Posts Tagged ‘love’

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” — Henry S. Haskins —

History is rife with the periodic destruction of accumulated human erudition. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, for instance, much of the Egyptian-Greco-Roman knowledge base was scattered or lost. The great archives at Alexandria were burned, pillaged and destroyed. And then, during the Middle-Ages, when Baghdad was considered a major intellectual center of the ancient world, the Mongols devastated their library. Scholars at the “House of Wisdom” (as it was called) had by then translated vast amounts of salvaged Greek and Roman scholarship into Arabic. This malicious destruction resulted in another major loss of written material. There are many more examples, of course.

Today, I find myself thinking about the profound impact that the world-wide web has had upon the storage and distribution of human knowledge. Some say that the modern information superhighway may even one day rival the great historical repositories of the past – if it survives.

When I was a growing up, a reliable source for quickly referencing trustworthy information on a wide variety of subjects was an encyclopedia. Some of my younger readers just said to themselves “encyclo…what?”

Basically, an encyclopedia was (and still is) a comprehensive collection of texts, photographs, illustrations, etc. This assemblage of knowledge was usually arranged in alphabetized printed volumes. If you wanted to research the Brazilian Amazon Rain Forrest, for example, you simply opened the “A”, “B” or “R” volume of the encyclopedia and referenced that subject. Today, of course, we have electronic versions of these classic works, including certain avant-garde varieties like Wikipedia.

With the advent of the internet and “search engines” it is now possible to explore practically any subject and read a bazillion differing viewpoints on that topic. However, I have found that many of the articles readily available online are filled with unsubstantiated rubbish. In preparing to write this composition on the subject of confidence, I decided to do a “search” of that word. The result? Contradictory information and sometimes laughable recommendations that could easily lead simple readers down the road to overwhelming confusion. The internet data base of “knowledge” seems to span the ridicules to the sublime.

So my friends, I shall now add my thoughts to this tangled electronic web of information. My subject today is CONFIDENCE.

Successful people have fear, successful people have doubts, and successful people have worries. But they also have confidence and that is why they do not let these feelings stop them.” – Unknown

From a secular perspective, Confidence has been described by some as comfortable certainty. From what I have read, if we feel good about ourselves, have an appropriate level of self-esteem and believe in our own proficiencies, we are confident people. Okay. That sounds plausible.

Sometimes, confidence can be misinterpreted for arrogance and visa-versa. But, arrogance usually involves a condescending attitude toward others. Pompous, patronizing, superior, a legend in your own mind? You’re considered arrogant. Certain about the truth of what you know and who you are? That’s called Confidence.

And let’s not forget good old hubris which is typically a personality flaw found mostly in the rich and/or powerful who overestimate their individual capabilities or significance. The hubristic suffer, to some extent, a disconnection from reality; “thinking of themselves more highly than they should”. These folks are generally delusional. Hubris is also known as politician’s disease. Okay, I made that last one up.

A genuinely confident person is neither arrogant nor delusional (full of hubris). Confident people are however – decisive. They will, as the sayings go, put their money where their mouth is because, actions speak louder than words. Confidence can help us to convert our thoughts and ideas into actions in ways that far exceed the superficial of the daily grind.

You must not lose confidence in God because you lost confidence in a minister or religion.  If our confidence in God had to depend upon our confidence in any human person or institution we would be standing on shifting sand.” – Francis A Schaeffer

What about spiritual confidence? Now, don’t tune me out. I am a Christian, but I am not that stereotypical Bible thumper with the bad hair and dimples. I don’t sell Jordan River water, Holy Land prayer cloths or any other “Jesus Junk” on my website and I am not asking you for any financial support. Conversely, I have studied the Bible for 35+ years and I do have a PH.D in Theology (although I am not asking you to consider that as anything special either).

In my world view, confidence hinges more upon a deep and abiding faith in someone far greater than me and the inner freedom that comes from a clear conscience than it does on just trusting in myself. What has amazed me as a follower of the Liberator Jesus is not only the profound peace that comes from knowing I am free from any form of inner guilt and shame through my acceptance of His redemptive work, but also the tremendous confidence that I have developed because of the empowering message He came to spread while visiting this lost and slowly dying planet.

Listen to this quote from the Bible’s Newer Testament,

19 “Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. 20 And even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if we don’t feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence. 22 And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him. 23 And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us.” (1 John 3:19-23 – New Living Translation)

Let that first line sink in: our actions will reveal if we know the truth. I believe that means our actions do indeed speak louder than words. If we look at “truth” as being absolute – black is indeed black – than to know the truth would certainly help one find confidence. It really is that simple.

Anyone can claim “I believe”. But it will always be our actions that prove the legitimacy of such an assertion. Telling you that I can fly like a bird is meaningless if I won’t prove it by jumping off the roof.

I have so much confidence in the reality of Jesus that I feel no pressure to try to make people act or be a certain way. I’m banking everything on the fact that God actually changes people.” – Erwin McManus

I have put my absolute trust in the supremacy of the Almighty (God) who lives outside of the limitations of this (His) created world. As a result, my faith along with a clear conscience yields a confidence that sustains me in this life and it will carry me into that next dimension (with God) when my mortality has run its course. So again, real confidence is a product of a deep and abiding faith (or trust) in the Creator and a conscience that has been made free from guilt and shame.

Our conscience (which is also known as the voice of our human spirit) acts like a validation filter. It is what keeps us honest before God and with ourselves,

21 And, beloved, if our consciences (our hearts) do not accuse us [if they do not make us feel guilty and condemn us], we have confidence (complete assurance and boldness) before God.” (1 John 3:21- AMP)

It is this combination of faith and a clear conscience that produces the genuine confidence we all need. Faith says “God, I know you will keep your word to me and you will fulfill every promises you have ever made concerning me”. In a way, faith in itself is CONFIDENCE. Whenever there is an absence of genuine faith (trust in God) there is also an absence of true confidence.

Turning again to the Bible’s Newer Testament.

