How Jesus taught that one lost person is valuable enough to him to pursue
by Ashley Wyder—
So there was this shepherd who had 100 sheep. Now one of the sheep somehow got lost. Some people would look and say who cares about that one, just leave it. It doesn't really matter. But Jesus tells us that is not how the shepherd responded. The shepherd left the 99 other sheep he had, and went in search of the one sheep. When he found it, he carried it home on his shoulders and told all of his friends to rejoice with him. In John chapter 10 of the New Testament (Injeel) Jesus tells us that He is the good shepherd and He lays down His life for the sheep. He tells us that no one has the power to take His life away from Him but that He willingly laid it down himself. https://www.esv.org/John+10/
Is there a prescription for the way to Heaven or is it a big mystery…?
by Anas (Eddie) Yousif—
In these last days of Ramadan let's talk about forgiveness. Hardly anyone denies that forgiveness is necessary in life, from other people and even more from Almighty God. But, have you ever stopped to ponder why it's so necessary and what the world would be like if there were no such thing as forgiveness? Why does everyone need to be forgiven in the first place? Can't we just not do wrong? Further, does everybody get forgiveness? Should they? We have all heard about people who refuse to forgive, and those who refuse to repent for their wrongdoing. What about a Holy God? Does he forgive everybody for any reason, automatically, or does He have conditions? Certainly He must have or forgiveness would mean nothing. So then, what are those conditions? These are the questions religion seeks to answer.
In part 1 we demonstrated that the only way one may enter the kingdom of God (Heaven) would be through the blood sacrifice of a substitute. This can be seen in the story behind Eid al Adha found in the Tawrat and the Qur'an both. Al Adha, or sacrifice, was the ram that Almighty God required as a substitute for Abraham's son whom God initially commanded as a sacrifice to test Abraham's obedience. But was that the whole lesson? It would seem not. Even though Abraham passed the test of obedience, apparently the LORD had another lesson for him because he still required a blood sacrifice. But why? we should pause to ask. *That story can be found here: https://www.esv.org/Genesis+22/
Is God meek? A brief investigation comparing one characteristic of Yahweh and Allah
The major difference between Islam and Christianity is the nature of God that is revealed. One aspect of God that is evident in Christianity is his meekness. This should not be confused with weakness.
The Qur'an speaks of humility. In 3:159, Muhammad is praised for his humility by dealing gently with those whom could have been in rebellion to him.
فَبِمَا رَحْمَةٍ مِّنَ اللَّهِ لِنتَ لَهُمْ ۖ وَلَوْ كُنتَ فَظًّا غَلِيظَ الْقَلْبِ لَانفَضُّوا مِنْ حَوْلِكَ ۖ فَاعْفُ عَنْهُمْ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ وَشَاوِرْهُمْ فِي الْأَمْرِ ۖ فَإِذَا عَزَمْتَ فَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُتَوَكِّلِينَ - 3:159
“And by the Mercy of Allah, you dealt with them gently. And had you been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about you”
[Aal ‘Imraan 3:159]
«.لَو كانَتْ مَملَكتِي تَنتَمِي إلَى هَذا العالَمِ، لَكانَ أتباعِي يُحارِبُونَ لِيَمنَعُوا تَسلِيْمِي إلَى اليَهُودِ. لَكِنَّ مَملَكَتِي لَيْسَتْ مِنْ هُنا »
by Scott Cherry—
On the night of his last Passover meal Jesus performed one of the strangest and most uncommon acts for a figure of such epic prominence and power as the Messiah: He washed his disciples' feet. Yet it was entirely consistent with his M.O. which makes it believable. He lived it out thoroughly. It was yet one more demonstration that he came "not to be served but to serve...and to GIVE his life [not take]...as a ransom for many." That is mind-blowing to me.
June 19, Day 25
« مَملَكَتِي لا تَنتَمِي إلَى هَذا العالَمِ.» "My kingdom is not of this world." It would seem that only an alien like Thor or Kal El "Superman" would say something like this. But it wasn't them. Besides, they are fictional. But the man who said this was real and had very strange ideas about himself. "What kind of a outrageous claim is that?" his audience wondered in disbelief. But there's more: «.لَو كانَتْ مَملَكتِي تَنتَمِي إلَى هَذا العالَمِ، لَكانَ أتباعِي يُحارِبُونَ لِيَمنَعُ »
Fathers are indispensable to families and society. Happy Father's Day to all fathers.