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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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Showing content with the highest reputation on 06/13/2016 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    I found out early in my Christian career that nearly everything we see and hear can become a part of a good lesson or message as was one particular event that became a mainstay in my ministry. When I was on staff at the Winston/Salem Rescue Mission I decided to take a walk to the mission thrift store and see what they had. When I got there I wandered throughout the store and when I tried to pass the shoe racks I couldn't take my eyes off of a pair of worn out cowboy boots. They were worn and split on the small toe of the left boot, and both heels, soles and nearly all of the leather was so worn out that they couldn't possibly be for sale. But, I did notice two things: They were my size and the leather was so soft and pliable they felt like a pair of expensive gloves when I put them on. I took them up to the counter and the sales clerk told me that they should have been thrown out but I bought them anyway for 25 cents. (never take something for nothing, I say!) That night I joined some of the guys in the TV room and took along my new/old boots and started work on them. Every single one of the men had a good laugh at me trying to do something with my worn out treasures. I stitched up the slit on the left boot and I copied the slit by putting one on the right so they would match. Then I started to apply the wax by using some old military techniques I had learned from my past. Every night I worked on those boots in the TV room and I noticed that the guys that were making fun of me earlier in the week were now paying close attention to my progress and a couple of them even offered to "take them off of my hands" by bidding at first 50 cents, then a dollar, and after a couple of weeks it was up to $20.00! It was no surprise to me, after I was satisfied with the wax job, that when I put the boots on the wax did not crack nor wrinkle because the leather had accepted each and every thin coat so well. When I had the boots re-heeled and soled the shoe maker remarked about them at how wonderfully and beautifully the boots were made right down to the rough stitch markings on each area where the small toe would be. High praise from a professional! Very often, while I worked on those boots I would come to some serious tears because the realization came to me that what I was doing to those beat up, worn out throw away boots was the same thing that God was doing with each and every man in that mission who had finally turned their lives over to Jesus Christ and was / is still doing with me each and every day. He was making new what was once thought of as being useless. Matter of fact, every time I relate this story I get a very nice "Holy Spirit hug" and I think anew of one of the major things that God has done for me. He took an unwanted worn out combat soldier with PTSD and a badly wounded heart and made me brand new again. (Wow! I just had a Romans 8:38-39 moment!! ) The bottom line is that I wore those boots for at least 15 years and used their story in probably 20 or 30 different sermons. What have you guys done, seen or heard that turned into a good lesson or messages for future congregations and classes?
  2. 2 points
    No, they wouldn't. If some of the patrons had been armed and able to shoot back the death toll would have been lower.
  3. 1 point
    That story is awe-inspiring. It reminds me very much of the song, The Touch of the Master's Hand. The old violin didn't look like much by itself, but when the old virtuoso played it, it's value rose immensely. You are quite correct, we are the supple leather in the hands of the Master, who sews us up and polishes us daily. He routinely takes broken people and heals and 'fixes' them to be what He desires them to be. All we have to do is turn ourselves over to Him and allow Him to work with and through us. Jesus sees only the final end product, not the ripped up, dirty, scratched, ragged and worn out people we are now. On a funnier side... I will probably never be able to look at cowboy boots the same way again. ;)
  4. 1 point
    I don't have a story to share, but I hope you don't mind if I respond to your "Thank You" message in the topic: My life and walk have tended to be more volatile. It means, there have been very deep valleys (more often than not, my fault) and equally breathtaking peaks. It also means that the stories tend to be less 'warm and fuzzy' than what you were able to share. On the down side, that makes most inappropriate for sharing on CHRISTFORUMS (many would not pass the profanity filter) and on the up side, it means that I get to occasionally share with people that no one else is likely to reach. As a case in point, while God may have known me from eternity past, I first met God in 1978 while employing my skills as a criminal to plan a murder/suicide. So yes, I do indeed know of the love of God and just how extreme the lengths He is prepared to go to claim someone that the Father has set his eye upon and for whom Jesus Christ has died and been resurected. Arthur