18-20 “Timothy my son, I give you the following charge. And may I say, before I give it to you, that it is in full accord with those prophecies made at your ordination which sent you out to battle for the right armed only with your faith and a clear conscience. Some, alas, have laid these simple weapons contemptuously aside (faith and a clear conscience) and, as far as their faith is concerned, have run their ships on the rocks. Hymenaeus and Alexander are men of this sort, and as a matter of fact I had to expel them from the Church to teach them not to blaspheme.” (1 Timothy 1:18-20 – Phillips)

The writer, Paul, was about to give instructions to a Christian Minister named Timothy. But first, he reminded him of his heritage. “You were sent out to do battle on the side of what is right armed only with a clear conscience and your faith”, he told him. Next came this warning: some who have laid aside these simple weapons (faith and a clear conscience) and done so with contempt, end up a shipwreck. Here’s the take away: our confidence in the Almighty will run aground (become a shipwreck) when we fail to listen to the voice of our own human spirit (i.e. our conscience). But, if our heart (our conscience) does not accuse us – in other words, when our conscience is clear – we are full of confidence in both our relationship with the Almighty and in our human existence as we live out each day in accordance with His plan and purpose for our lives. To put it another way; keeping your little life boat afloat requires faith and a clear conscience.

Acquire the habit of speaking to God as if you were alone with Him, familiarly and with confidence and love, as to the dearest and most loving of friends.” – Alphonsus Liguori

Now, here is the best part: when you have placed your absolute trust in that Spirit entity whom we simply refer to as God, and your conscience has been wiped clean of all guilt and shame by Him, prayer is natural and simple. And remember, prayer is nothing more than talking with the one who is able to do extremely and profusely more than we could ever ask of Him or even dream possible. Listen to this:

14-15 “We have such confidence in him that we are certain that he hears every request that is made in accord with his own plan. And since we know that he invariably gives his attention to our prayers, whatever they are about, we can be quite sure that our prayers will be answered.” (1 John 5:14 – Phillips)

That excites me; we can be quite sure that our prayers will be answered as long as they line up with His plan!

Have you had a heart to heart talk with the Divine Spirit today? Have you ever? Forget religion. This is not about the Church, the Mosque, the Synagogue, the Miao, Gong, or Tan. The Liberator Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6). His visitation to our planet had but one purpose, “to seek and save that which has been lost” (Luke 19:10). The Creator wants to know you. Go ahead, ask Him about it. He will answer.  He has promised to answer.  We’ve got His word on it:

‘Call to Me, and I will answer you. And I will show you great and wonderful things which you do not know.’ (Jeremiah 33:3 – NLV)

May God bless you and show you just how much he loves you.

Είθε ο Θεός να σας ευλογεί και να σας δείξει πόσο πολύ σας αγαπά .

Eíthe o Theós na sas evlogeí kai na sas deíxei póso polý sas agapá.

Que Deus abençoe você e lhe mostre  o quanto ele te ama.

Che Dio vi benedica e vi mostrerà quanto ti ama .

Que Dios los bendiga y le mostrará lo mucho que te ama.

Que Dieu vous bénisse et vous montrer combien il vous aime.

Joseph A. Cerreta, PhD., is an author, broadcaster, and a popular Bible teacher. © 2016 by Joseph A Cerreta,
all rights reserved. For more information write to: Insight Today, P.O. Box 1283, New Port Richey, FL 34656
Unconditional love really exists in each of us. It is part of our deep inner being. It is not so much an active emotion as a state of being. It’s not ‘I love you’ for this or that reason, not ‘I love you if you love me.’ It’s love for no reason, love without an object.” – Ram Dass

For those old enough to remember the summer of 1967, you may recall the monumental telecast called Our World. It was the first ever live global television link. Over 400 million people in 25 countries watched the program which was broadcast live via satellite on the 25th of June. The British pop superstars known collectively as The Beatles were asked to write a song for this historical event. The result was titled, “All you need is Love”. The song had a very simple (if not repetitive) message; love is all you need. To put it another way; there is nothing you cannot do if you do it in love.

During that same summer of 1967, the hippie counterculture movement reached an apex in the United States as an estimated 100,000 people converged upon a neighborhood in San Francisco known as Haight-Ashbury. This human fondue of rock music, psychedelic drugs, unbridled creativity and uninhibited sexual and social behaviors put on an unforgettable spectacle. It had a profound effect on western societies worldwide as people began to question just about everything once defined as normal. Today, historians often refer to this societal phenomenon as the Summer of Love, and it is still considered a defining moment of the 1960s.

I think it’s safe to say that love has always been a pervasive topic among the human species. It is celebrated in the arts and entertainment, used as a social hammer and anvil and dragged through the mud of human insincerity ad nauseam. And yet, in all my life, I have never met anyone who really understood (let alone practiced) true unconditional love.

Can we talk?

Confession time: I’m really good at covetousness, lust and greed – love’s counterfeits. Occasionally, I have stumbled into a genuine expression of unadulterated love, and of course I expected a congressional medal of honor for such selfless acts. One thing I have learned about unconditional love; you will know it when you see it – it’s that rare.

You doubt me. Okay, let me ask you a question, how do you react when someone lets you down or fails to live up to your expectations? Thought so. Wish I had a dime for every time I have heard someone say, “If he/she really loved me…” This phrase is usually followed by a “condition”. Why not just say, “When you do and say what makes me happy, that will prove that you love me and then I will love you back.” Here’s the problem, I can’t seem to find that definition of love anywhere in the scriptures. What I do find is just the opposite. The Bible teaches us to take no account for how we are treated but instead to treat others the way you would like them to treat us. (Luke 6:31)  In fact, Jesus put it this way,

43-47 “You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that. 48 In a word, what I’m saying is, grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.” (Matthew 5:43-48 – The Message)

Listen, there is no excuse for those who are abusive, callous, cruel, or unfaithful in relationships. Sometimes we must be confrontational for the sake of correction. But we should avoid abusive, callous or cruel language to “correct” an abusive, callous, or cruel person. That’s hypocrisy.

