First of all, Merry Christmas! I'm thankful that you've chosen to check out my blog today. It is a special day today because it's our Worship Wednesday, so I'm going to be covering some Christian topics.
Mainly I want to explain how God and Jesus are symbols of giving.
GOD GAVE HIS SON JESUS
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." - John 3:16, KJV
JESUS GAVE AND GIVES BLESSINGS
Jesus was killed for basically causing too much of a ruckus. The Pharisees didn't like that Jesus questioned some of the things they did. They didn't like that he healed people and made miracles.
Jesus prayed in the garden before he was taken. He was so stressed out that he cried blood, which is a medical condition called Haemolacria.
JESUS GAVE US THE GIFT OF SALVATION
"Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began..." - II Timothy 1:8-9
If you don't know what happens next in the story of Jesus, I'll tell you. Jesus died but three days later, he rose from the grave. He conquered Hell and the grave.
Jesus' sacrifice gave us eternal life and forgiveness from our sins. One thing that has always sort have bothered me are those old hymns.
The thought is that people are made up of two parts: the body and the soul. The one that you feed most will be the one that becomes stronger. So, if you live a worldly life of greed, you're feeding your body. If you live a life where you connect with God through prayer and worship, you're living a soulful life.
Doubt attacks us in different ways all throughout our lives. One of the most notable forms of doubt is spiritual doubt. Specifically, doubt about a religious concept you are usually very strongly tied to.
I began to wonder "if God is powerful, why doesn't he (fill in the blank)" or "if God loves us, why doesn't he (fill in the blank)." I had never felt more mentally tormented than I did at that point in my life.
So today, I want to share with you three particularly helpful sources outside of the Bible that helped me ground my spirituality in my intellect.
1: "COLD CASE CHRISTIANITY" BY J. WARNER WALLACE
Wallace's book, "Cold Case Christianity" starts off with a compelling example of exactly what I was battling.
Wallace explains that a cop friend of his had pulled over a man who had warrants out for his arrest. The man, not wanting to go to jail, pulled out a gun he had in his car and shot the cop in the chest. Luckily, the cop was wearing a bullet-proof vest that kept him alive.
The cop had never needed the vest. However, he quickly went from a belief that the vest could protect him to a belief in the vest for protection.
This book stands apart for its unique apologetic style. For those who don't know, apologetics are defined as "reasoned arguments or writings in justification of something, typically a theory or religious doctrine."
In this case, the religious doctrine was the New Testament. Let me give you a more specific example.
He found that he would never expect witness testimony to line up exactly. If it did, it would point to some sort of conspiring that would mean the witnesses "got their story straight."
I love this book. You can get it online on Amazon for between $5.69 and $17.58.
2: GIVE ME AN ANSWER - YOUTUBE
I am a huge advocate for healthy, friendly, and cordial debate. I think it is important to never stop thinking. Cliffe and his son, who is a licensed psychologist, are great at what they do. There are tons of videos for you to binge-watch, but I linked one of the more recent ones below.
3: "THE CASE FOR CHRIST" BY LEE STROBEL
This one is a bit unique because it was recently turned into a movie! You can find it on Netflix for free, or you can rent it for about $4 on Amazon video.
Or, you can read the book and watch the movie after, like I did!
This book really resonated with me because I studied and practiced journalism for a while before moving to my new job. Strobel was an atheist who was married to a woman who put her trust in Jesus.
He complained to his coworkers about it, many of whom were Christians. Eventually, he decided to explore the life of Christ as it is in the Bible as he would a lead for a story. In the book, Strobel chronicles his interviews with medical, historical, and spiritual experts all while keeping the readers up-to-date on his own opinions and emotions that he experienced during his "hunt" for the truth.
I LOVE THIS BOOK!
You can purchase the book from $3.99 to $15 on Amazon!
4: CROSS-EXAMINED - YOUTUBE
Frank Turek is another person who travels around, answering questions about Christianity. He is popular for his book, "I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist." I have yet to read this, but I have seen videos like the one I've linked below. This explains kind of what this expression means.
I love hearing his arguments and listening (same as Cliffe) to those who have the questions.
- Admit to God that you are a sinner
(Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23).
- Repent, turning away from your sin
(Acts 3:19; 1 John 1:9).
- Believe that Jesus is God's Son and accept God's gift of forgiveness from sin
(Romans 5:8; Acts 4:12; John 3:16; John 14:6; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 1:11-13).
- Confess your faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord
HOW TO GET TO HEAVEN
God is a perfect being who designed each and every one of us. He is sinless, good, and perfect. However, after Eve ate that apple, sin was released into the world and, as a result, everyone was born into sin and everyone does wrong. Only those without sin can enter into Heaven. But don't worry, Jesus came down to Earth and paid your sin debt do you could go to Heaven. Jesus is our salvation and offers us a way to Heaven. A way to live with Him forever. Here is what you have to do:
Ann Marie Ruby
Give Me An Answer
J. Warner Wallace
Turn The Other Cheek