Reflection 1- What God's Love is…

7 “The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. 8 But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9 Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments. 10 But those who hate him he will repay to their face by destruction; he will not be slow to repay to their face those who hate him.” ~ Deuteronomy 7:7-10

This Holiday Season I felt it only proper to call on history and revive some posts written last year and in years prior about love because God is love and he is our God. Let us all make God our center focus in this Holiday season especially on All Souls Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Let this season be one of deep reflection; reflecting on all of Gods goodness which will bring our attention back to God in the Highest. I invite everyone who would like to reflect with me on any post found here at Listening Faithfully Blog. Be sure to send your reflections to me via email at  listeningfaithfullyblog@gmail.com, and I promise to post your thoughts during this holiday season of 2013 in upcoming posts within the this new series of reflections: What God Is… Let’s make this a happy and fruitful holiday season!  

God Is

 God’s love is… pure, absolute, unchanging, unyielding, it does not see color of ones skin, it does not distinguish between people of different beliefs or cultures, it is always at our disposal, for God Himself is always moving among us as is His agape love.  For God’s perfect self-sacrificing love is agape love; “Agape is love which is of and from God, whose very nature is love itself.” ~ http://www.gotquestions.org/agape-love.html.  God loved the Jews so much that He made oaths and convents, He alone made good on all those things which He so promised the Jews.  On a wider scale these promises fulfilled serve as many shinning examples to all of mankind that God loves us so much that He alone made it possible for all of His children to spend the remainder of eternity with Him.  God through Jesus concurred Death, defeated Satan, cast out all the evils in Heaven, destroyed the enemies of His chosen elect, and still from start to finish God moves all around us, protecting us, guiding us, helping us, and – “Yes” – loving us despite our selfishness and sin.  God has never abandoned us, and He is a God of many chances.  Though it is important to point out, God gives back to you what you willing gave to others, be that good or ill, for God is not slow to punish the wicked and all things happen within His chosen time and of His mighty choosing.  Therefore, God never backs down, He never runs away, He never shrinks in the face of evil, and because God is and does all this if you love Him with all your heart and soul, neither should you shrink, run, give up, nor back down to any challenge God saw fit to place before you.  Remember life is a challenge, it is a race that everyone of us who believe can not only finish, but also win.

 Those Who Do Not Know God

8 “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” ~ 1 John 4:8

I have known a lot of people from all over the world, I could not pick out those who did not believe from those who did just by first meeting them, nor in the second or third meetings, but I could tell where their priorities were based upon how they dressed and what they surrounded themselves with. Likewise, when the conversation came to religion then did it become crystal clear to whom I was dealing with depending on what they had said to me. I think it is very important to understand that God knows before you are even born, He see’s you as you are and what you could become if you allow Him to mould you into that more perfect version of yourself.  God can tell if you are in doubt, and if you have questions, and He see’s if you are not open minded enough to allow your heart to believe things which are both seen and unseen.  Faith in God is the requirement, it is the singular step everyone who ever saw God had to take.  But if you allow your heart to remain empty and devoid of love then how are you ever going to be able to choose God?  How could you ever see what God has for you in your life if you fill your heart with hate?  Many people have used the words of God to rally the crowd but inside their heart they hate God, they inwardly hate His just and perfect words, and they hate His message; for it is those I pray, I pray for their salvation, I pray that they someday see the light of the most high God. I do so because without God in their life they live their life without purpose or meaning and are truly the living damned, the true walking dead. They do not know God because they choose not to know God, they fear that giving up their hatred would leave them vulnerable and exposed. They live in fear because of fear, they are the eternally fearful, thus they lash-out in anger and in hatred.  We see this very thing played out in our world politics as the worlds politicians seek selfish resolutions, (many of whom are practiced lairs), we see this played out in the Justice System who is crippled and pledged with selfish people seeking selfish judgments while disguising their arguments as being the exact opposite of what they truly are, and we see this played out in our world through our economics which has enslaved the world to living from paycheck – to – paycheck never having enough to be truly free and never seeing an end to the enslavement which lasts a lifetime.  These things are exceptional sin in the eyes of God, for it breaks the first of all commandments:  2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.” ~ Exodus 20:2-3.  In other-words putting wealth before God is a sin, it means your heart is focused on money and it replaces God as it is the only thing which you choose to warship and think about day and night.  Jesus instructed us that; “No one can serve two masters. You will either hate the first and love the second or treat one with respect and the other with scorn. You can not serve God and money.” ~ Q73, Lost Gospel Q.  Mankind has found a million ways to replace God and to warship other things, things of this world and it is to those people who also share in their fruits as being eternally damned, for Jesus also instructed us that; 15 “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” ~ 1 John 2: 15-17. Therefore, It is a choice we all have to make, to choose God or to choose not to believe in God. For those who choose not to believe they have signed their soul to Satan, to everlasting damnation, everlasting torment, they will never know happiness, forgiveness, mercy, nor shall they ever receive the grace of God for those who hate God praise themselves and Jesus instructed us; “Those who praise themselves will be humbled. Those who humble themselves will be praised.” Q67, Lost Gospel Q.  

