Faith of Inclusion.

1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles—

Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 3)

Some people don’t like the Apostle Paul. He’s too liberal, to revolutionary. Paul’s my favorite and I’m pretty conservative about a lot of things. Then again, I’m pretty common sense about a lot of things as well.

Did you know that the early Christians didn’t see themselves as a new religion? As far as they were concerned they were Jews. They were Jews who believed the Messiah had come. Honestly, you can’t get much more Jewish than believing in a Messiah. That’s not a Gentile thing.

Paul sort of forced the hand of other Apostles. He went outside the box and started in on the Gentiles, the non-Jews. He did as Jesus did and reached out and spoke to non-Jews. Surprised at that? Think about the Samaritan woman at the well, the Roman Centurion.

One thing I like about Christianity is the inclusion factor. I know, another surprise for some. For Christians who follow the Christ path and the Bible, we see how we are all sinners, we all do things way beneath deserving of Heaven, Salvation, and anything else to do with Jesus and God. Even after accepting Jesus, God knows we will still do wrong things but He still made the sacrifice.

“Oh, but He knew Jesus would be resurrected!”

Have you ever felt the sting of a whip? Let’s say you have, now magnify that by millions. Each lash of the whip carries with it the punishment of millions. Imagine the agony. Imagine what goes through the mind during all of that. I personally would be like, “Did I sign up for this?”

Paul did a wonderful thing by reaching out to us. He didn’t say that if you do this and then stop you’ll be kicked out or killed. He also didn’t say it would be an easy job. A lot of us Christians talk about how difficult it is to be a Christian. We talk about following teachings that are so not in line with the ‘cool’ way of doing things. I’m good with that, no problems. Being cool is only a thing I’m trying to be as opposed to being burning forever. What is most difficult about being a Christian is failing every day and knowing God sees it. Living with that, knowing I disappointed Him and Jesus. Lot of guilt there, not so much I’ll hide in my room and flog myself until my skin bleeds. No repeat of the Scarlett Letter here, even if I were a preacher.

I’ve learned to let go of a lot of the guilt and live a carefree life in many ways. It occurred to me, okay it occurs to me every time I start feeling guilty, that God knew even before He sent Jesus that I would fail. No, I’m not cheering when I fail, but in those dark moments, I grab hold of that thought and it pulls me up.

Inclusion. God included me in His decision making from the very beginning. I’ve been included in His thoughts from the beginning. I’m included in His plan.



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Freedom to be free.

Do you know how to lead a fearless life? Fear means you have a problem with the end results of something that is going on. One thing that most people fear the most is death. They may not realize it but they do.

I don’t fear death. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to die and if someone was aiming a gun between my eyes I would be wetting myself so much Georgia would be the new location of the Great Lakes.

No, I mean I am not afraid of the results of that final destination. If I die, I’m not afraid of being dead. A lot of people will tell you that they are just going to be worm food so why be afraid. That’s what they say. Have a conversation with a great many of those people and you’ll find the story is different.

I’m not afraid because of the whole Christian thing. You see, Jesus on the cross, resurrection, ascension and all of that gives a chance at freedom. People wonder what it means by freedom when it comes to Christianity. The freedom we have is that death has no hold over us because we know where and who we belong to.

If I hadn’t accepted Jesus as my Savior, my Lord then I would fear the torture I would have to face for all the sins I’ve committed.  Instead, I try my best to do my best and will be judged and given a few less gifts in Heaven than I had to begin with. Each time I sin, I get a gift taken away. My idea is, put me at the back of Heaven against the wall and I’ll take it.

Before Jesus, before accepting him, I lived under the control of sin, and what that sin would do to me in the end. Some people don’t believe in sin. They think it’s just a point of view as to what is good and what is bad. I could give some examples and see what you say, but I’m not that sick of a person and some people are sick enough to disagree just to be jerks about it.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

What this verse is telling us is this, don’t let the things of this world control you. Alcohol, porn, any other vices, illegal activities, all of it, don’t let any of it be something you think you have to do. What control does it have on you? You’ll die without it? What are you doing with it? Are you truly living with it? You’re afraid or feeling ill with it. Let it go. Be free.

You will slowly begin to feel better. Will your life be better? Maybe not. No one can promise that. However, you will be a better person.


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Newborn Hope.

The newborn babe brought,

Fresh hope of things yet to come,

beyond description.

Hope by Ronovan Hester

For my Haiku Challenge #80.



Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling by PS Bartlett and Ronovan HesterRonovan Hester is an author, with his debut historical adventure novel Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling due out in February 14, 2016. He shares his life through his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.com.

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I am not ashamed…

Greg from over at Potholes In The Road of Life nominated me to be involved in a Three Day Quote Challenge, sharing a quote three posts in a row. Since he’s a friend and is faithfully dedicated to doing my Haiku Challenge each week, how can I say no, right? So I’ll see what I can do.

Romans 1:16 New International Version (NIV)

romans-1-1616 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.

I decided to pick three of my favorite quotes. What better quote than one from Paul about 2000 years ago? But why did I pick this one?

Many people read the book of Romans chapter by chapter. In doing so they fail to understand the message. For centuries since the Bible was divided into chapters and verses  some misunderstandings have been around. And Romans chapters one and two being divided as they are has been one of the biggest.

But I digress. The reason Romans 1:16 is a favorite quote is because of what it says. All are included in salvation who believe in the gospel.

I also like how it says “I am not ashamed of the gospel”. Some Christians are ashamed to admit they believe in Jesus to their friends. And they certainly are afraid to say they believe in his teachings. I’m not certain why except for all those misunderstandings ingrained throughout the generations by the ill informed.

The gospel, the truth, the power. God took the control of sin out of Satan’s hand and put it into the hands of each person as their own choice to make. The perfect sacrifice, Jesus, God in flesh as man, suffering as man, without power to give us a chance.

And since the day I realized the truth of all of that, not the day I became a Christian, but years later, I have not been ashamed to say what I am. Many celebrities are ashamed. No one wants to be ridiculed as the next Tim Tebow. Oh how he’s suffered. Sarcasm there. Only time he ever was a teams starting quarterback in the NFL he lead a down and out team to the playoffs and actually won some games.

So I am proud to say I am not ashamed of the gospel. It gives me a confidence in my final destination and a peace within me in not fearing the future.

Much Love, Success, and Respect

Ronovan

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Testify (A Poem)

I have no shame, to have my name as a follower of the man of greatest fame.
He didn’t have to do it. He could’ve left us. But no way, uh uh, the Man upstairs chose not to throw off.
We’re complete sinners, turn out to be winners, I count myself among the great final enders.
Do you suppose, He knows, I chose to give my woes up over His foes?

He knows all, He’s seen it happen, gives us a shot, but we keep back slappin’.
It’s not what we’ve done, it’s because of His Son, the soul of a sinner is won.
I stood up, I stepped out, I walked the aisle, saw what its’ all about.
Can I get a witness? Can I get an Amen? Can I, Can I, come on, come on, testify.

 

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