  5. 1 point
    I think the major issues with this case has been discussed but let me add my thoughts about it. For me, transgender people (those who have chosen to change their genders physically and mentally) should just have their own bathrooms. Let me put it this way: Are we supposed to oblige to their every request when it certainly contradicts with ours? If a parent doesn't want a transgender woman (who was born male) to be in the same bathroom as his daughter, that's his decision. And we really cannot force him to think otherwise or even decide otherwise. Yes, these transgender people should have their own rights but not to the expense of other people's right. So they can have their own bathrooms because hey, they are considered transgender so that means they have their own gender categorisation. It minimises the risk of any person posing as transgenders just so they can take advantage of other people. And it minimises the risk of the transgender being bullied or made fun of as well. Or maybe, like others have suggested, there should just be one private bathroom at all establishments. It can be restrictive, but at least there would be no more fights about this issue. Truth is, even if they identify as a male or female even though they're not born that way, they cannot force others to think the same. I won't be forcing my thoughts or opinions on them, but they cannot do the same as well. I know that God only made two genders, male and female. I don't have anything against gay people or transgenders, it's their choice. But I still believe in the bible and what it has taught me and other people. Like I said before, there's nothing wrong with being gay as long as you don't act on it immorally or do anything that's against the bible.
  6. 1 point
    It does sound like it will be a great law if it is passed. Problem though is this won't keep kids who consume porn from getting it. It's relatively easy for tech-savvy teens to bypass any filters which is why I think screen sharing apps would work better. Parents can take a look at what their children are viewing at any time.
  7. 1 point
    What will follow is probably calls for stricter gun laws but criminals like this one wouldn't simply buy a gun on the black market. Since any Muslim can be radicalized [and the extremists have learned to blend in quite well] it's going to be a lot harder to stop these lone wolf terrorist attacks.
  8. 1 point
    I told you earlier that it depends on you, how deep can you make it. All Christians( true followers of Christ) have given their authority to Christ. Please notify me the scriptural evidence. Can you explain it more?
  9. 1 point
    Well, when hate groups such as ISIS are allowed to roam freely throughout the world, and many places of business such as movie theaters and night clubs have prohibitions against carrying weapons... this sort of thing is bound to happen sooner rather than later. How to avoid more shootings? Simple. Open carry permits help a lot. In my state we are allowed to open carry and believe me, the sight of those weapons on someone's belt really CAN make a person, (with evil intent or not) stand up and take notice. It would also help if our government knew what it was looking for when it decides to search people coming into our country. Instead of wasting time practically molesting screaming two year olds, why not spend more time on those who actually appear suspicious?
  10. 1 point
    The gospel is actually the good news that Jesus is Messiah and Son of God who was born of Virgin Mary, conceived of Holy Spirit, only begotten of Father who died for us and was raised up again by his Father and made us his Father's sons and daughters and made us free and saved us. Now its up to you, how deep you can make it. We should let unbelievers know the basic beliefs and if we wanna tell them our own beliefs, we should tell them that its your own if it could encourage one's faith. Read Romans 14. Holy Spirit speaks what Jesus wants us to tell. Jesus has our final authority but what Jesus wanna tell us is notified to us by his Spirit. Holy Spirit is Jesus and Father's own Spirit. Church is the body of Christ. If by Church you understand a physical location or a blessed location or any other kinda stuff, then you're wrong. We, all the Christians are part of One,Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church which is the body of Christ. I think Catholicism rituals strengthens a person's faith.
  11. 1 point
    Yup. Although something that I always found more interesting was when I would get home from work feeling drained and exhausted, and it was all I could do to drag my self into Church for a mid-week service ... by half way through the music, I was feeling better. So one of the reasons that I feel bad about missing a service, is I know I just missed a little pick me up that I probably could have used.
  12. 1 point
    I'll be candid, I'm pretty thoroughly disgusted with both options. Both candidates appear to be morally bankrupt, albeit in different fashions. I guess Trump may be the lesser of two evils, but that is putting it charitably. I fear for our Republic.
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