Wise Words

"Wait on the Lord, be strong and of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart...wait on the Lord. Psalms 27:14


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Saturday, June 10, 2006

Let's Play Catch-Up!

Wow, I do have a WHOLE LOT to catch up on!

So, here’s the deal. I'm going to be going in chronological order as far as days I’ve not posted since getting back in town.

1. The answers to the Ask Nic questions from last week – which dear CMHL answered beautifully.
2. Thankful Thursday
3. Friday’s Feast - the FFT will return next week

I'm warning you in advance, this is going to be a huge whopping big post!

Sound good? Good. Let’s get started.

Answers to the Ask Nic/CMHL:

Monty asked: Dear cmhl, I read the banner streaming by and I understand the concept that I am saved simply by the fact of my faith. But does that relieve me of my responsibility to try to be a better person? Thank you in advance.

Dear CMHL has a WONDERFUL answer – one that I was extremely pleased to read. She hit it right on the head! I am going to abridge her version and then add a little of my own. Hers will be in the italics.

My [answer] is as follows; nobody deserves salvation. Nobody. All have sinned and fallen short. You will never be good enough to deserve heaven or to deserve salvation.

What about the man that murders his entire family, is convicted, and then has a death-row conversion. Obviously he is a sinner, obviously what he did was wrong, and he is paying the price. He hears/ believes/ confesses/ repents/ is baptized and is presumably forgiven and on his way to heaven. Could he ever be a "good enough" person? No. Could he still be saved? According to the bible, I say yes. But he will never be good enough.

Good works-- is it a requirement? I think that rather than thinking of good works as a requirement, good works are more of a symptom of people that have been saved. They will want to do good works, want to please God, but good works aren't what will get them into heaven--- grace will.

Monty, what an excellent question! I can understand how many people would have that question. So many churches out there today preach the doctrine of works as a path to salvation instead of preaching the REAL path of salvation, which is only by grace through faith.

CMHL is absolutely right in her answer 100%. Nobody deserves salvation, you can’t earn it, you can’t buy it. All you can do is accept it as a gift. That is what it is all about. In John 3:16 (everyone knows this verse) it says that “God so love the world (that’s everyone in it, even the people we consider to be vile) that He gave His only Son (right there – God GAVE – it’s a gift of a perfect and willing sacrifice to take our deserving place on the cross because of our sins) that whosoever believes in Him (and that is the key – whosoever BELIEVES in Him – it’s a belief and acceptance of that gift. This verse says nothing of working for salvation) should not perish but have life eternal (the sacrifice of Jesus dying on the cross as an atoning sacrifice for all the sins of the whole world and that acceptance of that sacrifice and gift of salvation is what allows us to live forever in paradise. We’re going to live forever anyway since we have souls which are immortal even though our bodies aren’t; it’s just that the acceptance or rejection of that gift of salvation determines where we end up. It’s heaven or hell. There is no in-between)

Now, the verse that I have scrolling on my marquis says it accurately that “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” However in James 2:18, it states But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." But I say, “Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.” If we really truly have accepted that gift of Salvation, it is a live changing gift. Because of the understanding of Who Jesus was, What he did and How he lived we want to emulate that example. We are called to minister to others by what we do and how we act as Christians.

There is this old song that we used to sing at campfire during one of the summer camps I went to. The chorus goes “They will know we are Christians by our love, by our love, yes, they will know we are Christians by our love.” Even as God is revealed by what He does, so are His children – those who have made the choice to follow Him and become Christians. In John 13:34-35 Jesus says: "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." If we have believed that our salvation is a gift from God and we take that gift and understand that we can not earn it, then that faith will create a desire in us to strive to be as Jesus was and is and that is to do what we can to help others, to show the love of Christ living inside of us by serving others, by helping those who need it without any expectation of thanks, reward or recognition. If we truly are Christians, we help others because that's what Jesus would do.

James 2:20 states that Faith without works is dead. That doesn't mean that we earn our salvation. Quite the contrary. God's greatest commandment was to love one another as He has loved us. As Jesus gave up everything – a home in heaven as Creator of the Universe and everything in it, angels who worshiped and adored Him, paradise beyond our wildest imaginings to come here to earth, born as baby into a human body that felt pain and hunger, a body that He ultimately give up to death and suffered as no person ever has before or after so that we could have life eternal with Him – we are called to treat everyone with the same compassion and love that Jesus showed others and that means helping those who need it the most. The poor, the downtrodden, the weak, the weary, the broken hearted, the needy, the sick and on and on the list goes. We truly are to ask ourselves What Would Jesus Do? And then we are to follow the answer. What we do, how we act, how we help others should be a reflection of our life in Christ. If we don't help those who need it the most, if our life in Christ doesn't move us to constantly strive to be a better person we are setting a very poor example indeed and it would give one cause to wonder if we really and truly are in Christ as we should be and if our conversion was genuine if we end up giving a poor example of what a Christ-filled and Christ-centered life ought to be like.

Monty, I could go on and on about this, and to some extent I feel like I have, but that is my "brief" answer at this point. LOL! Thanks for asking the question.