I converted to Christianity because I was convinced by Jesus Christ as a character, as a personality. I loved him, his wisdom, his love, his unconditional love.” – Mosab Hassan Yousef

Here is how the Newer Testament writer Paul defines real love,

 4 “Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong. It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out. If you love someone, you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him. All the special gifts and powers from God will someday come to an end, but love goes on forever.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

Incredible (and embarrassing). Let’s bullet point that list of love’s characteristics. Love is:

  • Patient
  • Kind
  • Never jealous or envious
  • Never boastful or proud
  • Never arrogant or selfish
  • Not demanding
  • Not irritable or touchy
  • It does not hold a grudge
  • Doesn’t keep records of peoples mistakes
  • Hates injustice
  • Rejoices in the truth

Does that sound like you? Me neither. But wait, there is more. Paul said, if you love someone, you will be loyal to them no matter what the cost. You will always believe in them, always expect the best of them, and always stand your ground in defending them.

Sure, it sounds a bit idealistic. Who could possibly love like that? We can. But not without great effort. This ideal love may seem beyond your grasp, but no one will fault you for trying to attain it. Remember, everything in this life has an expiration date – except love. Love is eternal, and love never fails!

Unconditional love is dangerous. It leaves you vulnerable. That’s why some people avoid it altogether. They like to play it safe. C.S. Lewis wrote,

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, and irredeemable. To love is to be made vulnerable.” ― C.S. Lewis

The Liberator Jesus once said,

9-15 “I have loved you just as the Father has loved me. You must go on living in my love. If you keep my commandments you will live in my love just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and live in his love. I have told you this so that you can share my joy, and that your happiness may be complete. This is my commandment: that you love each other as I have loved you. There is no greater love than this—that a man should lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I tell you to do. I shall not call you servants any longer, for a servant does not share his master’s confidence. No, I call you friends, now, because I have told you everything that I have heard from the Father.” (John 15:13-15 – Phillips)

I almost can’t believe that the Creator of all things, The Almighty, has called me His friend. I’m flabbergasted really (knowing that I am so unworthy of this privilege). All He asks of our friendship is obedience to His truth and that I learn how to love like He does. That is a pretty tall order. I’m sure to stumble and fall on occasion. It’s okay, He will pick me up, set me straight, and I will try again. That is what unconditional love does.

Today, the Divine Spirit of the Almighty invites us to love with wild abandon. Are you up for the challenge? Then let’s get started right away. All you need is love… Love is all you need…

Joseph A. Cerreta, PhD., is an author, broadcaster, and a popular Bible teacher. © 2016 by Joseph A Cerreta,
all rights reserved. For more information write to: Insight Today, P.O. Box 1283, New Port Richey, FL 34656
Even on your worst days you are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God’s amazing grace. And on your best days you are never so good that you’re beyond the need of God’s grace.”  – Anonymous

Perched along the Anclote River at the end of Dodecanese Boulevard in picturesque Tarpon Springs, Florida is Rusty Bellies Waterfront Grill, one of my preferred writing (and lunchtime) destinations. Besides the sumptuous seafood served in a friendly, casual, “TIKI” atmosphere, the waterfront location provides amazing views of the Anclote River complete with breathtaking sunsets. For me, Rusty Bellies has become a quick slice of “workday” paradise, just a short drive from my home – a genuine Inspiration Point.

And so there I was, sitting at my regular table, noshing on fresh Grouper skewers over black beans and rice while writing and occasionally chewing the fat with a few acquaintances. This one guy in particular kept making negative comments about himself. I really didn’t know him very well, but he seemed nice enough. Still, I couldn’t help but notice his frequent self-abasing remarks. He seemed to be obsessed with his shortcomings and failures. It is one thing to be humble – dead to self – quite another to stew in the crock pot of self-loathing.

When he finally summed up his life as a wasted, worthless and godforsaken existence, I could not contain myself any further. I looked straight at him and said, “Every human being is born with a copy of the Creator’s master blueprint flashed upon the fabric of his human spirit. God doesn’t forsake us! But, we can and often do desert him. We are all born into a world of wickedness (sin). In time, our fallen nature takes control of our lives, we mess up and thus we are all in desperate need of the Great Designer’s amazing grace. That is why He sent a liberator to the earth.”

Yea, the guy just stared at me. Uncomfortably. And for a moment I felt a bit awkward myself, wondering what to do next. He needed to know the Truth. So I told him even more about the Liberator Jesus and His power to set mankind free.

God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.”  – C. S. Lewis, (1898-1963)

Have you ever felt like this gentleman? Stuck in a funk of disappointment, hopelessness; maybe even despair? Look, I have made a myriad of mistakes in my life. Regrets?  I’ve had a few. Missed opportunities? You bet! But I have decided that wallowing in self-pity is not the way to handle my problems, especially in the light of what is written about us humans in the ancient scriptures,

13 “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit them together in my mother’s womb. 14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! It is amazing to think about. Your workmanship is marvelous—and how well I know it. 15 You were there while I was being formed in utter seclusion! 16 You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book!” – Psalm 139:13-16 TLB

The Creator knew every detail of our lives before we were born – the good, bad and ugly. As we grow older, it’s easy to look at our cumulative mistakes and think that we’ve diminished our usefulness to God. Listen, no life is so messed up, so broken, so imperfect that the great Designer can’t fix it.

God loves the human race. He may hate our sin but he loves the sinner. He may allow the consequences of sin to manifest in our lives, but He still loves the sinner. However, one day his Divine love and mercy must give way to his Divine Justice and the final judgement of everyone who refuses the free gift of His liberating grace. Consider yourself warned.

The next time that you look at someone and think, “they seem to have it all together”, remember this: we all wrestle with personal brokenness, mistakes, and hurts.  There is not one person on spaceship earth who isn’t struggling in some way.

Most of the appearance of mirth in the world is not mirth, it is art. The wounded spirit is not seen, but walks under a disguise.”  – Bishop Robert South, (1634-1716)

There are numerous examples of broken people in the Bible for whom God had a plan – even when they seemed to be “hopeless cases.”