The Simple Test of Humility

The simple test I love to give is to ask those who have hurt me or offended me in some way, or have hurt my feelings, to simply apologize for their action.  After all it should be the simplest thing in the world to do right, to apologize?  But on the contrary,  you would be surprised to how many people refuse to do so because they believe they did nothing wrong.  When in-fact apologizing is not omission of guilt but rather an act of grace and is viewed in the eyes of God as the main method, or tool of healing a damaged relationship because of the actions taken that caused the damage, whether it be intentional or not. To not apologize is to basically say, “Your relationship with me is worthless and therefore I do not need to fix the damage.”  This statement is one which does not come from God, but rather Satan. To prove this simply ask, “How can I know my actions have offended someone else?” The answer is you may not know until you are confronted, and this confrontation should be done in private, and – “Yes” – some people make it a public seen which is also a sin against God, but this does not negate the responsibility to apologize for the the first offense, nor to hold hostage the apology for the second offense to be dealt with first for; “Jesus explained to His disciples, “If a companion does something wrong to you, go to the person and point this out. But do it privately. If your friend listens and says, ‘I’m sorry,’ forgive and your bond will be strengthened.” “But how often must I forgive the same person?” asked one of his disciples. “Seven Times?” Jesus answered, “Not just seven times, but seventy-seven times.” ~ Q77, Lost Gospel Q.  To not to apologize or to forgive is also a sin against God because it goes against His moral teaching.  Thus not only has the apology not been given out of pride, (the first original sin which is manifest solely by Satan), but you are also unrepentant sinning not just once but three times before God by simply not acknowledging  your transgression against your fellow man, be it your mother, father, brother, sister, wife, husband, offspring, grandparents, neighbors, work mates, who ever it might have been.  In reality what you have done is far worse on a deeply personal and spiritual level as pride takes hold, you take a moral stance and act as if your morally right to not apologize becomes these are the main thoughts which your mind is beginning to believe to be the truth when in-fact you have begun to believe in your own lies.  To those people I ask, “How can you be morally right if you have been instructed by God to apologize, to build not destroy, to forgive, to love, to honor your fellow man, to treat others as you would have them treat you? Where is your justification before God?”  In this we teach others how to treat us, and in that viewpoint it never stops to amaze me how many people become shocked when the other person refuses to talk, or to play nice, or is unwilling to carry on the relationship at any level.  In reality by not apologizing we have destroyed not created, we have sinned not ask for forgiveness, we have become filled with pride and vanity, not bowing on our knees in humility and obedient to the will of God, rather we have done the exact opposite and try to defend an indefensible argument, because we are blinded by self-righteousness and indignation!  “Treat people as you would like them to treat you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same. If you do good only to those who do good to you, what merit is there in that? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what rewards is there in that? Even sinners lend to sinners. Instead, love your enemies and do good, expecting nothing in return. You will have a great reward, and you will be children of your Father in heaven. He makes the sun rise on the bad and the good. He sends rain to fall on both the just and the unjust.” ~ Q16, Lost Gospel Q.  Indeed, the living dead will never apologize, they will never humble themselves, they will never accept responsibility  nor will they ever see the light of God in the Highest when Jesus returns for the final judgement. Thus, God is the Alpha and Omega, he is the creator with the divine right and sole privileges to be the perfect judge. 

Fruits of God

“What is your price?”

