Love With Actions And In Truth

16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.
17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?
18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
1 John 3:16-18 (NIV)

I am still in the subject of love. What is love? Many people talks about it but very few know its true meaning. If you happen to be in a religious church, they will tell you they love you but what they really love is your money. So, if you happen to hear a religious preacher or a theologian telling you that he loves you, you should hold tightly to your wallet and run!

Verse 16 above tells us what love truly is, according to God’s personal opinion. In his view, love is real action. Jesus showed his love by laying down his life for us. Please note that Jesus had physically laid down his physically life at the physical cross. He did it openly for everyone to see. He did not do it spiritually. The God of the Bible is capable of doing things physically and promise blessings that can be proven including health and wealth.

This is the difference between the true believers of Jesus Christ and mere worshippers of theology. A true believer dares to believe what God says is true, including those things that can be proven physically like health and wealth. In contrast, theology worshippers can only believe in a God who promises things that cannot be proven. This is the reason why they despise health and wealth. Health and wealth become a stumbling block to them because these things can be proven objectively.

When they see believers who dare to believe in those things, they will persecute them with terms like, “prosperity gospel” as though God is allergic to prosperity.

The second part of Verse 16 tells us that since Jesus can lay down his life for us, we also ought to do the same for others. Does this mean we must also die? If that is true, I am out of here. I am not interested in joining a religion of death. Thank God, he explained it in the following verse, Verse 17.

Verse 17 tells us the meaning of laying down our lives for our brothers and sisters. When we have the love of God in us, we will have a natural pity to our brothers and sisters who are poor. We will to help them provided we have the material possessions to do so.

Do you see the implication here? All believers regardless of the rich or poor, who have the love of God in their hearts will have pity on others who are poor. They will want to help them materially. However, only the rich (with material possessions) can really do it.

This is another way of saying that God wants every believer to be rich in lots of material possessions.

In other words, Verse 17 is not a promotion for communism. God is not a communist.

Finally in Verse 18, we are exhorted in not just keeping our love in words only. Love is real action. If you have the love of God in your heart, you should act now. If are poor, God wants you to get rich so that you can used your riches to help the poor. If you are already rich, God wants you to be richer so that you can help even more poor people.
Don’t be selfish. This is the true meaning of love.

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No Fear In Love

18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
1 John 4:18 (NIV)

This is another verse form the Bible that exposes the corruptions in theologically infested churches. The main characteristic of a theologically infested religious church is the use of threats and blackmails to strike fear in the hearts of their members.

In the minds of religious preachers, fear is the only weapon used to ensure obedience of their drones (congregation). They will say things like, if you don’t read the Bible, pray, serve in the church, confess your sins, live a holy life, give money to the church, go for missions or any other stuff in the list, God will not be happy with you. There is no limit on the perverted things God can do to you when he is not happy.

What is your choice? Do you dare to make God unhappy? So, if you don’t want to be the victim of God’s perversion, you better obey the preacher. Give him any amount of money he wants and go for missions.

Ironically, even when you manage to live a holy life and obey everything the preacher said, you are still subjected to some perversions. Only this time, there is a different name. It is called “sufficient grace”. Remember Paul? Paul was so dedicated and worked so hard for God. How did God reward him?

Paul was so privileged that he received a disease called “thorns in the flesh”. Are you inspired to obey God?

The above are the things you will get from religious churches. They couldn’t be further from the truth.

The truth is, God is not a pervert. He will never do perverted things to anyone. 1 John 4:18 tells us that there is no fear in love. The moment you can truly believe that God loves you, you will not have fear in your heart. You can go to God boldly and tell him everything you want without the fear that he will send you to hell for saying a wrong word. This is true freedom.

This is the way I live right now. I have stopped being politically correct with God. I can say anything I want to him without worrying that I might end up in hell. This includes words like, “no”, “not interested”, “ what is in for me?”, “how much will I get from this?” and any other words that can cause the theologians to shout, “blasphemy!” I can face God with openness and honesty. Why else can do the same?

The second part of the verse says, “But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.” Why punishment? It is a common religious belief that if you do wrong, God will punish you. This is the real reason why religious people appear to be moral. Their morality is caused by the fear of punishment.

