In which I didn’t say enough (pt2)

by Craig on October 11, 2011

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And Joe (not your real name) we talked
but there is more I would have said…
if I weren’t so timid about sharing God.

* both blogs were down for at least half the day yesterday – so I’m keeping them up one more day – which means I get to read more blogs today – yay!! If’ you’ve read this already – bet you never read my first post ever! ツ*

On the off chance you’re reading “Joe”…

here goes…

There was a fullness of time in the history of this world where God chose to enter the world and pay the price for every sin committed by every person who ever lived on the face of this planet. (JN 1:11)

And Joe, I know you believe that Jesus is God…
you told me so.
And God is perfect, and holy…
and we…

we. are. not.

Any imperfection – the slightest one would keep us from relationship with perfection
and sin is imperfection…
and everybody has at least one sin.

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And there’s a penalty for sin… (ROM 6:23)
it happened in the Garden of Eden…
they couldn’t have eternal life anymore…
they put themselves ahead of their Creator…
cart before horse…
and to die without eternal life is to blink out of existence…
or worse.

And the Gospel is as simple as this Joe…
and although there are details…
just in case brevity is important…
three words…
Believe. Then. Love.

Remember you talked about what a good match my two blogs made…
and I said that they are the two strides of my Christian walk, to know and to do…
well it’s the way to save a soul.

Believe that the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross forgives you of all sin if you accept it…
then lay your life down as a living sacrifice to your God and Creator, and Savior…
looking to God as the center of life, and decisions, and right and wrong and seeking not to sin…
while of course because you’re human you will sin, but it’s all about the trying, the heart…
The love chapter of the Bible, 1 COR 13 is the best guide to the Christian life I’ve found in the Bible…

A double paneled painting…

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Accept his sacrifice – God as Savior.
Commit to living your life for him – God as Lord.

One without the other is incomplete…
forgiveness needs to be complete.

Believe. Then. Love.

Joe (not really Joe) I remember you talked about having a separation from God, and that is incredibly deep theology. But when Jesus died on the cross he bore the penalty of the death that you and I deserve. Someone had to pay the penalty – and he had to be human. And someone had to be the perfect sacrifice – and only God is perfect – so he had to be God.

And he asks you to just simply accept his gift of salvation…
and live your life with your heart toward him.

Believe. Then. Love.

There is more…

please come back.

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Layla Payton October 11, 2011 at 9:35 am

“A double paneled painting.”

I loved that illustration so much, I may have to create one (two piece set) to hang in my home. Beautifully put, as always, Craig.

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Craig October 12, 2011 at 4:28 am

Layla, you paint? I don’t remember that. If you paint – why can’t you paint pictures for a Laska story book? Could you paint cute fluffy Laskas? And thank you as always for being so nice. God bless you Layla.

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Layla Payton October 13, 2011 at 12:23 am

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh…no! I have absolutely NO artistic abilities. LOL My oldest son is a fantastic artist, but that was in no way inherited (he is into drawing, not painting). I do LOVE art and attending art galleries. I have met some pretty cool friends in the local art scene. In fact, I am going to a show on Friday (girl’s night out…yay!). But by “create,” I meant take a photo. I am not really good at that either, but that’s what photo shop is for. Hahahaha!

Artistic talent…noooooooooooooo. If I did have it, I would be more than happy to paint Laska the love kitty. :)

God bless you too!

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Craig October 13, 2011 at 5:59 pm

I have to keep this short – the love Kitty knows it’s time to go outside – and he can barely hold in his frantic. I think I’d really heart finding someone in our blogging community who could do some watercolor Laskas – that’s the way I envision his picture books. anyway, the poor cat can barely contain himself right now – he wants to rev up his “me out” meows – but he’s holding it in because I said shhhhhhh – and I refuse to make eye contact. The minute I do it’s over. That kind of behavior needs to be rewarded with a walk. ANd I said short didn’t I – ugh….

God Bless.

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Layla Payton October 14, 2011 at 11:43 pm

Hahahaha!!!

kelli-AdventurezInChildRearing October 11, 2011 at 3:35 pm

beautifully written! love it – thanks for stopping by my blog! I love yours and know that both of us have the same ultimate goal- bringing others to Christ & showing God’s love in all we do. This is just beautiful!