  • Esther was an orphan girl living with her cousin.  In the culture of her day, she had three things working against her; she was a Jew in a hostile land, a women and an orphan girl. Hopeless?  God used Esther to save the Jewish nation.
  • Joseph was sold by his brothers into Egyptian slavery.  Later he was falsely accused of rape and thrown into jail.  At that moment, his life sure seemed hopeless and useless.  God eventually raised him up to a great leadership position and used him to save his people from a 7 year-long famine.
  • Job lost his children and all of his wealth.  His body became covered with boils and oozing soars. His wife walked out on him when he needed her the most.  Hopeless?  Sounds like a lost cause to me. But without knowing it, Job was proving false the accusations Satan made about him to God. Eventually Job was restored and blessed abundantly.  His life and actions have provided comfort and encouragement to people who are struggling, even to this day.
  • The Samaritan woman that Jesus met at the well was a mess.  She had been married 5 times and then didn’t bother to marry the 6th man in her life.  She was a social outcast and appeared to be a hopeless loser.  Jesus spoke with her, exposed her true condition and offered her His living water. As a result, God used her to bring the Samaritan people the Gospel and many in her town were converted.
  • Peter denied Jesus three times.  The shame he felt must have been overwhelming.  When Jesus saw Peter after the resurrection, He didn’t scold him.  He asked Peter to spread the Good News of mankind’s liberation to others.  Jesus knew the real Peter.
  • Paul had a reputation for killing people that followed the teaching of the Liberator Jesus. He actually thought he was doing God a favor. So, Jesus confronted him as an extraordinary light on the road to Damascus. The incident left him shaken and temporarily blind. Paul later became a hand-picked convert and was responsible for setting up the early churches. His writings make up nearly half of the New Testament.

Every one of us has a purpose. God formed us; He knows every hair on our head (Luke 12:7). Our faces and personalities are well-known to Him.  It doesn’t matter how far away we have wandered, He never forgets who we are.  His love for us reaches to the far corners of this earth and to the depths of the ocean.  He does all He can to bring us back home to Himself whenever we go astray.  And when we ask for His forgiveness, He doesn’t keep a record of our failures.   In His great mercy He sees the beautiful person He created.   God doesn’t see the mess we’ve made; He sees a diamond in the rough – a work in progress.

If the Lord be with us, we have no cause of fear. His eye is upon us, His arm over us, and His ear open to our prayer–His grace sufficient, His promises unchangeable.”  – John Newton, (1725-1807)

Broken people are not rubbish to God.  Whatever the state of our affairs, God loves us.  He sees the value in each of us.  He knows the gifts he has placed within our DNA.  As his workmanship, we are continually modeled by his Divine hands into a new creation based on His original and marvelous design.

 10 “For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above – spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us].”  – Ephesians. 2:10 AMP

GOD DOES NOT MAKE JUNK…

Almighty God, we confess our faults to you. We have messed up; but we can depend on your faithfulness to forgive our many failures, making us blameless in your sight. Our hope rests upon the Liberator Jesus. He paid our ransom and set us free. Help us as we journey along life’s road until the day of our final walk on the trip back home. We ask this all in the name of Jesus – our kinsman redeemer. AMEN.

Joseph A. Cerreta, PhD., is an author, broadcaster, and a popular Bible teacher.
© 2015 by Joseph A Cerreta, all rights reserved.
Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute of your life with love, grace, and gratitude.” – Denis Waitley –

I recently traveled to New England for a long overdue visit with family and friends. Driving through Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire afforded me a trip down memory lane. I let my mind wander to what were the nurturing and more genteel times of my youth. While in Connecticut, I spent a few days with my Mother, whom for me is a living testimony of life before social tinkering and political correctness.

You see, mom raised us in a time when they still displayed Old Glory and The Ten Commandments proudly at the courthouse. Department stores were not afraid to have separate sections for “boys” and “girls”. We had a mailman, paperboy, milkman and various repairmen. It was okay to say a prayer in school, carry a bible in the building and pledge our allegiance to the good old US of A.   Heck, we even sang God Bless America at public assemblies and sporting events.

In those good old days a man was a man and a woman was a woman. There was no widespread sexual confusion. The gender neutralization of society had yet to begin in earnest. Dumb people were… well… dumb, but most decent people loved them just the way they were. Really smart people were celebrated not shunned and they only gave out one trophy for first place at school because the education establishment actually recognized that in the real world everybody doesn’t win a prize for participation. People didn’t sue one another if they fell down in their neighbor’s back yard at a barbecue. We actually said “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Hanukkah” – not “Seasons Greetings” or Happy Holidays”. And, let’s not forget the nativity scenes that adorned so many front yards and public places back then. Today, in some people’s minds, placing Jesus, Mary and Joseph on your front lawn poses more of a treat to the nation than radical Islamic terrorists.

Some say that everyone was narrow-minded and ignorant in those days.  I say bovine poop.  For sure there were social injustices that needed correcting. Some people couldn’t grasp the self-evident truth that “all men are created equal”. Many still can’t. We will always have fools and bigots to deal with in society. But the greater ignorance seems to rest with those who today think that 95 percent of the population should be inconvenienced because of 5% that might be offended. I have no desire to engage in a prolonged discussion on the mistakes and shortcomings of previous generations of Americans. We all make mistakes. Love covers a multitude of sins. My nostalgic drive simply reminded me that in spite of our own unique set of problems all those years ago, we were much less confused than this generation.  Mom says that in many ways, we were a whole lot better off.  I have learned not to argue with my mother.

At 88 years young, mom is still a reminder to me of God’s amazing grace. She has always tried to love the unlovely. She believed that all lives matter long before it was a T-shirt slogan. Mom just seemed to know how to love people even when they didn’t deserve it. Don’t get me wrong, she isn’t perfect, but she is full of grace.

