Jesus, Friend of All

(Hello again; hopefully I’m back for a little while. I took a small vacation from the blogging world, but I hope to get back a little bit soon. Thanks for your patience.)

Jesus was undoubtedly the most influential man in the entire Bible. There were great prophets, gifted speakers, and even radical converts, but the words that weigh heaviest and are most awe-inspiring are the ones Jesus spoke.

One of the most encouraging passages in my mind of Jesus’ is Matthew 9:10-13, where Jesus is dining with Matthew at his house.

Throughout the course of the Gospels, Jesus is tried countless times regarding the validity of His being the Son of God, and I am always fascinated by His quick and applicable answers. When the Pharisees tried to trick him by asking if the tax should be paid, He had the perfect answer, which avoided stirring up anger for either the Romans or the taxpayers. The same quick wit and ability to counter these tricks is seen in Matthew 9:10-13: “10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ 12 On hearing this, Jesus said, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’”

Nowadays, people in high authority or power do not mingle with the lower people. They tend to stick to their high-class, enjoying the admiration they receive from the lower classes and association with the associates in the high-class. But Jesus, Friend of all, was not like that in any sense. He would eat meals on the beach with fishermen, borrow a donkey to ride, borrow a small room for His last meal, and literally lived a life of servitude to people who had no idea who He was. He did not take advantage of His being God for Himself, but used it to benefit the people. He came to heal the people, both physically in some cases and spiritual in all cases. He, in his powerful position, came not to lead but to serve the lowest people he could find. Unlucky fishermen He made his second-in-command, and a tax-collector, one of the most scorned men around, he took into His company too. He made time for the lower-class citizen’s children, and approached the ones the rest of the world avoided. He was a caring, loving God. He was a friend of all. And He still is a friend of all. He sends forth men and women to other countries, to other states, to other cities, and to their own dwellings to bring the news of Christ to the world. So how can we not speak out? How can we stay silent? How can we love and serve Jesus, who devoted His entire existence on earth to serving “the least of these”, if we don’t follow His divine example? You don’t have to be low-class to reach the needy, nor do you have to be high-class to be able to do something. Reach out to those who are neglected by the world, reach out to those who have been neglected by the rest. Serve those who have never been served before – and do it all in the name of Jesus.

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New Blog!

Hello all. A Message for the Messenger has been going for a little over a year now, and I had made plans for expansion. Well, I’ve branched off of A Message for the Messenger into a new blog, God’s Law and Order. This new blog is about America’s decisions and how they line up with God’s commands, rules, etc. So if you’re interested in God’s Law and Order, check it out – I just officially launched today. A Message for the Messenger will still be in operation, but I branched out to my new blog as well. I can’t wait to see you there!

New Year’s Challenge

It appears to be a Christian’s New Year’s ambition to read the Bible through-and-through every new year. That’s great, I make that ambition too, and fail most years. But I thought of one that y’all might enjoy doing as well. I’m doing NCFCA (view website here) speech club, and a part of their apologetics course is to create one or two (or seven) index cards for each ‘topic’. The topics categorize different questions that we might be asked, for example, one topic might be anything about Jesus’ incarnation, another one about His resurrection, and so forth. So I was wondering if y’all wanted to do something like that, but online. I can pose a question, and y’all can submit an answer within a good amount of time; say, a week or so. You can either do an audio recording, or you can do a written response, but I at least want a two-minute (if audio) answer, and a similar reading time (for you) if written. If you want to participate in this activity, comment below and leave your email in the comment. If there is addition text in the comment besides your email, I will leave that, but I want to make it clear that your email will not be published online by me, or given to anybody else. All comments on my blog have to go through moderation by me first, so I will copy your email and then delete it permanently from my blog.
So join me if you will, I’d love to cover these questions with y’all. This is a really great way to get you thinking, researching, and answering questions you might not give much thought to normally. I’d also love to hear some of y’all’s New Year’s’ resolutions!

Poems

I have here two poems,  The first is by Chris Mooney, called “My Friend”. The second is by Ivan Moiseyev, my Christian persecution hero.

I posted this a while ago (here), but I wanted to post it again as a good reminder.

“My friend, I stand in judgment now
And feel that you’re to blame somehow
While on this earth I walked with you day by day
And never did you point the way
You knew the LORD in truth and glory
But never did you tell the story
My knowledge then was very dim
You could have led me safe to Him
Though we lived together here on earth
You never told me of your second birth
And now I stand this day condemned
Because you failed to mention Him
You taught me many things, that’s true
I called you “friend” and trusted you
But now I learned, it’s too late
You could have kept me from this fate
We walked by day and talked by night
And you showed me not the light
You let me live, love and die
And all the while you knew I’d never live on high
Yes, I called you “friend” in life
And trusted you in joy and strife
Yet in coming to this end
I see you really weren’t my friend.”