We Christians do not have to live like that. Jesus had taken all our sins at the Cross. If God really needs to punish anyone for our sins, he will have to go for Jesus because all our sins become his. Thank God for the Cross.

This means even if we live immorally, we will still not have to fear punishment from God because of what Jesus has done to us. So, when we live holy lives and have high morals, we do it as a reflection on our true nature. In other words, we do good because we are good. In contrast, religious people do good to avoid punishments. Who do you think is truly holy?
Through his love, we live our lives boldly for the glory of our God. We are free to acquire all the prosperity we ever desire. If we happen to make mistakes and sinned, all we have to do is to pick ourselves up and move on. We do not have to fear punishments from God because we have his love in us.

The last part of the verse tells us that the moment we have fear, we have not made perfect in love. Please note that while the entire verse leans more on the subject on being punished by God, it can also applies to anything that causes fear in us.

What are you afraid of? Are you afraid of not having enough money, being sick or troubles in relationship? All your fears will be gone the moment you are made perfect in God’s love. This means once you have been made perfect in God’s love, you have the capability to overcome all your fears.

You don’t have to wonder on whether God will give you the prosperity you desire, heal your sickness or giving you the breakthrough you need. The love of God guarantees that you will have everything you want.
This is the meaning of being made perfect in God’s love.

Positive Thinking

8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

If anyone is to doubt whether the Bible is truly a positive thinking book, the above verse should have made it clear. Being a Christian is not about going through rituals as practiced by religious churches. It is about changing the way we think, speak and response to the situations that are around us. In short, a Christian life is a life of positive thinking, positive speaking and positive responding at all times even if we are in a really bad situation.

If you bother to read through the Bible, you will be able to read stories on how godly people got into deep trouble that seemed to be impossible to get out. Yet, they chose to be positive and trust in the Lord as their deliverer. In the end, they managed to get out of the troubles with greater prosperity in their lives.

This is the second purpose of the Bible.

There are 2 functions of the Bible:
1. Show us how to secure our place in heaven.
2. Show us how to prosper in every area of our lives.

The first one is simple. All you have to do is to accept Jesus as your savior as specified in the First Layer Gospel and your future in heaven is secure.

Even religious churches like to use this as a marketing ploy to lure unsuspecting public to join their church.

(The difference between religious churches and true churches is the religious churches change their “gospel” the moment the non-believer becomes a believer. For example, they will tell the non-believers that the moment they believe in Jesus they will be able to go to heaven. After they believed, they will be taught to do many things to preserve their heaven membership. Should they fail in any of them, they will go to hell. )

Overall, the first function is very simple to deal with, simply because it cannot be proven. Who can provide any proof that the First Layer Gospel is false? So, you can preach about it without having to worry over anyone coming out with some counter proofs.

However, the second function is more difficult because it can be proven. This may be one of the reasons why most preachers are afraid to preach about it. They must be afraid of being proven wrong by hard evidence. Unfortunately, such cowardice has denied many Christians from the prosperity that God wants them to enjoy while they are still on earth.

This is the reason why I will not waste time in attending those counterfeit churches. As far as I am concern, I am already saved based on the authority of the First Layer Gospel. So, I do not need resaving. My interest is in the second function of the Bible. I want to have abundance of prosperity in every area of my life. This is why I only listen to real Bible based preachers.

Let us get back to the above verse. As you can see, the writer wanted his audience to think thoughts that are good. What can we learn from here? I can see 2 points:
1. Positive thinking is a regular practice.
2. Positive thinking is independent from any external circumstances.

The above verse seems to imply that the act of thinking positive requires effort. Not thinking negative does not count. If you really want to receive good things your life, you cannot afford to slack in this area. You need to be disciplined and set up specific time to think positive.

Second, the above verse does not place any conditions for that instruction. It does not tell us to think positive only when the external circumstances are positive. If you want to have good things in your life, your positive thinking routine must be continuous even if you are going through some rough passage in your life right now.

In fact, positive thinking is more crucial when we are physically in a bad situation.

Let me give you an example. Certain routines like drinking lots of water and having enough rest are good for our health. We should do it daily. However, if you are sick, these things are even more important to you. You need to do them more.

Likewise for our thought lives. I can never over-state the importance of maintaining a healthy thought life for it is the key to all the prosperity we ever desire. The choice is yours. Will you obey or disobey?

