My mind is almost constantly synapsing (definitely more bothersome at two AM), and lately a question keeps burning inside it that I can no longer ignore. That question is ... do I really love my fellowman?
I mean ... really love the human race?
As a believer in God I know I'm supposed to be kind, and care about other people, but do I really love others? That is, after all, our tallest order.
"Love your neighbour as yourself" has been looping, over and over in my mind so ... do I love myself? That's an easier question to answer. I may be disgruntled with a few body and personality issues but when push comes to shove, or I suspect the driver beside me is threatening to race ahead as soon as the light turns green, you bet I'm all about me! Me first! I'm important too!
I've been reading more of the Old Testament (OT) lately, which many think doesn't pertain to us in the 21st Century, but ... if God is the same today, as He was yesterday, then for research purposes alone I feel it prudent to take a more thorough look at "yesterday".
I certainly haven't exhausted all of this but even with what I've digested so far, I can only think that we are in for a brutal awakening. Perhaps we're seeing some of that already. I mean, are things rosy in our world right now or do you see the decline I've been looking at?
Watching the news alone gives me cause to shudder. War, senseless school shootings, murders committed by people who were themselves grown inside horrible circumstances, unnecessary confusion for our little ones, an economy that appears to be collapsing, and the increasing anger and hatred toward others are only some of what many of us see every day.
(I'm sorry ... were you expecting a happy-go-lucky Christmas blog? Just wait!)
Back in the OT, the Israelites first obeyed and then sinned, listened and then ignored all of the laws God had set for them. Over and over the cycle went. In the times of obedience (I know ... a word that's hard for me to swallow too because I love to go my own way), God blessed them unimaginably, but when they moved away from Him and did evil (written exactly that way, as if it was meant for our world right now!), destruction came to them.
So ... hmm ... if God is the same today as He was yesterday and will be tomorrow, where are we at?
Again, the question that has come to my mind too many times to count is, "Pattie! Do you really LOVE the people in your life? Not only the people you've forged deep bonds with, but even the ones you don't know well?"
This may be author suicide, but I'm going to write it anyway and if you feel you're being preached at, well ... I won't apologize ... because I DO love you.
Simply put ...
If we believe that when we die we are going to heaven, then we must believe there is a hell. I say that because "heaven" originated in the Bible. Hell, uncomfortably, is mentioned in there, as well. So --since we don't have one without the other, we must each make our choice.
THE BEST NEWS (here it comes -- the happy Christmas part of the blog!): There is a way to choose heaven and that is believing that Jesus Christ -- that sweet baby we celebrate at Christmas -- was born to die for our sins! He came to SAVE us!
Being raised in surroundings where bible verses were thrown around more as weapons, instead of being used in the loving way God intended, I realize I don't always quote them in every blog but, today, these three verses explain what I'm trying to say ...
"For GOD SO LOVED the world that HE gave His one and only SON, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is NOT condemned, but whoever does NOT believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God's one and only Son." John 3:16-18 (NIV)
Clearly, it's our choice. We can believe and accept Him, or ... not.
I pray that you -- the people I LOVE and who God loves so much more -- will make the right choice.
For everyone who reads this blog (if you've signed up to receive my emails or not), know that I pray for you.
I pray that God will bless you during this Christmas season and in the coming year.
May you choose to know His peace and see His goodness every day!
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