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Craig October 12, 2011 at 4:35 am

Kelli, really nice to see you here. The blogs were down for half the day – I wonder how you snuck in. Regardless, glad you did! Blissdom is a big place – and I know from last year that it can sometimes be hard to find the “faith” bloggers – so this year will be nice to know a few going in – it’ll be nice knowing you. Anyway, the simple, Believe. Then. Love. That came from a desire to know what really comprised the gospel and an extensive study. And a little bit of the book of James. I just needed to know – because for years I was very big on telling people about the believe part – but not the doing part – the love part – because that’s what I was told. It’s so more than just the “prayer”. Believing without love is worthless – and loving without believing doesn’t do any good either. Anyway, thank you for coming by – and God bless and keep you and yours.

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Martha Orlando October 11, 2011 at 5:43 pm

“Believe. Then. Love.”
How simple; how profound – the gospel in the proverbial nutshell, the message clear as crystal.
Craig, you transform the Word in a way that always touches my heart, deeply and meaningfully. You inspire me and have, whether you know it or not, given me fresh perspectives for my daily devotions.
I thank God for who you are and for the grace He has shown you. Through you, that grace flows freely.

May He bless you always!

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Craig October 12, 2011 at 4:40 am

thank you Martha, from the first century. That’s what the gospel was, then it seems to have gotten very “works-ish” – then, with Martin Luther it may have gotten a little heavy on the grace side. One side forgot grace – the other side forgot the practice of love – the doing. We don’t get anywhere without grace – and we don’t get anywhere without loving. Pretty simple. And you and I know there is much more, there is prayer, there is reading of the Word, there is fellowship, but this is the start. Martha, your words are always kind, thank you for that. God bless and keep you.

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Cora October 11, 2011 at 6:03 pm

After reading this, I just bowed my head in awe and amazement! God’s plan — so full of love and simplicity! If I had to make the choice again today, I would have to say a big YES! I’m praying for your friend, Craig.

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Craig October 12, 2011 at 4:44 am

Cora, you and I both know there’s a little more to living out faith than just believe, then, love. But we need a starting point. and I think it’s important to tell those we explain this to that this is only the starting point – and that faith must grow. I think we might get bigger. “numbers” if we don’t tell people to count the cost – but then, how many do we lose later because the cost is more than was counted? Thank you Cora. God bless. And it’s a good thing to pray for Joe – because in the end – no one comes to God without the God drawing him or her in. it’s not the words – it’s the God. No?

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Michelle October 12, 2011 at 3:45 am

Believe. Then. Love.

There is more…

But … Believe. Then. Love. pretty much sums it up.

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Craig October 12, 2011 at 4:46 am

Michelle, very simply, it means a lot to me that this bears the “Michelle seal of approval” – and I mean that, really do! God bless you Michelle!

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Debbie October 12, 2011 at 9:00 am

This is beautiful, Craig . . .for all of us and for Joe. God bless you and your words for Him, full of Him.

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Craig October 12, 2011 at 2:06 pm

just simple, basic everybody knows it gospel – that’s all – thank you Debbie. God bless you.

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Danelle October 12, 2011 at 1:43 pm

“Two strides in my walk. . .to know and to do.”.
Beautiful Craig. Simple truth.

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Craig October 12, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Danelle, thank you. The gospel boiled down to its very basics Believe. Then. Love. And my walk – if I don’t know the Word I don’t know HOW to do – and if I don’t do – a world of Bible knowledge stuffed in my head doesn’t do me one bit of good. Gods. Simple. Truth. Again, thank you Danelle, and God bless you and yours.

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Lisa notes... October 12, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Believe. Then love. The gospel is so simple, isn’t it? I wonder why we end up making it so complicated….

Beautiful simplicity here, Craig. Thank you, friend.

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Craig October 12, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Lisa, I learned that gospel through experience. The gospel. I was taught when I came to know our Lord was just grace, grace, grace, grace. Everybody said the words Savior AND Lord – but all the emphasis was on Savior. So that’s the gospel I spread. I don’t ever want to share the gospel again without someone understanding that they have to count the cost – we know that the Christian life has a cost – the grace is free – taking up the cross each day is not. One way might result in bigger numbers – the other one – I think that’s the true gospel. Simple. Thank you Lisa – thank you much – God bless you my friend.

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