The Law Of Sowing And Reaping

7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
Galatians 6:7-10 (NIV)

This must be among the most repeated law in the Bible. I call this the natural law because it works at all times and for all people regardless of personal beliefs, race, culture and environment. This law is commonly known as The Law Of Sowing And Reaping.

The following are the characteristics of natural law:
1. It always works on you regardless of your faith in it.
2. It is neutral because it does not know the difference between good or evil.

So, if you use it for good, it will bring good into your life. If you use it for evil, it will bring evil into your life. The difference between those who believe in it and those who don’t is in their applications.

Those who believe in the existence of this law will tend to use it for their good. They will constantly sow the things the desire like health, wealth and success. As a result, they will reap the harvest of health, wealth and success in their lives.

In contrast, those who do not believe in this law will not bother to watch what they sow. Whenever they were influenced by the world around them, they will sow seeds of poverty, sickness and failures into their lives. As a result, they receive the harvest in kind.

This law is no longer a speculation. We can see its effect all around us.

Verse 7 begins by telling us not to be deceived because God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. This means anyone who denies the Law Of Sowing And Reaping is effectively mocking God. This is what the Bible says. Looks like God places a very heavy emphasis on this law. Logically, one will expect many churches to preach it.

Ironically, they don’t. Most churches would rather be deceived by the lies of theology than to believe in the truth of the Bible. The minority of churches who dare preach on this law are persecuted with labels like “prosperity gospel” as though it is not a part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

In fact, this is my way of screening out true churches. When I evaluate whether a certain church is a true church or a counterfeit, I always ask this question, “Has this church been accused of preaching the prosperity gospel?”

If the answer is “yes”, then there is a probability that this is a true church because it dares to please God despite the persecution. If the answer is “no”, then I can be sure that this is just another counterfeit that seek to please men rather than God. I will not waste time going there.

Verse 8 tells us that this law works both for the flesh and the Spirit. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. It does not tell us whether we should sow to please the flesh or the Spirit because God assumes that we have enough common sense to choose eternal life, not destruction.

You can see similar patterns in the Bible. In many verses, God does not tell us what to do. He only gives us the result of certain actions. For example, he tells us that if we are greedy we will be poor but if we are generous, we will be rich. He does not tell us to be generous and not greedy. Why is that so? It must be in God’s personal opinion that we have the common sense to choose only the good things in life. He knows we will definitely choose to be rich and not poor. Since we want to be rich, we will want to be generous and not be greedy.

Therefore in Verse 8, God is appealing to our common sense to sow to please the Spirit because the benefits are great.

Verse 9 in an exhortation to us on not giving up. Read the verse again:

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

It begins by telling us not become weary in doing good. Why did he say that? The only logical reason is, not all our good works will produce good results immediately. If you have been living in the real world long enough, you must have realize that you can’t always see the desired results of doing good works. There were even times when we receive bad results from doing good works.

This is the problem Verse 9 is addressing. It basically says that we should not give up doing good just because we cannot see the desired results at this moment. Why? The second part of this verse says, “for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

The harvest will come at its proper time if we do not give up. Just because we cannot see our harvests, it does not mean that they don’t exist. God is working behind the scenes right now to prepare our harvests. Our roles as the recipients are to believe in his faithfulness, keep sowing our seeds and don’t give up. As long as we can hold our grounds, God guarantees us our harvests.

Once, we are convinced of this, we should do as Verse 10 says, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”

Look for opportunities to do good because when we do good, we are sowing good seeds. We will reap good harvests. Someone may ask, “What is good and what is not?” The answer is simple. You decide. What are the things that you consider as good that you want?

 Do you think having a lot of money is good? If you do, start by sowing seeds of money by giving money to those in need.

 Do you think having good health is good? If you do, start by sowing seeds of health by helping the sick people to gain health.

What are the other good things that you want to have? Sow in kind by giving to others. God guarantees that you will reap harvests in kind.

This is what I like about the God of the Bible after I have discovered his true nature. God is not a ruthless dictator who blackmails us into behaving like mindless drones who will obey all his instructions without question, as propagated by the theology infested churches. That is theology, a lie from the pit of hell.