The concept of God’s grace ranks among the most important truths taught in the scriptures. Biblical grace is the love, peace and unmerited favor of God given to the unholy and undeserving. Mankind can never be worthy of God’s grace. But, He is merciful and therefore he pours out his grace freely upon us. The bible describes humanity as a lost race, desperately wicked, spiritually dead and banished on the earth. As such, we do not deserve to be blessed at all – we deserve damnation. Thankfully, as we live out our days on this orbiting penal colony called earth, God has chosen to continually offer his redeeming grace to us in abundance – along with blessings too!

To even begin to grasp the concept of the grace of God, we all must learn the truth about the mission and message of the man called Jesus. The Holy Spirit of God becomes our inner guide, teaching us everything we need to know. He will show you how the good news that Christians commonly refer to as The Gospel is really all about God’s grace extended to exiled mankind through the Liberator Jesus. God is the source of all grace – Jesus IS that grace!  Listen to this quote from the New Testament book of Acts: 11“We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 15:11 – New Living Translation)

My trust in God flows out of the experience of his loving me, day in and day out, whether the day is stormy or fair, whether I’m sick or in good health, whether I’m in a state of grace or disgrace. He comes to me where I live and loves me as I am.” – Brennan Manning

If you are a sincere and devout Christian, one of the great threats to living a life filled with God’s grace is the tendency to be extremely hard on yourself. I mean really, how do I love myself when I do so many bad things (or even when I think about doing bad things)?  It is one thing to acknowledge God’s grace and forgiveness, quite another to forgive ourselves.

The problem is that we can’t extend God’s grace and love toward others if we do not first love ourselves. While it is prudent to shun too much self-admiration; there is a big difference between an ego trip and loving who you are. Jesus taught that we were to love one another the same way that we love ourselves. Here is what he said,

28“Then one of the scribes approached him. He had been listening to the discussion, and noticing how well Jesus had answered them, he put this question to him, “What are we to consider the greatest commandment of all?”   29-31 “The first and most important one is this,” Jesus replied—‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with your entire mind, and with all your strength’. The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’. No other commandment is greater than these.” – Mark 12:31 – J.B. Phillips New Testament –

The more insecure and uptight we are, the more difficult it is to keep from spiraling into guilt and condemnation. Even when we feel pretty good about our progress in living the Christian life, daily shortfalls will always present us with opportunities to marinate in blame and shame.  We can then become our own worst critic and consequently we fall into a trap of our own making. Just remember what the scriptures teach – God always forgives our mistakes even as we are always to forgive those who trespass against us. (Mark 11:25)

So why is it so hard for me to forgive my own failures? Good question. I think it’s because we all have an inner consciousness of an ideal self in our minds. But try as we might to live up to that picture-perfect image, we still miss the mark.

And let’s not forget all of the helpful voices reminding us that we are not so good.

Voices you say?

Yes, many voices.   Like an overly critical parent, an angry spouse, an insensitive boss, an infuriating colleague, a selfish neighbor, and even the innocent observations of impertinent children can hurt.  Teenage children are experts in making parents feel totally inadequate and completely inept.

The meaning of life, the wasted years of life and the poor choices of life – God answers the mess of life with one word: Grace.” – Max Lucado

What about our society?

How many ways do we fail to measure up in this man-centered age of humanism? Let me count but a few:

  • We don’t look the way we should
  • We don’t dress the way we should
  • We don’t make the money we should
  • We don’t have all the material possessions we should
  • We don’t have the popularity or the prestige we should
  • We don’t have the independence, power, or control we should

Need I continue? The sad thing is, we should know better.  But, we often buy into this garbage, and when we do, we stumble over our guilt.  Self-condemnation leads to a life of discouragement.  When we are discouraged, it is hard to do much of anything. All we feel is the pain of defeat and disappointment.

The good news is that God does not condemn us like we condemn ourselves.  God knows everything. That means He sees the positive in us. God recognizes our objectives, even if our actions don’t always bring about the results we intended. Again, we have only a limited picture of ourselves. It is easy to measure our lives by one mistake, one failure, and one defeat at a time. God sees the big picture – all that we are and even more importantly, all that we can become. (1 John 3:20)

Here is a truth of which our hearts need to be absolutely reassured: We are loved so much by God that through Jesus, He was willing to lay down his life – to give everything – to get us back.

A Divine rescue was required and God refused to let anything – even our depravity – stand in the way of our redemption. Jesus was sent to the earth by the Creator of all things (God). He endured humiliation rejection and death in order to provide the means by which we can be liberated from the burden of our wickedness. If God loves us that much than we too, out of genuine love for others, ought to be willing to share whatever we can with a brother or sister in need. Real love always leads to action. (1 John 3:16-19)

But here’s the irony; we cannot be free to love selflessly, as Jesus has loved us, if we continue to spend our time wallowing in a loser mentality. Do you believe the scriptures? They teach us that God has not condemned us. We are therefore fools to condemn ourselves.

Once we have given up self-condemnation, we discover a new sense of boldness before God. As our confidence grows, we begin to ask God for anything and everything we need in order to serve him better. When our spirit is in a right relationship (righteousness) with the Creator of all things (God), we receive from him whatever we ask of him. And then as we obey God, we discover that he is pleased to abide in us and we abide in Him. (1 John 3:21-24) Never forget these two incredible verses from the New Testament book of Romans:

1-2 No condemnation now hangs over the head of those who are “in” Jesus Christ. For the new spiritual principle of life “in” Christ lifts me out of the old vicious circle of sin and death.” – Romans 8:1-2 – J.B. Phillips New Testament –

No matter what happens from now until the day that your body dies, never give up on yourself. If God chose not to condemn those who turn to him for life; we have no business condemning ourselves.

God, there are many who are struggling to find meaning and purpose in this slowly decaying world. Please help those who have heard these words to find their way in the grace you offer them today. I ask this in the name of our Liberator Jesus. Amen.

