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Archive for the ‘Thoughts from The Ambassador’ Category

Philosophical and theological discourses

It’s a Trust Issue

Posted by heavensembassy on August 10, 2009

The center verse of the Bible is Psalm 118:6 “It is better to trust in the LORD(I AM that I AM) than to put confidence in people.”

Trust is a highly valued amenity in any relationship. And ironically, its value becomes more apparent after it has been misguided, even if only slightly so. For it is at the point where one’s trust has been betrayed that a piece of who they are ceases to exist or dies. That portion of innocence–a portion where the perspective that optimistically envisioned people as trustworthy prevails–is carried away by pallbearers into oblivion. And it leaves in its spot a sore that evolves into a tough, feelingless callous. 

And from the tone of the Psalms passage, the psalmist is reflecting on a personal mistrusting of someone. For the poet cries “out of my distress I called on the LORD.” When he says my distress, I believe that word encompasses a time when no one else could assist him, a time when the people who were supposed to be there to support him were absent, a time when he felt deserted and alone. It was then that he cried unto the I AM (the LORD). The One that does not change, realizing that it is better to trust in God than to put confidence in people. 

So in the words of the great hymnal, “Trust in Him who will not leave you,/whatsoever years may bring./ If by earthly friends forsaken,/ still more closely to Him cling.”

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Encountering the Incredible Pt.5

Posted by heavensembassy on June 5, 2009

In this portion of Acts 26, Paul talks to Agrippa and realizes that he is challenged to make a decision on how to respond to an Encounter with the Incredible! 

Acts 26 V.26-30 Paul then Addresses Agrippa

Agrippa’s father had persecuted Christians and his grandfather had tried to kill Jesus, but Paul is still bold in his message–he had been stoned, shipwrecked, and robbed according to 2 Cor. 11:24-26, so he was not afraid because he had had an Encounter with the Incredible. Agrippa says, “Do you believe you could persuade me in such a short time to be a Christian?”

Picture this: Agrippa sat between Bernice on one side, she represented no commitment having been married several times. And Festus was on the other side representing friends and prestige. And Paul stood before him in chains. So Agrippa had a seemingly tough decision to make to accept Christ. And Paul knew that an argument was not enough to convince Agrippa, because Paul had heard enough preaching to save the world, especially as he held coats as the Jews stoned Stephen.

But Paul does not respond that I hope my argument can convince, but rather he says, “I would to God that you and all these around were like me, [and have an Encounter with the Incredible.] Except for these bonds,” because I may look bound to you, but I have been set free by my Encounter with the Incredible, because whom the Son sets free is free indeed!

How do you respond to an Encounter with the Incredible?

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A Personal Kingdom Theology

Posted by heavensembassy on January 10, 2009

The next few the Thoughts from the Ambassador will be about developing a personal kingdom theology.

 

Hebrews 11:1Now faith is the assurance (substance KJV) of things hoped for, the conviction (evidence KJV) of things not seen. (NASB)

 

Hebrews 11:1NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]. (AMP)

 

That verse to many Christians is known as the definition of what faith is, even though it is more of a description of what faith does. Faith is an extremely important facet in the life of a believer, and it is essential to have an understanding of what faith is in order to develop a personal or collective theology. I would like to argue that to truly develop a theology one must separate from this concept of faith two other terms that are nonchalantly deemed synonymous with faith—religion and spirituality. We often use spirituality, religion, and faith as interchangeable terms. However, they are conceptually different, yet not mutually exclusive. They are each a synecdoche (a part that represents the whole) of theology. By being able to understand how we relate to our God we can have a better grasp on worshipping and experiencing the Divine despite our situation and geographic location in life. This experience with the Deity is profoundly important, because man was formed to be filled with forever, because God has placed eternity in men’s hearts (Ecc. 3:10). Therefore, I believe that to have a thorough grasp on our world, it is important to view the sometimes simultaneously expressed but individual components of the theology that every human develops—faith, religion, spirituality.

 

            Faith is described as the assurance or substance of things hoped for. The Amplified Bible translates the meaning as the confirmation or title deed of things hoped for. The Amplified’s use of title deed is interesting, because it gives us an image of a person with the deed, technically owning a piece of merchandise, like a car; however, the person has not yet received the vehicle. However, the car that is promised by the dealer is demonstrated by a piece of paper. A piece of paper that cannot be driven, that in no way looks like an automobile, that is only a promise. Our faith is similar to this, people who practice other religions even share this concept of faith—that faith is the representation of what we will eventually receive. Despite are current situation, faith speaks to an assurance of already receiving our hope, whatever it may be. As well, faith serves as the foundation, proof, conviction, or evidence of things not seen. This aspect of faith makes it reasonable that it is the least malleable component of our theology. Faith is our evidence in the court of the unseen, and it is the only proof to which we can demonstrate against doubt. Your faith should be completely unshakeable and incapable of wavering. However, a reasonable and responsible question for the reader would be is, “Faith in what?” And it is at this critical juncture that we have to ask ourselves, “What do I believe? What is the role of the Divine in my life? How do I place myself in God’s plan? What do I believe about God’s Son? What characteristics do I believe that the Higher Power has? How relatable and reliable is the Deity that I venerate?” These questions and many more should bombard your brain as you determine what it is that you believe and what is nonnegotiable. Don’t get too uncomfortable. There is some assistance in solving these questions if you are like most us and have difficulty answering them for yourself.   (Be on the watch for the next part of this essay on this heavensembassy.wordpress.com!)

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