For in every situation there is a price to be paid, there is a positive or negative reputation to every action, to every decision you make, for there is a price to be exacted from you and everyone around you based upon what you think, feel, and what you do because of your emotional responses to those things you experience in this life.  No one escapes without being hurt, humiliated, made fun of, destroyed in some way, and it is very much like how  planet Earth renews itself from the violence of each natural disaster that happens in nature.  For God is also of nature, he is spiritual and natural in every sense of the word.  There is nothing which you cannot see that God first did not have His fingers in the creation of, this would include every human-being ever born, to every animal that ever lived. God is a creator first and foremost, for He is both the most tame and most wild, He is in every thing from the dirt of the Earth to the air we breath, God is everywhere and is in everything.  Thus, His love is the fuel which invented us, His love is the fire that moulded our bodies, mind, heart, and soul; His love gave to us everything in creation and everything in our wildest imagination, for it is the power-planet we use to solve problems or create them for ourselves.  For there is no limit to His divine and holy love, which also saved us.  God is indeed a creator and within that He is very passionate about His creations. For God alone built our world and loved all His creations within it as His first thoughts and actions, we where on His mind before the creation and will be on His mind for the rest of eternity.  God was willing to pay a heavy price for our redemption and if you think about it long enough the question we all ask as we look out into the precipice and magnitude that is the mystery of God that price we have to pay becomes so minuet in the face of His promises, and fruits, so small are we in comparison to Him and yet our price we have to pay is nothing in-comparison to the price God paid to love us, to be with us, and to have a relationship with us.  

“So what price would you pay to be with God?”

 In closer examination of this , God’s wages for sin is death, but on the other hand He also promised His children ever lasting life in His Kingdom. Death then is really nothing to God for He is both life and death, He has power over every aspect of these two opposite and equal states of being, so therefore we die but are reborn if we first believe.  So the real price we have to pay is found with the word, “belief.”  Taking this one step farther, if you believe that God has the power to resurrect or restore your soul and to forgive your sin, and in the face of this awesome creation of planet earth, the universe it sits within as a part of a wider creation that mankind cannot yet completely comprehend, I simply ask, “Is death such a small price to pay for ever lasting life and eternal life with God?”   

 “What is your price you would level against God in order to allow Him access to your heart?”

In retrospect many of us do not see God in this grand scale, we do not connect the dots so to speak nor do some of us even ask any of these questions. For it is far better to be blissfully ignorant of our sinful nature and ignore the wrong doings both we create for others and for ourselves. We are convinced, that this sin [willful ignorance] alone causes the loss of more souls than all the other sins together, because he who is ignorant does not realize the harm he does by his sin, nor the great good he thus forfeits.” ~ St. Jean Marie Baptiste Vianney, the Cure of Ars.  Thus, it is far better to blame other people for our bad fortune and or level the blame on God, and in doing so we exact an unfair price for God to have to pay, far and above the price He has already paid through His son Jesus Christ.  The repercussion of-course to this action is a life without the fruits of God. So what are these fruits of God anyway… you might ask?  According to Mother Theresa,Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand. Anyone may gather it and no limit is set. Everyone can reach this love through meditation, spirit of prayer, and sacrifice, by an intense inner life.” ~ Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Love is the first of many fruits God gives to every person on earth.  Without love we have nothing, we are as stated above dead in spirit.  Joy is another fruit coming from God, for in joy we find happiness of mind, body, and soul, we find relaxation and rest in the spirit of God. Joy as a fruit is best described as, For one pain endured with joy, we shall love the good God more forever.” ~ St. Therese of Lisieux.  Yet another fruit coming from God is peace, for it is the desire of our soul and is the reward for doing good always, thus, “Let us go forward in peace, our eyes upon heaven, the only one goal of our labors.” -St. Therese of Lisieux. Long-suffering is a fruit deriving from God for, “As iron is fashioned by fire and on the anvil, so in the fire of suffering and under the weight of trials, our souls receive that form which our Lord desires them to have.’ ~ St. Madeline Sophie Barat.  Kindness tops the list of fruits from God, as it from kindness all other goodness is made possible.  Kindness tops the list of fruits from God, as it is from kindness all other goodness is made possible, and, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”~  Aesop Greece, (c. 620 BC – c. 560 BC)To this collection of fruits we are given again for such a small price of belief, and this belief in God there is no higher rewards in this life and the next.

22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” ~ Galatians 5:22

Amen,

 

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Brian Keith

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