Joseph A. Cerreta, PhD., is an author, broadcaster, and a popular Bible teacher.
© 2015 by Joseph A Cerreta, all rights reserved.
A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.” – C. S. Lewis –

Florida is known around the world for its balmy weather. Floridians enjoy 11,000 miles of rivers, streams & waterways. We have 1800 miles of coastline with over 1200 miles of sandy beaches. There are roughly 4500 islands measuring 10 acres or more scattered around the peninsula.  Florida boasts 760 species of wildlife that exist nowhere else in the world (if you ask me, most are creepy bugs). The Florida Panther is our state animal. We have countless Amphibians, Alligators, Crocodiles, Turtles, Sting Rays, Dolphins, Black Bears, Snakes, Manatees, Deer, scores of fresh and salt water fish, and a myriad of unusual bird species – including the largest population of Bald Eagles in the Continental United States. Our state bird is the mosquito. Okay, that’s not true. Ironically, with all of the exotic wildlife in Florida, our official State bird is actually – wait for it – the Mockingbird. I kid you not, the Mockingbird. Yes friends, Florida selected the common Northern Mockingbird as a state symbol. (Incidentally the mocker is the bird of choice for five different states: Texas, Mississippi, Florida, Arkansas and Tennessee).

Northern Mockingbirds have extraordinary vocal abilities. They can learn as many as 200 distinct songs over their lifetime, including those of any other bird as well as the sounds of many insects and amphibians. A mocker’s song is an echo of the sounds that surround them. These talented little virtuosos can sing for hours and never repeat the same thing twice. In fact, they are such skilled mimics; they have been known to imitate washing machines, car alarms and sirens. They do this so well, that you would not know you were listening to a bird.

I wonder how many people live a mockingbird life; echoing the cultural noise that surrounds them by repeating beliefs, attitudes and ideas that they know little to nothing about.   Mockingbird people often lack originality, vision and revelation. They become just another someone saying something about something that someone said something about.

I suppose we’ve all played the mockingbird role at one time or another. I have. But I’m in rehab now. It’s sort of like AA – Hi, my name is Joe and I am a recovering mockingbird. But this is where our comparison to the innocent little songbird will have to end, because human mockers can be far more treacherous than a perfunctory little bird. Let’s talk about mockery.

By definition a mocker:

  • Treats people with ridicule or contempt
  • Is scornful or arrogant
  • Causes others to appear irrelevant,ineffectual, or intolerable

As a Christian, my worldview is rooted in the Judeo-Christian ethic. When I encounter anything that opposes the teachings of the scriptures, then I reject it. Christians who scrutinize the beliefs and teachings of any individual, organization or social structures (including governments) are not necessarily narrow-minded bigots. We are simply being true to our heartfelt convictions and thus obedient to the will of our creator (GOD).

Our society strives to avoid any possibility of offending anyone – except God. – Billy Graham

Today people of deep religious faith, who believe in traditional family values and once generally accepted normative social behaviors, are regularly treated with ridicule and contempt (mocked). It seems like our social order has devolved into a quasi-free-for-all. It reminds me of a passage in the biblical Book of Judges,

25“In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes.” – Judges 21:25 – Amplified Bible

This verse refers to a period in the history of the nation of Israel that began sometime after the death of Joshua and ended around the beginning of the reign of King Saul. When Joshua and his governance team were in power, the nation enjoyed relative decency and order. But after his death, times changed and there gradually came chaos. No distinct leadership existed in Israel during the era of the multiple Judges. And, there was no God in the land.

“Is he saying that nobody believed in God anymore?” No, I am not saying that all the people had renounced their faith and become impious boasters, agnostics and atheists. It was actually worse than that. The people simply paid lip service to the creator (GOD). They were mock believers. Their worship was meaningless as they followed the ridged formalities of empty religion. The scriptures describe their condition perfectly,

13 “The Lord said, “These people show respect to me with their mouth, and honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Their worship of me is worth nothing. They teach rules that men have made.” – Isaiah 29:13 – New Life Version

Does any of this sound familiar? Right now, in our lifetime, many people are also paying lip service to the creator (GOD). This is an age where the darkened hearts of the spiritually blind habitually recite hollow prayers and follow the ridged formalities of empty organized religion. And paganism is everywhere.

I’ve only paid lip service to a spiritual life.” – Sting

What about those who are in positions of power? It seems to me that much of the world is suffering from an acute shortage of genuine leadership because there is no God in the land. When our heads of state are wise in their own arrogance (and not full of the reverential fear of the Almighty), you have the potential for wicked leadership. With the blind leading the blind, the likelihood for a disaster is increasing rapidly. The scriptures put it concisely,

1-5 “… in the last days it is going to be very difficult to be a Christian. For people will love only themselves and their money; they will be proud and boastful, sneering at God (mocking), disobedient to their parents, ungrateful to them, and thoroughly bad. They will be hardheaded and never give in to others; they will be constant liars and troublemakers and will think nothing of immorality. They will be rough and cruel, and sneer at (mock) those who try to be good. They will betray their friends; they will be hotheaded, puffed up with pride, and prefer good times to worshiping God. They will go to church, yes, but they won’t really believe anything they hear. Don’t be taken in by people like that.” – 2 Timothy 3:1-5 – Living Bible

That’s quite an indictment. The bible is less than enthusiastic in describing the character of humans as the end of the age draws near. Just remember, if you want to discern spiritual pretense, look behind the facades of religion and you’ll most likely find patterns of behavior that negate its validity. The warning is clear; do not be deceived by the songs of the mockingbirds.

To mock God is to pretend to love and serve him when we do not; to act in a false manner, to be insincere and hypocritical in our professions, pretending to obey him, love, serve, and worship him, when we do not. Anything that amounts to insincerity is mockery”  – Charles G. Finney

Mockers and scoffers are often the outspoken freethinkers. When it comes to the Christian faith, they ridicule, discredit, misrepresent and oppose believers and the teachings of the scriptures. This brand of skeptic and scoffer has been around since the foundation of Christianity and they will be here until the final trumpet sounds. Not merely content to disagree, they look for ways to make the beliefs of millions appear irrelevant, incompetent, or intolerable. The Newer Testament writer Peter warned about them,

“First, I want to remind you that in the last days there will come scoffers (mockers) who will do every wrong they can think of and laugh at the truth. This will be their line of argument: “So Jesus promised to come back, did he? Then where is he? He’ll never come! Why, as far back as anyone can remember, everything has remained exactly as it was since the first day of creation.” – 2 Peter 3:3-4

Maybe it’s just me, but I think every family has at least one of these mockers. You can do and say just about any crazy thing you like in their presence – except tell the truth from a scriptural perspective.

