The world was ruined by human selfishness. The world is being restored by selflessness – by GIVING. God is a GIVER, Christ is a GIVER, Believers are exhorted to be GIVERS. Religions present the gods as TAKERS, but the Bible reveals the True and Living God as the Great GIVER. Love is defined by Giving.
“For God so loved the world, that he GAVE… If thou knewest the GIFT of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have GIVEN thee living water… the Son of man shall GIVE unto you… my Father GIVETH you the true bread from heaven…For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and GIVETH life unto the world… the bread that I will GIVE is my flesh, which I will GIVE for the life of the world… I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd GIVETH his life for the sheep… For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who GAVE himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”
Thomas Cahill, in his work How the Irish Saved Civilization, made this wonderful observation.
“The Romans are the rich and powerful who run things their way and must always accrue more because they instinctively believe that there will never be enough to go around; the catholics, as their name implies, are universalists who instinctively believe that all humanity makes one family, that every human being is an equal child of God, and that God will provide. The twenty-first century…will be spiritual or it will not be. If our civilization is to be saved – forget about civilization, which, as Patrick would say, may pass ‘in a moment like a cloud or smoke that is scattered by the wind’ – if WE are to be saved, it will not be by Romans but by Saints.”
In that spirit, enjoy this incredible poem which will encourage us to walk in Love as Christ loves us and GIVES Himself for us as an offering and sacrifice to God. Love is defined by GIVING.
Christian history “shows at once how Christianity spreads over the world, and how it penetrates, transforms, and sanctifies the individual and all the departments and institutions of social life…
From Jesus Christ, since his manifestation in the flesh, an unbroken stream of divine light and life has been and is still flowing, and will continue to flow, in ever-growing volume through the waste of our fallen race; and all that is truly great and good and holy in the annals of church history is due, ultimately, to the impulse of his spirit. He is the fly-wheel in the world’s progress. But he works upon the world through sinful and fallible men, who, while as self-conscious and free agents they are accountable for all their actions, must still, willing or unwilling, serve the great purpose of God…
With the crucifixion of Christ his resurrection also is repeated ever anew in the history of his church on earth; and there has never yet been a day without a witness of his presence and power ordering all things according to his holy will…
The kingdom of Christ, in its principle and aim, is as comprehensive as humanity. It is truly catholic or universal, designed and adapted for all nations and ages, for all the powers of the soul, and all classes of society. It breathes into the mind, the heart, and the will a higher, supernatural life, and consecrates the family, the state, science, literature, art, and commerce to holy ends, till finally God becomes all in all…
Christianity has thus passed through many stages of its earthly life, and yet has hardly reached the period of full manhood in Christ Jesus. During this long succession of centuries it has outlived the destruction of Jerusalem, the dissolution of the Roman empire, fierce persecutions from without, and heretical corruptions from within, the barbarian invasion, the confusion of the dark ages, the papal tyranny, the shock of infidelity, the ravages of revolution, the attacks of enemies and the errors of friends, the rise and fall of proud kingdoms, empires, and republics, philosophical systems, and social organizations without number. And, behold, it still lives, and lives in greater strength and wider extent than ever; controlling the progress of civilization, and the destinies of the world; marching over the ruins of human wisdom and folly, ever forward and onward; spreading silently its heavenly blessings from generation to generation, and from country to country, to the ends of the earth. It can never die; it will never see the decrepitude of old age; but, like its divine founder, it will live in the unfading freshness of self-renewing youth and the unbroken vigor of manhood to the end of time, and will outlive time itself.
This article contains excerpts from Philip Schaff’s History of the Christian Church Volume One.
God Can Be Counted On! – By Daniel W. Sheridan
A man’s past record of honesty and integrity is a testimony to his character. We have confidence in a proven man of his word. A person who does what he says, and does it right, can be counted on both now and in the future.
God has proven Himself to be a God of His word!
“There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass” (Joshua 21:45).
Throughout the Bible, we see God fulfilling His promises.
“And the LORD visited Sarah AS HE HAD SAID, and the LORD did unto Sarah AS HE HAD SPOKEN. For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which GOD HAD SPOKEN to him.”
What did this fulfilled promise produce?
“And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me.”
Sarah laughed for joy and asked everyone to laugh with her! God makes us happy!
The Bible says, “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive… For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous” (The Apostle Paul).
Notice the words “shall all be” and “shall many be made” are future promises. “I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided,” said Patrick Henry, “and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past.” And judging by the past, I, Daniel W. Sheridan, have come to the conclusion that God is as good as His word. I have a solid foundation upon which to rest my faith. I believe, and therefore I speak of the greatness, honesty, and integrity to my God!
We, like Sarah, can laugh today! Faith leads to joy! The human race will joyfully laugh when all of Adam’s progeny are alive and justified.
Let us give praise and honor to our faithful God! Our Redeemer is faithful and true!
The object of Luke was to confirm Theophilus and through him all his readers in the faith in which he had already been orally instructed, and to lead him to the conviction of the irrefragable certainty of the facts on which Christianity rests.
Luke…takes a universal view of Christ as the Saviour of all men and fulfiller of the aspirations of every human heart. He brings him in contact with the events of secular history in the vast empire of Augustus, and with the whole human race by tracing his ancestry back to Adam.
The whole book is undoubtedly admirably suited to Greek taste. It at once captivates the refined Hellenic ear by a historic prologue of classic construction, resembling the prologues of Herodotus and Thucydides. It is not without interest to compare them.
Luke begins: “Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to draw up a narrative concerning those matters which have been fufilled among us, even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word: it seemed good to me also, having traced the course of all things accurately from the first, to write unto thee in order, most noble Theophilus; that thou mightest know the certainty concerning the things wherein thou wast instructed.”
Herodotus: “These are the researches of Herodotus of Halicarnassus, which he publishes, in order to preserve from oblivion the remembrance of former deeds of men, and to secure a just tribute of glory to the great and wonderful actions of the Greeks and the barbarians; and withal to put on record what were their grounds of feud.”
Thucydides: “Thucydides, an Athenian, wrote the history of the war in which the Peloponnesians and the Athenians fought against one another. He began to write when they first took up arms, believing that it would be great and memorable above any previous war. For he argued that both States were then at the full height of their military power, and he saw the rest of the Hellenes either siding or intending to side with one or other of them. No movement ever stirred Hellas more deeply than this; it was shared by many of the barbarians, and might be said even to affect the world at large.” (Jowett’s translation.)
These prefaces excel alike in brevity, taste, and tact, but with this characteristic difference: the Evangelist modestly withholds his name and writes in the pure interest of truth a record of the gospel of peace for the spiritual welfare of all men; while the great pagan historians are inspired by love of glory, and aim to immortalize the destructive wars and feuds of Greeks and barbarians.
***The text was taken from Phillip Schaff’s History of the Christian Church Vol 1, p 655-56.
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