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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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About Jamsy

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  1. Jamsy

    The Wrong Appeal of Modern Christianity

    Churches practically can't survive without tithes and offerings from its members but some churches do overemphasize tithing as every Christian's duty not just when the funds are low but with every service lest people forget. The church I'm attending fortunately does not have issues with funding but at tithing time, a youth leader always comes up the podium to extol the virtues of giving and prays for God to bless every tither and giver in the room. The leader will usually cite verses in the bible and emphasize that we're just giving back to God what is His and that we can never outgive God. Personally, I tithe because I feel blessed every time I do and not because the church is compelling me to tithe. I know of a local church though that go over the tax returns of their members and expel members who don't tithe. They justify the tithes by building large church edifices in the belief that this is a way to honor God.
  2. Jamsy

    Do you believe in horoscopes?

    I used to read horoscopes when I was younger but not in a fanatical way. There were days when I'd read something that can relate to my situation at the time but most of the times, I can't identify with what it is describing. They were mostly nonsense that you'd read because they happen to be in every newspaper. If you happen to read several newspapers in one day, they would have different readings for each zodiac sign which is a clear proof that there really is no systematic basis for the so called fortune reading. I'm reading newspaper less often these days so I haven't read horoscopes for a long time. I'll definitely not use the internet to search for horoscope reading.
  3. Jamsy

    Why are people attacking my faith so hard?

    I feel you. I used to be active in a local freelancing site in my country and one time, a newbie innocently started a thread in the community forum which suggests that he believes in God but just have some questions about the attitude of some believers. The atheists in the community took the chance to air their beliefs and dropped off bits and pieces of 'history' and some big names to lend authority to their claims that Jesus is not real and that Christianity is a lie. It was a total shock for me. There were a few who tried to inject their Christian views on the discussion but the atheists were the more aggressive and noisy ones and they expressly demonstrated their unity by liking and quoting each others' posts while denigrating the Christian believers as stupid people who aren't as 'bright' and as 'enlightened' as them. Really. I posted my own message and the atheists brushed it off as a stupid post that does not add to the value of the ongoing discussion. These atheists are in the age brackets of 22 to 25 and I'm in my thirties. I felt disrespected and out of place. It was a bloody thread and the moderators were forced to close it. The atheists are everywhere, just don't let them convince you that they know better because that's a lie. You have the truth - Jesus Christ.
  4. I think that Christian churches should encourage their members to actively engage in discipleship, entice them to join church groups, and come up with activities that will bring members together and help sustain their faith. There's less likelihood that a Christian will turn atheist if he/she is a part of an active group of fellow believers who are genuinely supportive. Some activities could involve the whole family together like a weekend getaway. The church, in my opinion, should reach out and stay relevant in the lives of their members.
  5. Jamsy

    True and false prophets

    In this day and age when the bible already tells us what to expect, it would be easy to spot a false prophet. Yet many people still fall prey to the designs of people who declare themselves as God's messenger. A local church in my country was established based on the claims of a man who claims that God spoke to him while he was meditating and reading the bible. The man was formerly a member of the SDA but decided to form his own church. He named his church as a church of Christ and claimed that only those who enlist themselves as a member will be saved. This church has grown and has even gone international. I don't understand why so many people can believe this man's claims. He claimed to be the 5th angel from the Far East and he claimed that based on the Revelation, the Church of Christ will arise in our country, the Philippines! And that is supposed to be the church he founded. The man had since died but his son had taken over the leadership of the church. The church supposedly votes as a block and many politicians troop to their church hoping to get endorsement for the election.
  6. I believe that home schools supervised by Christian churches or organizations are a great alternative to traditional schooling and a good way to spread Christianity. The church I'm attending used to operate a home school where students meet once a week for special classes in P.E, music, and arts. They hold annual field trips and conduct testing at the end of the year for major subjects. The school also offers group tutorial for students who are having difficulties with them. Socialization was never an issue in this set up. Home schooling children keeps them away from bad influences at school and allows them to focus on their studies instead of being distracted by issues with their peers or other personalities at school. When they join university later in life, they will not have as much pressure dealing with their peers or classmates who have more or less matured by then.
  7. Jamsy

    Traditional Hymns or Contemporary Music?