~Chris Mooney

This poem is by Ivan Moiseyev. He wrote this during his persecution in the Russian army.

“In heavy trials day upon day

Be not discouraged as you stand alone,

The call to suffering in this life obey,

Your faraway goal is known.

Advance–fall not back in the terrible storm,

Do not lose heart as you stand alone,

May your heart toward brothers stay ever warm

Advance–fall not back in the storm.

While enemies blaspheme, accuse you, and mock,

Advance–lose not heart in the darkening storm,

Do not lose heart as in deep faith you walk

Sow seeds of righteousness even as they scorn.

Advance alone to the goal,

Harvest comes for men’s soul.”

~ I.M.

Good Quotes – Part 2

Last week I did some good quotes from various people throughout history, but now I’d like to focus on one person who influenced this world in an unfathomable way – Isaac Newton (1642-1727)

Here I have displayed some quotes from various places, including one of his books, Philosiphiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. (Quotes are not placed in the original order, but they still are written with the original spelling of his time.)

“God governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of his dominion He is wont to be called Lord God, which is a literal translation from the Greek, or Universal Ruler. The Supreme God is a Being eternal, infinite, absolutely perfect; but a being, however perfect, without dominion, cannot be said to be Lord God; for we say, my God, your God, the God of Israel, the God of Gods, and Lord of Lords; but we do not say my Eternal, your Eternal, the Eternal of Israel, the Eternal of Gods. And from his true dominion it follows that the true God is a living, intelligent, and powerful Being; and, from His other perfections, that He is supreme, or most perfect. He is eternal and infinite, omnipotent and omniscient; that is, His duration reaches from eternity to eternity, His presence from infinity to infinity; He governs all things, and knows all things that are or can be done…”

“Such people suppose the moon, moon, and stars, the souls of men, and other parts of the world, to be parts of the Supreme God, and therefore to be worshipped; but erroneously. It is allowed by all that the Supreme God exists necessarily; and by the same necessity He exists always and everywhere. As a blind man has no idea of colors, so have we no idea of the manner by which the all-wise God perceives and understands all things…”

“We know Him by his most wise and excellent contrivances of things, and final causes. We admire him for His perfections. We reverence and adore him on account of His dominion, for we adore Him as his servants; and a god without dominion, providence, and final causes, is nothing else but Fate and Nature. I like to call Fate and Nature ‘Blind metaphysical necessity’. Blind metaphysical necessity is the same always and everywhere. It could not produce a variety of things, like the eye, ear, and other organs. It could not produce the diversity of complex animals in this world. All the diversity of natural things which we find suited to different times and places could arise from nothing but the ideas and will of a Being necessarily existing.”

“This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being. And if the fixed stars are the centres of other like systems, these, being formed by the like wise counsel, must be all subject to the dominion of One.”

“It is un-philosophical to seek for any other origin of the world, or to pretend that it might arise out of a chaos by the mere laws of Nature. For while comets move in very eccentric orbs in all manner of positions, blind fate could never make all the planets move one and the same ways in orbs concentric. Such a wonderful uniformity in the planetary system must be allowed the effect of choice. And so must the uniformity in the bodies of animals, they having generally a right and a left side shaped alike, and on either side of their bodies two legs behind, and either two arms, or two legs, or two wings before upon their shoulders. Also the first contrivance of those very artificial parts of animals, the eyes, ears, brain, muscles, lungs, midriff, glands, larynx, hands, wings, swimming bladders, natural spectacles, and other organs of sense and motion; the instinct of brutes and insects can be the effect of nothing else than the wisdom and skill of a powerful, ever-living agent, who being in all places, is more able by His will to move the bodies within His boundless uniform sensorium, and thereby to form and reform the parts of the Universe, then we are by our will to move the parts of our own bodies.”

“We must believe that He was crucified being slain at the Passover as a propitiary sacrifice for us, that in gratitude We may give Him honour and Glory and Blessing as the Lamb of God which was slain and hath redeemed us and washed us from our sins in His own blood.”