The truth is, the God of the Bible values our individual freedom. He gives up the choice to choose what we want. He only provides the tools for us to get what we want. The Law Of Sowing And Reaping is just a tool for us to use. He hopes that we can use it wisely.

There Is Always A Way Out

13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)

The above verse is on how we can face the challenges in our daily lives on earth. The theme is “temptation”. What is that? It refers to external factors that force us to do things that we will regret later. I prefer to call it “trouble”. It sounds more natural. In this article, I shall use the term “trouble” instead of “temptation” but the meaning is the same.

If you have been living in the real world long enough, you would have realized that nothing always works according to plan. Things will invariably get wrong. You can get into trouble by your own mistakes or somebody else’s mistakes. Do you think this is unfair to suffer for somebody else’s mistakes? Let me give you some comfort. Somebody else can also suffer from your mistakes.

Based on my experience from the troubles I have been through, I did not always have a positive mindset when I went through them. I used to think I was the most unfortunate person on earth. I wished I were somebody else. (I suspect many had also thought the same.)

The first part of the above verse seems to have read my mind. If you are to think logically, you should have realized that no matter what trouble you are in right now, you cannot be the only one suffering from it. Many others throughout the world and at all times have the same experience. You are not that special after all. So, stop that self pity routine.

The second part of the verse tells us that God he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. Can you bear the troubles that you are facing right now? If you cannot do it, God would have made sure that this trouble would not have come to you in the first place. However, if you are in it right now, it must mean one thing: In God’s personal opinion, you have what it takes to overcome it.

In other words, God has given you all the power you need to overcome the problems you are facing right now. So, if you choose to give up, you are basically making a declaration saying that God is incapable of doing his job. I don’t think he will feel very honored by that.

However, should you choose to fight on and refuse to give up, you are effectively making a declaration to the whole world that your God is the true God who is faithful, a person of integrity and fully capable of doing his job. Do I have to convince you that you will get more blessings this way?

The last part of the above verse tells us what happen when we are already tempted, meaning we are already deep in trouble. It gives us the assurance that God will provide a way out. If you are with God, you will never be in any situation where there is no way out. There is always a way out no matter how impossible it appears to be. Why? God guarantees it? I choose to trust in him.

Unfortunately, here is some bad news. The last portion says, “so that you can endure it”. Why do we have to endure anything? The only answer is, the the way out will not appear immediately the moment we need it. There will be some waiting time between the time we get into trouble and the time we get out of it. This is the period we have to endure.

How do we endure? The above verse tells us that when we truly believes our God will provide a way out from our troubles, we will have the strength to endure it. Enduring does not mean giving up and surrendering to the present situation. Just because you are poor now, it does not mean you have to be poor forever. Just because you are sick now, it does not mean you must be sick forever. Just because you have failed now, it does not mean you must be failing forever. Just because you are in sin now, it does not mean you must be in sin forever.

God has promised you a way out. Can you believe him? If you can, you will be able to live through the present troubles with joy in your spirit and hope in your heart. You will live with confident expectation that you will see your dreams coming true even if the present situation tells you the opposite. You choose to believe in God rather than circumstances.

This is the true meaning of endurance. This is the life of faith.

Grumbling And Arguing

14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing,
15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky
16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.
Philippians 2:14-16 (NIV)

The above verses are about making it big in life. If you are employed, you can use it to get promoted and higher salary. If you are in your own business, you can use it to increase your customer base and generate more profits. If you are still looking for a job, use this to get the job you want.

Verse 14 tells us to do everything without grumbling or arguing. I am sure that if you have been living in the real world long enough you will find grumbling and arguing at work is very common. Everybody does it including Christians.

What do people grumble and argue about? There are lots of topics to choose from. I suspect the most popular are not enough salary, too much work, other co-workers who do not fit into one’s “perfect” standards and others. What do the grumblers and arguers get out of from these activities? Absolutely, nothing.

The only result in such activities is the reinforcement of negative thoughts in the minds of those who did them. When you grumble and talk bad about somebody, that person is not harmed. You are the one getting harmed by your negative talk. So, the wiser choice is not to do it.

What will happen when we refuse to join in the grumbling and arguing at work? Verse 15 tells us that when we do that, we may blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then we will shine among them like stars in the sky.