    I prefer traditional hymns. The church I attend uses contemporary Christian music for worship most of the time but for special occasions, there's a special choir that sings traditional hymns. Our music ministry consists mostly of younger people who are understandably more into pop music. On the other hand, the special choir consists of relatively older singers with some classical training, Hearing them sing during a service is precious. I like traditional hymns not because I'm familiar with them. In fact, because I was a Catholic most of my life, I was never familiar with most Christian hymns other than those that are being sung repeatedly during masses. I just feel that this type of Christian music best expresses what I feel towards God and the faith, respect, and awe that He inspires and deserves.
  8. The God I know is the true God because there's only one God. I'll never experience another God because there's none like Him. Atheists don't believe in the existence of God but why do we insist that there's a God? We can also say that there's no God and get in with our lives like the non-believers. However, we can't do that without denying our very own essence. We are God's creation and in the deepest recesses of our mind and heart, there is an undeniable longing for our Creator. The Bible satisfies my need to know my Creator and knowing Him through Jesus Christ has brought me tremendous peace and freed me from restlessness and inner struggles. Thus, I can confidently say that my God is the one true God.
  9. There was never a time that I doubted God's existence. I grew up having relatives from different churches but they all believe in God. My family were deeply religious people who prayed together everyday. I know that trials are inevitable in life, but with God on my side, I know that I will always overcome. In fact, I can feel God's presence even more when I'm going through rough patches.. I pity the atheists who have opted to reject God and have chosen, instead, to rely on their own 'intelligence'. They have nothing to look forward to in life here and beyond. I thank God that he gave me parents who instilled the love and fear of God in us early on.
  10. Jamsy

    The LGBT community.

    The bible expressly condemns homosexuality and calls it an abomination. Churches who call themselves Christians and support same-sex marriage and even twist the bible to defend homosexuality should be ashamed of themselves, Unless they truly repent and refrain from homosexual acts and immoral relations with others of the same sex, homosexuals continue to violate God's laws and undermine their salvation. I don't believe in LGBT rights. Each member of the LGBT already have rights either as man or woman. To give them rights as LGBT is an act that gives them undue advantage over other men and women. I don't hate homosexuals either. In the bible, they are lumped with murderers, perjurers, liars, adulterers, swindlers, and other violators of God's laws but they can change like the rest of other sinners. However, they can't begin to see the light of truth if some groups of people continue to coddle them.
  11. Jamsy

    Wearing a cross

    There are also debates about the recognition of the cross as a symbol of Christianity as some quarters claim that it was initially used in pagan practices. Personally, my being a Christian is not tied to any symbol, including the cross. Otherwise, I would be guilty of idolatry. I don't wear a cross as a jewelry or for anything that has to do with my faith. I know that some people wear them or those mini rosaries with a crucified image in them. While I respect them for being open about their religious belief, I don't believe in wearing such symbol to prove that I am a Christian. God knows what is in my heart and I don't need to convince fellow human beings and myself that I am a true Christian. As for others who use the cross as a fashion accessory, I can't really judge their action to be blasphemous unless they start talking against God and what Jesus Christ did on the cross.
  12. Jamsy

    What does it mean to truly pray?

    For me, to truly pray means to communicate with God and pour my heart out to Him trusting that He is listening to every word that I say, and knowing that He is a living, loving,and merciful God who is always looking after his children. Who is man that God should be mindful of him? Yet my God has been there for me all the time and has taken care of me throughout my life. He has repeatedly proven His faithfulness. I didn't deserve His grace, yet it was given to me. I can't help but be thankful for His love and for his presence in my life. I've always prayed as a child, but my prayers had always been memorized prayers. I've since grown up and I've learned to appreciate the value of truly praying to God and thanking Him for everything that's happening in my life.
  13. Jamsy

    Favorite version of God's Name?

    In the past few years since I started reading the Old Testament, I've come across names like Yahweh, Jehovah, El Shaddai, and I AM. While this names evoke the different aspects of God's personality, it's his being a father that connects most to me. Because of what Jesus did on the cross, I earned the right to call him Father. Hence, this is how I often address him in my prayers - Father.
  14. When I was a child and a Catholic, I found members of the JW and INC strange. Most of my classmates were Catholic and only one was a JW member. The JW member would not join us for the daily flag ceremony and that fact alone made him stand out in my mind. He claims that their religion forbids them from reciting pledges to the flag and country and singing the national anthem. At least this was what the teacher told us. I didn't talk much with that classmate because besides being a JW member, he prefers to be alone and hardly participates in other school activities. INC. on the other hand, is a locally-founded church which means Iglesia ni Cristo or Church of Christ. I found its members weird because they call their church Church of Christ yet they don't even believe that Jesus is God and their founder claims that he was the first and last messenger of God. Many townspeople call them Iglesia ni Manalo (Church of Manalo) because of the members' blind obedience to their founder.
  15. I can't possibly avoid non-believers because I have close relatives who attend churches that have major doctrinal differences with the church I'm attending. They've never made any attempt to convert us to their faith, either, so we simply co-exist and respect each other's faith. In my job and business, I normally encounter people of various shades and religion. I don't avoid friends on the basis of what one believes in, but I certainly avoid people who waste my time in senseless conversations/debates where no one comes out a winner and those who will try to influence me to depart from the truth. I will be happy, though, to develop more friendships within the church.

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