“For so far as we can know by natural philosophy what is the First Cause, what power He has over us, and what benefits we receive from Him, so far our duty towards Him, as well as that towards one another, will appear to us by the light of Nature. And no doubt, if the worship of false gods had not blinded the heathen, their moral philosophy would have gone farther than to the four cardinal virtues; and instead of teaching the transmigration of souls, and to worship the Sun and Moon, and dead heroes, they would have taught us to worship our true Author and Benefactor, as their ancestors did under the government of Noah and his sons before they corrupted themselves.”

“The Supreme God is a Being eternal, infinite, absolutely perfect. Yet to us there is but one God the Father of whom are all things & we in Him & one Lord Jesus Christ by whom are all things & we by Him, that is, but one God & one Lord in our worship: ‘One God and mediator between God and man the man Christ Jesus. We must believe that He was crucified being slain at the Passover as a propitiary sacrifice for us, that in gratitude We may give Him honour, and Glory and Blessing as the Lamb of God which was slain and hath redeemed us and washed us of our sins in His own blood and made us Kings and Priests unto God His Father. We must believe that He rose again from the dead that we may expect the like resurrection and that He ascended into heaven to prepare a place or mansion for the blessed that by the expectation of such a glorious & incorruptible inheritance we may endeavor to deserve it.”

Good Quotes – Part 1

I’ve been doing quite a bit of reading these past two or three weeks, and I have gathered a collection of quotes from famous and not-as-famous people during my reading, and a few from some reading I did awhile back. Enjoy!

“We decided that of the things that are of profit to all mankind, the worship of God ought to rightly to be our first and chiefest care…” ~ Constantine [the Great], (A.D. 275 – 337)

“The Church’s foundation is unshakable and firm against assaults of the raging sea. Waves lash at the Church but do not shatter it. Although the elements of this world constantly beat upon the Church with crashing sounds, the Church possesses the safest harbor of salvation for all in distress.” ~ [Saint] Ambrose, (A.D. 340? – 397)

“Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.” ~ Helen Keller, (1880 – 1968)

“Some of the effects of charity are stated, that we may know whether we have this grace; and that if we have not, we may not rest till we have it. This love is a clear proof of regeneration, and is a touchstone of our professed faith in Christ.–In this beautiful description of the nature and effects of love, it is meant to show the Corinthians that their conduct had, in many respects, been a contrast to it. Charity is an utter enemy to selfishness; it does not desire or seek its own praise, or honor, or profit, or pleasure. Not that charity destroys all regard to ourselves, or that the charitable man should neglect himself and all his interests. But charity never seeks its own to the hurt of others, or to neglect others. It even prefers the welfare of others to its private advantage. How good-natured and amiable is Christian charity! How excellent would Christianity appear to the world, if those who profess it were more under this Divine principle, and paid due regard to the command on which its blessed Author laid the chief stress! — Let us ask whether this Divine love dwells in our hearts. Has this principle guided us into becoming behavior to all men? Are we willing to lay aside selfish objects and aims? Here is a call to watchfulness, diligence, and prayer.” ~ Matthew Henry, Commentary on 1 Cor. 13: 4-7.

I’d Rather Have Jesus

I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold;
I’d rather be His than have riches untold;
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands.
I’d rather be led by His nail-pierced hands.

I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause;
I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause;
I’d rather have Jesus than world-wide fame.
I’d rather be true to His holy name.

He’s fairer than lilies of rarest bloom;
He’s sweeter than honey from out the comb;
He’s all that my hungering spirit needs.
I’d rather have Jesus and let Him lead.

Than to be the king of a vast domain
Or be held in sin’s dread sway.
I’d rather have Jesus than anything
this world affords today.

Really?

Would we rather have Jesus than anything this world affords today? What cause do we as Christians, or anybody, have to want Christ above status? What cause do we have to want Christ above possession? What cause do we have to want Christ above popularity? What does Christ get you in this world? Status? Success? Fame? Popularity? Lots of possessions?

What does Christ get you that’s beneficial? Anything? We read about persecution, torture, death, pursuit, but do we ever see popularity? Or fame? Or wealth? What do you think? Is He worth persecution, torture, death, pursuit, or all of the above? Is He to you?

What is God to you? Is He some Ruler in the sky, controlling you like a puppet? Or is He like a puppet master, who let go of the strings? Is He a God who sits back and watches from off-stage? Or is He a companion, running always with you wherever you go? Is He a helper, or is He helpless? Is He dominator of your life? Who’s ruling your decisions, anyway? How did you come to the conclusion to the above questions? Did you come to the conclusions? Or did God come to the conclusions for you without your knowledge? What is He in your life? What is He to you?