Now on to Overwhelmed's question:

Overwhelmed asks: Nicole (or Cmhl), how did you get those neat graphics on your sidebar? :)

This one I will totally ask Nicole to answer! her page has TONS of graphics, and yet still loads well! I will say this--- many of her links, if you click on them, it will take you to a website that has the directions for putting a link on your blog. Normally, you go into your template and add in the code, or at least that is what I have found in my experience..

Well, Overwhelmed, A lot of the graphics that I have on my sidebar I created myself and uploaded them to Imageshack.us. There are a whole lot of great free image hosting websites to go to but that is the one that I use. Plus, it automatically generates codes for whatever image you load onto your account and you just cut and paste in into your sidebar on whatever blog host you use and that's that. The thing that I do in addition to that for the ones I created myself is to link the images to the site where they came from so that instead of just looking at a static graphic they can click on it and it will take them to the website that the graphic is promoting. Hope that helps out and if not, just leave me your email and we can chat offline about how to do it more in depth!

And now for the Thankful Thursday

~1 Thessalonians 5:18~ Give thanks to God in all circumstances (no matter what they may be), for this is God's will for you (who are) in Christ Jesus.

My Peace I Leave With You

Thankful Thursday: What Nic is thankful for this week

Wonderful friends from near and far. Those who helped me out with my blog while I was gone and those I met in Branson! What a blessing. :)
Invitations to join really cool new blogging groups! Check out the All *Blog* Stars by following the link on my sidebar right under my profile – you can't miss it!
Air conditioning b/c in the SHADE my vehicle was registering 101 this afternoon. This morning at 9:45 it was already 90 degrees and it's 85 still as I'm typing this at 11:10 at night. God bless the person who created air conditioning!
Quiet moments with God that help me to feel closer to His presence.
Reading sweet bedtime stories to Em that create such wonderful memories. The one we read tonight was Oh My Baby, Little One by Kathy Appelt.

Links to other Thankful Thursdays:
Unicorn Child (new "home" of ThT and code)
A Child of God
A Revision
Anna's Place
As My World Turns
Friday's Child
Imagine Bliss
Journaling Through the Valley
LadyBug Crossing
Momma's Life
Mommy Does It All
Mommy Needs To Vent
Show Them Through Me
Sting My Heart
Uzi's Musings
Yellow Rose's Garden

(If you participate, leave your link in the comments and I'll post it below; or, you can post in the comments)

Click here for the Thankful Thursday code

Click here for Chrixean's blog

Trackbacks, pings, and comment links are accepted and encouraged!

And Finally…the Friday's Feast

Feast Ninety-Seven
About how much money did you spend on gas this week?

Ok, so this is really extreme b/c I TRAVELED over 1500 mile since last week Tuesday but I would say around 100.00 for a 20 gallon tank for the return trip which was aroud 800 miles - what with getting lost in the back woods of Oooooooklahoma...where the wind comes sweeping down the plain. Ok, so yes it would be the back plains of Oklahoma then, I guess.

What is your favortite brand of toilet paper?

Kleenex Cottonelle Triple Roll. It's soft, tough and last three times the average roll! AND it's fairly inexpesive compariatively to the other TPs out there

When was the last time you discovered something that you thought was pure genius?

Eliphino, but I do like the "to go" containers from Fuddruckers b/c I make my own sauce. 1 squirt ketchup, 1 squirt yellow mustard, 2 pumps mayo and fill the rest ith A1 steak sauce. Put the lid on and shake it up. It keeps the sauce from splattering and mixes it up nicely. Genius, no, smart, yeah.

Main Course
What is the least amount of sleep you can get by on per night?

2 hours. I've done it often as I suffer from insomnia frequently.

June is a popular month for weddings. Do you know anyone who is getting married this month?


So, I will post pictures of the trip AND of Emily's graduation on the next post. I'll try to post the short video of Em's graduation which is really, really funny. I can see it now, she's going to be the kid that does the goofy stuff to get noticed - aka the class clown. OY!


Velvet Cowboy said...

Hey Texan! We're on ALL STARS together... I was just dropping in to say hi... I like the blog setup!

Sheryle said...

Nic, thanks for your post on faith vs. works. As a person who believes in keeping the commandments, I get a lot of people who think that I am legalistic or that I think I can get to heaven through works. The Lord tells us that we are saved by faith through grace.

These days I hear a lot of Christians stating that all you need is faith and therefore you don't have to change. But your analogy stated it well, that works is a symptom of faith.

I see it like marriage, where I love my husband, and I could choose not to be faithful, but I am faithful because I love him. My faithfulness is a symptom of my love.

So it is with works. We can do good things all our lives and not get into heaven, if we have no faith, but conversely, if we don't do good works, than it proves that we don't have real faith. By their fruits ye shall know them.

Anyway, thanks again for that surprising commentary. I'm glad I dropped by.

mar said...

Dropping by to say hello, you know: you all *blog* star!

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Great to have you here again, Nic, my friend.

no_average_girl said...

hey girl! It was great fun posting while you were away, but it's awesome to have you back! Glad everything we well for you and you're all safe! Looking forward to the pictures! Love you!