To be fair, not all who fit the biblical description of a mocker are loud and obnoxious. Some quietly scoff or laugh under their breath, while others politely dismiss faith in God with self-deceiving defenses like “that’s not my thing” or “God is not for everyone”. But since the Almighty himself has set the rules for the redemption of mankind, to dismiss Him is to mock him. It really doesn’t matter how polite, nice or kindhearted you are. God makes the rules, not us. If you want His help, His blessings and all of His many benefits, then you will have to learn to come to God on His terms.

Noah walked with God; he didn’t only preach righteousness, he acted it. He went through water and didn’t melt. He breasted the current of the popular opinion of his day, scorning alike the hatred and ridicule of the scoffers who mocked at the thought of there being but one way of salvation.” – Charles Studd

As the man called Jesus, God took on the form of a human being and lived among us. No one has ever seen God. Yet when Jesus visited our world, He made him known to all who have eyes to see. Jesus left no room for debate. He said unequivocally,

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6 – New Living Translation

Mockers will continue to heap contempt upon those who maintain that there is but one revealed way of salvation. Christians are to pay them no mind. Remain faithful and obedient to the Word of Truth. Continue to declare His certainty to all who will listen and “All things will work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

Just one more thing, to all who would be mockers, consider this verse from the scriptures,

“Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those that live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. – Gal 6:7-8 – New Living Translation

Part of God’s nature is perfect justice. Plant a seed and you will reap a crop. Your actions have consequences. What you do will come back to you. It can hurt deeply to be ridiculed, mocked and scorned – out loud or in secret. But as children of the creator of all things (GOD) we will get over it. We will also continue to love and pray for the scornful. Because this one thing we know for certain, God cannot be mocked. He sees it all.  And one day He will have the final say – whether you believe it or not.

God, please let the blinders fall away so that some may find revelation at this moment and turn from their darkness to your marvelous light. Amen.

Joseph A. Cerreta, PhD., is an author, broadcaster, and a popular Bible teacher.
© 2015 by Joseph A Cerreta, all rights reserved.
You give loyalty, you’ll get it back. You give love, you’ll get it back.” – Tommy Lasorda –

I can remember back to a time when the word loyalty really meant something.  People seemed more “connected” in those days.  That’s ironic because we had no cell phones, social media, or email.  In fact, all we had were land line telephones.  Most people did not even have an answering machine to take a message.  When we were not at home, oh well, they would call back later.  So how can I say that people were more connected at a time when there were less ways to connect? That’s simple, we actually related to each other.  Life was full of human interaction.  The term face time didn’t exist.  Why?  We didn’t need it.  That’s how we lived – up close and personal.  Connecting to the individuals in our various social circles was an intimate experience.  Today, more and more people prefer indirect forms of personal interaction through various proxy devices (smart phones, PC’s, etc.). Now don’t get your knickers in a swivet, I am not anti-technology – quite the opposite.  You name the device and I most likely own it.  My concerns lie in the relationship disconnect that many social media addicts manifest.  You doubt me?  Next time you are in a restaurant or other public place, make note of all the people texting instead of interacting.  (Does anyone have plans to stare at their phone some place exciting this weekend?)

I remind myself that I’m always more satisfied by human interaction than by a digital connection.” – Maulik Pancholy

Back in the Jurassic period of my youth, we had an honest sense of community.  People really looked out for one another and spent more time with each other.  We cared about the well-being of our neighbors.  Loyalty was the glue that held us all together.  Sure, we had the treacherous, the selfish and the miserable too.  And, there were those who simply did not deserve our loyalty at all.  But they were more the expectation – not the rule.  For the most part, loyalty was as common as a head cold when I was growing up. I can remember my mom shopping at Vinney’s corner market even when the big grocery store opened just two blocks away.  Ol’ Vinney charged higher prices and he didn’t have the wide assortment of merchandise like the new supermarket, but we shopped at Vinney’s out of loyalty.  After all, he was our friend and neighbor.  We went to school with his children and saw his family in church on Sunday.  Vinney was part of the fabric of our community – part of the give and take. So was old Mr. Frank.  He owned the big printing company in town.  Employed over 35 people.  Generally his business did very well, but of course, there were lean times.  Occasionally, new work orders would dry up for a season.  That’s just how the business cycle works.  One year, close to the Christmas holiday, Frank ran into a serious cash flow problem.  After considering all of his options, he sold some extra equipment to a smaller competitor and got a bridge loan from the local bank.  He put the money into the payroll first.  You see, Frank figured that his loyal employees were the reason that he and his family enjoyed a pretty good life.  Now it was his turn to demonstrate loyalty to all of them.  Every one of his employees had a good Christmas that year and from my perspective, God blessed old Mr. Frank with an abundance of work in the years to come.

Many of the qualities that come so effortlessly to dogs – loyalty, devotion, selflessness, unflagging optimism, unqualified love – can be elusive to humans.” – John Grogan

So what happened to loyalty?  How did we end up in a world riddled with cold indifference?  I’ll start with the short answer – covetousness, lust and greed.  Loyalty and unselfishness gradually gave way to unfaithfulness and self-interest. Just look around.  Friendships are fleeting.  Okay, some relationships do last a lifetime, but many do not.  Have you ever been hurt by the disloyalty of someone you thought was your friend?  What about modern marriage?  These are the days of the prenuptial agreement.  Let’s sit down and spell out exactly how the marriage will be dissolved before we tie the knot.  What a joke.  Whatever happened to the notion of unconditional love?  And what about employer/employee loyalty? You may be the company hotshot today, but two weeks from now you’re just number 3 of the next 5 people being shown the door.  So much for company allegiance and job security.

Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is silent understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.” – Ann Landers

Loyalty is sometimes defined as a feeling of strong support for someone or something.  It is what compels us to remain faithful to our commitments and obligations.  My favorite description of loyalty is found in the Bible,

17 A true friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need. (Proverbs 17:17 – Living Bible)

Loyalty is resilient.  In good times and bad, in sickness and in health, you can count on the faithfulness of a true friend.  God weighs the integrity of our hearts by the loyalty (love) we give to one another. In the words of the liberator Jesus as recorded in the Bible’s Newer Testament,

12 “This is my commandment: that you love each other as I have loved you. 13There is no greater love than this—that a man should lay down his life for his friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I tell you to do.”  (John 15:12-14 Living Bible)

Jesus also said this to his followers,

35 Your strong love for each other will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”  (John 13:35 – Living Bible)

That kind of friendship (love) takes dedication.  Unconditional love is measured by how we act – not just the way we feel.  Loyalty is love in action – like the captain who goes down with his ship, the solider who takes a bullet for someone else or the Redeemer who died to free mankind. One more thing.  Loyalty is not limited to our earthly relationships.  God desires our loyalty as well.  Do you believe in God?  Have you asked for His help?  The New Testament writer James made this interesting observation,

“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.”  (James 1:5-7 – New Living Translation)

 No, God is not mean or controlling.  But He is precise.  If you want His help, His blessings and all of His benefits, then you will have to learn to come to God on His terms.  God does not respond to doubt, unbelief or divided loyalty.  James continued,

“Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and so, they are unstable in everything they do.”  (James 1:8 – New Living Translation)

Life is all about choices.  You can’t have it both ways.  It’s one thing to say, “I believe in God”, but that means very little if you live like you don’t.  You will never know the inner peace and joy that He can give if you continue to follow the ways of this doomed world system. His terms are simple enough.

28 “Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:28 – New Living Translation)

In the fullness of time the Creator stepped out from eternity into the fabric of our reality to rescue a lost people stranded on a doomed planet. He came as the man called Jesus and told of how the Almighty one offers us freedom, peace and joy. His politically incorrect and intolerant message declaring that there was only one way to God (and that He was the way) made some people mad. So they killed him. But that was all part of His plan and he walked out of the grave alive 3 days later. Hundreds saw him in the weeks that followed. And then one day, he said goodbye to his closest friends, promised He would return again, and before their eyes, He left the planet. His followers remain fiercely loyal; spreading a simple message of hope, love and redemption.  Jesus offers true liberty to all that hear his voice. He just might be calling your name again today.  He is forever loyal – even when we are not.  Why don’t you answer this time? You’ve got nothing to lose and you’ll gain freedom and life – now and forever.

Jesus, please help my friends today.  Show them your power to liberate and redeem their wandering souls. Great is your faithfulness (loyalty) to us.  May we be as faithful now (loyal) to you.  Amen.

Joseph A. Cerreta, PhD., is an author, broadcaster, and a popular Bible teacher.
© 2015 by Joseph A Cerreta, all rights reserved.

7-8a “Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. It is, in fact, the one thing that still stands when all else has fallen”. – 1 Corinthians 13:7-8a – J.B. Phillips New Testament –

I think I’m in Love.

Really!

I LOVE everything I have learned about unconditional (divine, agape) love.

  • LOVE has no limit to what it can endure.
  • LOVE has a never ending capacity to TRUST.
  • LOVE has HOPE that never becomes hopeless.
  • LOVE will stare you down and outlast every attack.

Unconditional LOVE cannot and will not fail.

Did you hear me?

Unconditional love never fails. It never heads off to the divorce court (Human lust and fleeting infatuations do), it never cheats on the object of its affection, and it can withstand the abuse of those who in their ignorance often hurt us so deeply with their fiery darts (words and deeds).

When everything in your life is crumbling into rubble at your feet, unconditional LOVE will still be standing with you. In fact, it’s the only thing that will stand the test of time.

8b “For if there are prophecies they will be fulfilled and done with, if there are “tongues” the need for them will disappear, if there is knowledge it will be swallowed up in truth. For our knowledge is always incomplete and our prophecy is always incomplete, and when the complete comes, that is the end of the incomplete. 11 When I was a little child I talked and felt and thought like a little child. Now that I am a man my childish speech and feeling and thought have no further significance for me. 12 At present we are men looking at puzzling reflections in a mirror. The time will come when we shall see reality whole and face to face! At present all I know is a little fraction of the truth, but the time will come when I shall know it as fully as God now knows me! 13 In this life we have three great lasting qualities—faith, hope and love. But the greatest of them is love”.  1 Corinthians 13:8b-13 – J.B. Phillips New Testament –

Stay with me now and we’ll digest these verses together:

  • Prophecies will end in their ultimate fulfillment
  • Tongues will become unnecessary, and
  • Our finite human knowledge will be absorbed by THE truth

THE truth?

Yes. THE TRUTH. Jesus said I am the Way, THE TRUTH and the Life. The sum total of all human knowledge (i.e.: what we believe to be “true”) is incomplete. Jesus is our completion. And if we are complete in him, when he returns, the age of incomplete will end.

It’s time for us to grow up. Put the childish ways behind us (unless you would rather continue to live in childish insignificance). We may only see things as splintered and puzzling reflections at the moment. Our grasp of the truth is often fractional – at best. But the time is closer now than ever to when we will know God as fully as He already knows us!

Faith is important. Hope is essential. Both pale next to the awesome, divine power of Unconditional LOVE!

More Love. More Power. More of the spirit and nature of God in my life.

What more can I say?

Joseph A. Cerreta, PhD., is a noted author, broadcaster, and a popular Bible teacher.
and the founder of Living faith Christian Fellowship, Inc. 
The intellectual property published above is © 1995 by Joseph A Cerreta, all rights reserved.
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