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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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Summer Rose

My Testimony

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Hello everybody, as I just wrote in my introduction thread, I have a wonderful testimony why I decided to be a Christian. Now please bear with me since it's rather long. Anyway, I always claimed to be a Christian when I was a kid. When both of my grandparents were still alive they raised me up in a Baptist church since they were both the fire and brimstone kind of folks which is fine, but as I wrote in my introduction thread as well, that's just not the type of person or Christian that I am. I believe that you should want to follow God out of love not out of fear. So yeah, I stopped going to church because I had the literal fear of God put into me and I didn't like it one bit so I sort of backslid when I got older. Then about a year ago my brother invited me to a Methodist church that he went to because he already had some friends that he knew there and I couldn't believe the change. Everybody was really loving and friendly and then I realized what Jesus was really all about. As a child I already knew that God loved me and that's why He sent His Son Jesus to die for my sins on the cross, but I never really understood why and what it was really about. I never appreciated the importance of it until about last summer. Now this is where my story gets a bit difficult for me to talk about and I really hope that I don't get judged too much on my first day here but I am a twenty-seven (twenty-eight this month) year old woman who is a little bit less than happy to report that I am engaged to my high school sweetheart. The only problem is that he is behind bars for a crime that he did not commit. So, even though deep down in my heart that it wasn't God's fault I started yelling at Him and blaming Him for it anyway and that's where my life started to change forever. Now I'm not sure who around here believes that God has the ability to communicate with us and we do have the ability to communicate with Him, or if anybody here has ever had God speak directly to them before, but that night after I yelled and cussed Him out tearfully wondering how a loving God could ever do this to me, I heard a soft and soothing voice inside my mind telling me that He was there with me and that everything was going to be alright. When I asked Him if it really was Him who was talking to me or whether or not I was going crazy He assured me that I wasn't and that He was really there. The only reason that He didn't respond to me before is because I wasn't ready to listen to Him. That night and many nights afterwards I swore that there was a presence inside my room. It's like I could actually feel His gentle touch at times. That's when things started getting weirder. I remember that I was sitting outside on my front porch one day eating my lunch still wondering whether or not I truly was going crazy. That's when God spoke to me again and He told me "Be still and know that I am God." Now you have to realize I'm still only a beginner when it comes to reading my Bible, but yet that sounded to me like it was something that was written in there and sure enough I looked it up and found it in Psalms 46:10. And if that wasn't weird enough I also heard Him tell me that He has me and my fiancée Joe engraved upon the palms of His hands. So I just had to look it up and found it yet again where it is talked about in the Bible. In Isaiah 49:16 it says; "Behold, I have graven thee on the palms of my hands, thy walls are continually before me." Now when I read that I was starting to becomes less skeptical in my mind, but I was still doubting it a bit and wondering whether or not I had just gotten lucky. However what happened next completely changed my mind. All of a sudden out of nowhere two dates had come into my mind which were 1995 and 1998. A few days later while I was grabbing some cookies from the snack cupboard the Lord came to me again and He told me that He knew what my future and mother in-law was going through right now, for He had to stand by and watch as His own Son was brutally beaten and murdered. But He wanted her to know that He was always there for her from the time that she lost her babies and the time that she was sexually abused when she was a little girl. So I called her up and I told her, listen, you don't have to answer this if you don't want to, but have you ever miscarried before? And she answered yes twice. Once was in 1995 and the other was in 1998. At that moment it suddenly hit me and I got goosebumps on both of my arms and I told her; "Well, I just thought you should know that God just told me that He has got your son and daughter tightly inside His arms up in Heaven waiting for you." At that moment she had become speechless. I came to find out that she was sexually abused when she was a child too. Now, I admit, there are times when I can hear the Lord talking clearer to me than other times but at this point in time I am definitely a believer. I know that somebody or something is definitely trying to communicate with me and I don't really believe there's any other logical explanation to me than it really is the Almighty God Himself. He just told me something really important recently too that I just want to share with you all. Last night I told Him; "Lord, I love you from the bottom of my heart and I really appreciate everything that you have done for me, but if this all has really been happening to me, then why do I still doubt?" And He answered; "It's because you're only human. And humans have trouble believing in what they can't see or touch even if it's smack dab in front of their face, but just remember one thing April,..the love and the belief that you have in Me is a lot stronger than your doubt." And after He said that I realized right away that He was right. At this time I look to Him more than a Father, but a friend. He is somebody that makes me laugh with His sense of humor (and yes the question has been officially answered God has a sense of humor) and comforted me when I needed it. He is somebody that I like as well as love. So anyway, I'm sorry that my testimony was so long but I hope that you all have enjoyed it and have been touched by it in some way or form.

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The best way to grow as Christian is to have a regular time of reading the Bible in a systematic way, and being consistent in doing so. I suggest reading John first. Even if we can only read one chapter a day. That is how we will grow in our faith.

 

All too often people have an experience of hearing God speak and answer prayers, but do not read the Scripture. That soon ends up with a persons faith falling away. The real surety of our faith comes from learning that God really speaks to us from reading the Word. That truly is how God mainly speaks to us. We must be very careful that what our minds sometimes tells us, it might come from a voice that seems like God but can be from the evil one. It might come with wonderful good things, but have a mixture of things that seem good, but do not line up with what the Bible says, so we must be very alert. Reading the Bible is so wonderful and once it becomes a habit we will want more time reading it. The Bible never contradicts its self, we can trust the Bible from cover to cover. God bless all who read my post.

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I believe that you should want to follow God out of love not out of fear.

You should but many need to experience the fear of God before they can understand his love. Proverbs 9:10 says, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight."

 

I know that somebody or something is definitely trying to communicate with me and I don't really believe there's any other logical explanation to me than it really is the Almighty God Himself.

No, there is another explanation. It might be an evil spirit sent by Satan to keep you from the truth. Satan can appear as an angel of light. He is willing to quote the Bible and even say things that will make people happy if doing so will keep them from following God.

 

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.

1 John 4:1-3 ESV

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You should but many need to experience the fear of God before they can understand his love. Proverbs 9:10 says, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight."

 

 

No, there is another explanation. It might be an evil spirit sent by Satan to keep you from the truth. Satan can appear as an angel of light. He is willing to quote the Bible and even say things that will make people happy if doing so will keep them from following God.

 

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.

1 John 4:1-3 ESV

 

I quite agree with what you typed here, but I'm afraid that it's quite possible that the person you directed your post to will not see it. " Many are called and few are chosen," as Our Lord points out. Itching ears want a soothing balm, be it ever so false, rather than the searing heat that the truth often brings. I will pray for her tonight, but that's it. I hope she finds peace, but even more, I hope that she uncovers the truth.

 

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