I don’t think the above words are too difficult to understand. When everybody is talking negative and adopt negative attitude but you alone talk and act positive, you will stand out like the only start in the dark sky. You will become very attractive. Your employers, customers, clients, co-workers and associates will be attracted to you. Positive attitude is very attractive.

As a result, you will be in a better position to receive a higher pay rise, higher bonus, more and better customers. You will end up richer than those who are negative. All things being equal, the positive person will outperform the negative person in all areas and at all times.

How to be positive? It always began from the inside. Think positive thoughts. Use your imagination to visualize the environment that you desire. Speak positive words. In the event you find yourself unable to think positive, the least you can do is to keep your mouth shut. Do not make negative confessions like grumbling and arguing. This is the message of the above passage.

Verse 16 tells us it is the writer’s desire for the recipients of this letter to have a positive attitude. The display of positive attitude is the proof that the person is indeed holding on firmly to the word of life. No one who has truly read, understand and hold on to the teachings of the Bible can be negative because the Bible, (which is the Word of God) is a very positive book.

The last part of Verse 16 shows the writer was getting personal in the achievement of positive attitude among his audience. If they fail to achieve it, he considered it as his waster effort. If they succeed, he would boast on it.

This tells us that God himself places a high premium on the value of being positive. If you want to please him, you should be positive at all times.

Fulfilling The Law

14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Galations 5:14 (NIV)

How do you know you are in a religious church? The most obvious sign is, the preacher constantly remind the church members to obey God’s law, especially the 10 Commandments. There are still people who think the Christian life is centered on the 10 Commandments. This is obviously a heresy. If the 10 Commandments can save us, Christ died for nothing.

If you bother to refer to my previous postings, you can read a lot of my articles showing that the Law of Moses is no longer valid for Christians today. We do not have to try not to murder anyone if we do not have this intention in the first place.

The above verse tells us that as long as we love our neighbor as ourselves, we don’t have to bother about the Law. It is fulfilled in our lifestyle. We do not fulfill the entire law by keeping the entire law. We fulfill the entire law by keeping just one command, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Is this good or bad? The answer depends on what does the phrase “love your neighbor as yourself” mean.

What do you think of when you see the phrase? Are you looking for a list of things to do in order to qualify for it? Who are you going to ask for the list? Are you going to ask a church? Unfortunately, the Christian churches are so fragmented today that 100 churches will have 100 different lists on how to love our neighbors as ourselves.

In this article, I will give you a clear answer on what to do and it does not involve any to do list from somebody else. In fact, you are the one with the right to decide on the right actions to qualify. Let us begin.

The phrase, “love your neighbor as yourself” only has 2 principles:
1. You must love yourself.
2. Use this love as a measure to love others.

This first principle tells us that we must have a healthy respect for ourselves. God loves you so much that he gave his only begotten Son to redeem you. What right do you have to despise yourself or treat yourself with contempt? Always remember that if you hate yourself, you are insulting God. If you have been doing that, you should repent. Repentance means stop doing the bad things and move on to the good things. Stop hating and start loving yourself.

If you have been living a good and honorable life, that should not be too difficult. However, there are any people with a bad past. If you happen to be one of them, are you still able to love yourself regardless of the bad things you have done? Some people will find this an impossible task.

Let me make it simple for you. When Jesus died at the Cross, he took all our sins with him: past, present and future. As for the bad things you have done in the past, you have to tell yourself that you didn’t do them. Jesus did all those things and he was punished for it. God will never re-punish you for the sins that he had punished Jesus at the Cross. In the eyes of God, you are whiter than snow. You can face God as though you have never committed a single sin in your life.

Once, you are convinced of the above truth, you will have the freedom to love yourself. When that happens, you will find God’s blessings flowing freely into your life with increasing quality and quantity.

As a result, you will able to fulfill the second principle. Your love for yourself will be the foundation for loving others. Your love will be genuine. You will love others like Jesus loves you. This is what Jesus meant by doing to others what you want others to do to you.

How should you treat others? It depends on how do you want to be treated.

 Do you want others to help you when you are down? Start helping others when they are down.

 Do you want to receive a lot of money? Start giving others money.

 Do you want to live in your dream house? Start helping others to get their dream houses.

In short, whatever you want in your life, help others to get them. This is what Jesus mean by loving your neighbor as yourself. You write your own list. This is Christian living.