"faith isn't a statement, it's a step. God didn't bring the Israelites out of egypt to die but to give them a new life. this is the first step."

"your identity is not what you do, it is who your are. that "package" of opinions, strengths, emotions, skills, dreams, desires, weaknesses and experiences is what you are. "

Forgiveness: "to give up all claim to exact punishment for an offense."

Forgiveness does not mean forgetting, but that memory no longer has control over us, and it does not bring the same pain.

Forgiveness does not mean the offender becomes your friend, there is a word for that: reconciliation."

I need to believe...

No one gets away with anything.

The following Bible verses seem to back up the idea that "no one gets away with anything".

Romans 12:19, Hebrews 10:30, Deuteronomy 32:35,36, Psalm 94:1, Isaiah 59:16-18, Nahum 1:2,3, Psalm 7:8, Psalm 9:8, Psalm 10:18, Psalm 26:1, Psalm 35:24, Psalm 43:1, Psalm 50:4,6, Psalm 54:1, Psalm 67:4, Psalm 72:2,4, Psalm 75:7, Psalm 82:8, Psalm 94:2, Psalm 96:10, Psalm 98:9, Psalm 110:6, Psalm 135:14, Ecclesiastes 3:17, Isahiah 2:4, Isahiah 3:13, Isahiah 11:4, Isaiah 33:22, Isaiah 51:5, Lamantations 3:59, Ezekiel 7:8, Ezekiel 7:27, Ezekiel 11:10,11, Ezekiel 18:30, Ezekiel 20:4, Ezekiel 21:30, Ezekiel 33:20, Joel 3:12, Michah 4:3, Matthew 16:27, John 5:30, Acts 10:42, Acts 17:31, Romans 2:5, Romans 2:16, Romans 3:6, 1 Corinthians 4:5, 1 Corinthians 13:13, Romans 2, Revelation 20:12, 2 CCorinthians 5:10, Daniel 7:10, 2Timothy 4:1,8, Hebrews 12:23, Hebrews 13:4, and 1 Peter 4:5.

Revelation 20:12

Revelation 20:12 says everyone will be judged by their works. Randy Alcorn pointed out that when we go to heaven we must take our memories, because "we" go to heaven and our memories are a huge part of who "we" are. If that is true, what we did here, we will remember, for a very long time. We may have to live for eternity remembering the things we did.

In the book "Heaven is for Real" Brandon's grandpa remembered his son, and that he had a child. Therefore the things we do here, we will be judged for, and will remember in heaven.

John MacArthur states however, we won't keep our memories, based on Isaiah 65:17 and that Revelation 20:12 is only the unbelieving getting judged as the believers judgement is earlier.

No one is better than anyone else.

Romans 12:3-5 talks about that. It is interesting, maybe relevant, that Filet Mignon is more expensive than Round Steak. The Filet Mignon comes from a muscle that is almost never used, Round Steak comes from a muscle that is used a lot.

In other words, the Filet Mignon does nothing, the Round Steak works a lot (when they are still a part of the cow). The worth of those two cuts of beef have nothing to do with how much they worked.

In fact, their worth is inversely proportional to how much work they did.

This world is broken.

It is broken in unpredictable ways.
If it was broken in predictable ways it would not be "broken" it would simply be a lesser version than the original.

God designed the perfect version. Man broke it. God did not design a broken world. But He knows how to fix it, He knows how it is supposed to be.

So when we encounter "unpredictable brokeness" in this world, it is not God's creation, it is man's creation. God did not create this version, this broken world. But He does know how to fix it.

Life is an obstacle course.

God did not design it. He designed a peaceful garden. Man turned it into an obstacle course. It is not God's fault life is an obstacle course. But God can help you get through the obstacle course, and God promised he would use our experiences in this obstacle course for our good.

An Example

A man had two sons. One day he brought home a Ferrari, it was his pride and joy. He eventually let his older son drive it. It was still new, the engine was still in the break-in period so the man told his older son not to rev the engine above 3,000 rpm. The older son was showing off and reved the engine to 6,000 rpm.

Now the Ferrari burns oil.

A few months later the man gave the Ferrari to his younger son. But he told his younger son to check the oil once a month because it burns oil and it will destroy the engine if it runs out of oil.

The man would check the oil for his younger son about once a week, each time reminding the younger son that he needed to do it. Soon the man quit checking the oil and just starting reminding the younger son to do it himself. Eventually he quit reminding the younger son as he expected the son to take care of his car himself.

One day the engine seized up because the younger son didn't put oil in the engine. He blamed his dad. He thought his dad should have checked the engine oil. Worse, because his dad was a mechanic, he thought it was his dad's fault because his dad could have fixed the engine so it didn't burn oil. His dad was a top-of-the-line Ferrari mechanic, a designer in fact, but he had chosen not to fix this Ferrari, but instead to give it to his son. Now his son blamed him for the ruined engine. His son was bitter and angry at his dad.

God gave us a "Ferrari" when he gave us a perfect world. Our older brother "Adam" messed it up. Now as the younger brother we get the Ferrari that burns oil and some times it seizes up. We get mad at God because He doesn't fix the Ferrari. But God didn't break it. He simply chose not to fix it, to let us live out the consequences of our actions. Like a great Ferrari mechanic He is always willing to help us when the our broken Ferrari seizes up again.

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Our greatest desire is...
for people to come to know God personally. The simple truth is that there is a God who created you and loves you very much. (Genesis 1:1) He gave us life and deserves our gratitude and love.

Simon the Zealot was passionate about his politics. People with passion have enthusiasm and energy. They have purpose and direction. They think they know what should be done, And usually we don't. They are easy to follow. That type of passion and direction makes a good leader. Read more here...
The Bible tells us Jesus was born to a virgin. Luke tells us also. We know it's true. We have no debate about that. It isn't hard for us to believe. (Personally, for me, compared to everything else Jesus has done for me, it isn't hard for me to believe His momma was a virgin). Read more here...
Many years ago a wise man said he realized he couldn't make a mistake. He said he does lots of things wrong, lots of things he shouldn't, lots of things he is sorry for, but he found this verse: Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, Read more here...