It Begins With God, It Ends With God I read something quite profound today. "God created man out of love. Man sinned and suffered separation. Out of love for His creation, God provided the Savior for man's atonement." Notice anything about this statement? It begins with God and ends with God. When we place the focus elsewhere, we're not being God-centric. We are being anything but focused on God and His Amazing Love, Mercy, Grace, Justice, Righteousness, Holiness, and Omniscience. Anything we place BEFORE our focus on God effectively becomes an idol in our lives. Think about that for a bit - we become idolaters when we place our focus ANYWHERE else other than on God. Ouch. When we focus on our miserable failings that separate us from Him, rather than focus on the Grace and Mercy He provides us, we are sin-centered. When we focus on theological doctrine, rather than focus on His Righteousness, we become ego-centered. When we focus on our own attempts at determining right from wrong in our own minds, rather than focus on His Justice and Holiness, we become self-centered. Anything that is not God-centered is not, well, GOD-CENTERED. What is the greatest of all the commandments? Thou shalt love the LORD THY GOD with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. Mark 12:28-34 Last time I checked, the word all means leaving nothing else out and leaving no room for anything else. Oh, and one more thing, regarding it ALL being about God: 1 John 4:10, "In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the payment for our sins." YSIC, Virginia
This is an awesome blog. We must start everyday with God and end it with God.
But I do think we need doctrine, and it is OK to discuss doctrines. PLus as Wormwood says Paul does tell us to look at them. How can we be sure if a preacher we listen to is on the right track or not unless we look at his doctrines and take what he says and stand it up to God's Word.
Please allow me to clarify, to the points that Wormwood and Goldie bring up: I should have stated that if our complete and TOTAL focus with emphatic dissection of theological doctrine becomes tantamount in our daily walk, then we have lost our ability to be God-centered.
Yes, we must examine doctrine, but not to the detriment of God's penultimate place in our lives.
Thank you for bringing this up. :)
[quote]When we focus on theological doctrine, rather than focus on His Righteousness, we become ego-centered.[/quote]
No one said we should not look at doctrine only that it should not be the main focus but that God and His Righteousness should be the focus. That is where we look.
It has amazed me over the years the number of people in church that do not know what the doctrines of the church they belong to are. I remember one woman who became very angry when she found out that that church had a pro-life doctrine. She stormed out in anger and never came back.
When Paul wrote to the Ephesians and instructed them how widstand the devil and his attack, the first thing he told them to be guirded with the belt of truth, then the breastplate of righteousness next, the preaching of the gospel third and after that. We need love in the fellowship and have righteousness, but if we are skimping on the truth, well Jesus then you love other Jesus than the truth Jesus.
Some fellowships are the kindest, most loving, caring people, but they are in on another planet on the matter of truth. All this love they have for another doesn't profit them. Jesus said, invain you worship me teaching as doctrine the commandments of men. Without truth, things won't work. May you be blessed. Amen.
ps. What the poing of preaching the gospel or loving each other, with out the lamp of truth lit? Yet even in the world, the world loves their own.
True revelation is meant to bring us closer to God. Scripture is meant to lead us to the Truth and the Truth is Him, the Word Himself is Jesus - so the ultimate focus IS Jesus. We should rejoice this Truth and enjoy the One focus that brings unity to our Body of diverse doctrinal views.
Thank you Happy for another great blog :)
I see it very simply the two greatest commandments are to love the Lord with all our heart, soul and strength, then love thy neighbor as thyself. But as THBG states we must know His Word, we must know truth, because I myself have been in congregations that were full of love but devoid of truth! When we love the Lord we love His Word and His Word gives us Truth where we can discern Truth and separate it from falsehood. Just recently close to me in Baltimore there was a cult that allowed a little boy to starve to death because he would not say "Amen," and then they believed that God would resurrect him, as they waited, sadly his body decomposed. Loving the Lord and loving our neighbor comes from reading His Word, which is Truth and our measuring stick. Discussing doctrine allows us to examine our own beliefs and whether or not they line up with the Word of God or perhaps we find we have been following the doctrine of man and not of the Lord. It is good spiritual exercise. Blessings! Andrea