumerable times God was present in my life (I'm cutting the list so short) I was taught a lot of wrong things about the character of God growing up (extreme legalism) that nearly killed me. I was a perfectionist, overly ambitious, obsessive and incredibly stressed out young person. Believing in full on self sacrifice as a means to please God, for God is perfect and sacrificial. I had a lot of heavy weights on my back and I found myself sometimes turning to not so good outlets to deal with my problems including alcohol.

 

Once I was sick for 6 months, suffering severe stomach pain, vomiting after every meal. I lost weight I didn't have to lose. I didn't have health insurance so I eventually I went to the doctor. I took all the cheap tests. Turned up nothing. Expensive tests to come. I held off. Some how I got well but didn't really understand what had happened.

 

Then one day I was sick again...I wanted to kill myself.....I was really at the end of this long road...I was on the verge of vomiting past the point of no return and just couldn't continue anymore. I turned on TV, I hated Christian TV as I was taught it was all about the money...but I was desperate for God. So I turned on TBN hoping maybe there would be a song or something to get my mind off my sickness. Of course it was telethone night and it was a super annoying preacher speaking, someone I would never ever ever watch. I changed the channel...tried to watch other things...I was ready to spill my guts. I felt so bad I went back to the pastor guy...then switched back again...and back again to the preacher out of pure desperation. I found as long as I was watching this guy and focusing on Christ I didn't feel like I was gonna vomit right then and there. It was very strange. I had tried to muster "faith" to get healed of different short term illnesses or allergies growing up...to no avail...and eventually you give up and just accept your condition. This time, however, was different. The pastor was giving testimonies about healing and how to get healed. I decided that I was going to lay down my personal judgment of the pastor's accent and ignore the fact it was telethone night. Concluding that God could use a donkey to talk to his people so certainly God could use this guy on tv lol. I told my self if this guy tells the truth I'm going to receive it. I did just that...I experienced God that night...something I cannot truly explain...it was like God showed up in my living room. I told Him I didn't have faith to be healed but I knew He existed and whether or not He healed me I was going to worship Him anyway. I ended up even listening to contemporary Christian music that night which was a big no no in my branch of legalism. Again choosing to focus on Christ and not the people or the motives of the musicians. I was healed that night and my life has been FOREVER changed to God be the glory. I cried out for grace even though I didn't know what grace was or that it existed - God answered me - I surrendered my life. That was some 4 years ago and so many crazy things have happened!!! I can't even begin to list them. All I want to do is grow in my knowledge of Christ and share it with others. I want to work for God. I am currently involved in apologetic, evangelistic internet ministry via forums and chatrooms :).

 

Looking forward to meeting new brothers and sisters on this site! God bless you all!

 

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Staff

Welcome James

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Staff

Welcome to CF James!

 

God bless,

William

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Welcome and thanks for sharing with us. We all go through challenges and we need to pray for ourselves and our friends so that God can help us. By sharing about our past, we strengthen our faith as God sees us through the challenges.

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Hi James, WELCOME TO CF :) I especially "love" the opening of your testimony ("I love Jesus"), and thank you for sharing all of the rest of it with us too! I look forward to getting to know you better, and to growing in Christ together with you as well.

 

God bless you! (Numbers 6:24-26)

 

--David

p.s. - I also have to admit that your conclusion that if God could use a talking donkey, surely He could use a TV preacher as well, was pretty funny :D

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