Posts Tagged ‘ Daniel Klem ’

Merciful Death

Cross Walk 2008

Me doing the Cross Walk in 2008

If we honestly looked around our world, we could see plenty of good reasons why people would want to take their lives. Sad? Definitely.

Sorry to be gloomy and maybe even a bit sick, but what if they are on to something?

Sweet Death

I read an article recently in Christian Research Journal (Vol. 34, No. 2, 2011) titled “A Christian View of Human Nature“. The author, John S. Hammet, had this to say about death:

Moreover, may not the end of life in this world be a severe mercy from God? True, death entered the world as the punishment for sin, but a punishment that opened the door to mercy. For once humans had fallen and become like God in knowing, not just good, but now evil, God intervened: “He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and live forever” (Gen. 3:22). It was the mercy of God that established the limitation of life as a fallen human; as redeemed persons, we are welcomed to the tree of life (Rev. 22:3).

Not only could God have allowed death as a mercy to get away from the suffering we brought upon ourselves (and for the record, I am not making any arguments today about the afterlife for all people; this is just about this life), but He used death to defeat death!

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned.

But:

Since the children have flesh and blood, [Jesus] too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.

From the beginning, God showed us mercy through death. Even if you do not hold to Hammet’s take, here are some examples:

What do you think? Is death God once again showing His grace in the midst of our punishment?

Weekend Words and Sunday Stanzas – 04/17/2011

It is Palm Sunday! The celebration of the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem of Jesus to start His Passion Week!

How about something that considers the majesty of God:

God can be found

daniel m  klem

from the farthest galaxy in the universe
down to the smallest insignificant quark
from the most memorable bible verse
to the most outstanding missionary work
from the tallest and highest mountain peak
to the deepest gulch in the vast abyss
from the smallest creature that is frail and weak
to the strongest monster of both man and fish
from the smallest newborn baby in all time
to the greatest man that has ever been
God can be found in every reason with rhyme
and is working from without and within

Taken from the book simple words for God from a simple man of God by daniel m klem, p. 112.

The Gospel of Nothing

Nothing to offerWhat are we able to give God?

What is it that we can give God to get closer to God?

Creator of Everything

God is the Creator of everything. All things we are able to measure. Almost all things we are not able to measure.

God created light. God created atoms and molecules. God created mass. God created single-celled organisms. God created plants. God created animals. God created us. God created emotions and infact has emotions. God created and is goodness. God created and is truth. God created and is Life.

God did not create lies. God did not create hurts. God did not create pain. God did not create hate. God did not create evil. God did not create sin.

What we give God

This last line is what we can give God … at least at first.

This is the gospel: We have nothing to give God but our filth, our hurts, our lies, our hate, our evil, our sin.

In other words, nothing.

But we also give God our choice to follow.

In other words, we choose to love God.

God takes all this and gives us in exchange grace, forgiveness, grace, the Holy Spirit, grace, a new car new life, grace, and hope for a future in Eternity.

God also does not want us to continue living as we have. That is why there is new life with the Holy Spirit. This is also why there is so much grace: we will continue to mess up.

But God wants more.Empty to receive

After clearing us out of all of our nothing, God knows we need something.

If we present ourselves as ready and willing for whatever, God fills us with Himself – the Holy Spirit – to go out and perform good works for the benefit of others to bring glory to God.

After giving God our nothing, God gives us the ability to give our very lives, to give the Love given to us, to give forgiveness to ourselves and to others, to give our all.

Weekend Words and Sunday Stanzas

What do you think? For my poetry postings, I was thinking of using one or both of the alliterations in this post’s title for the weekly title.

Today’s poem was written on October 3, 2007. It is called Your Truth:

Your Truth permeates my being
i cannot help but to think
about Your Word day and night
for i know it is good and right
Your Truth sets captives free
souls saved from going into the deep
it is by the power of Your Word
to cut loose sin like a sword
Your Truth cuts through to the marrow
and comforts me in my sorrow
by Your Word all things were made
and by grace through faith we are saved

My Spirited Response

This week’s conversation has been about the Holy Spirit: Should we pray to and/or worship the Holy Spirit?

Finally, my personal take. It might come across as rather diplomatic or even politically correct at times while being politically incorrect at others, but it is where I stand.

I have prayed “Holy Spirit, continue to guide us today” and other such prayers. I have said “Holy Spirit, you are amazing the way you work” and “Thank you for the connection with Christ” and things similar.

This makes it sound like I completely agree.

There are things such as “anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven” and “with the Father and with the Son he is worshiped and glorified” which are compelling.

There is also the fact that the Father and Son are in Heaven, but the Holy Spirit is among us. The Holy Spirit connects us to them, but we are to pray to the Father and in the name of Jesus.

This also raises the point of the Trinity. If the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all equally God in one being, then it would make sense to pray to and worship Him.

There are times it is definitely not okay, however.

I have been in churches who worship the Holy Spirit to the point of almost forgetting or even leaving out mention of the Father and/or the Son. I heard a preacher call it a “Holy Spirit fetish” and heretical. The Holy Spirit will always point towards the Son to glorify the Father. If this is not happening, then you are worshiping something not the Holy Spirit and caught in idolatry.

I have been in churches where prayers sound like a shopping list. If you are asking the Holy Spirit to work certain situations and/or people into ways that do not edify the church or are ungodly, you are caught in idolatry, using the Lord’s name in vain, and (honestly) selfishness.

It sure seems to me that the Holy Spirit is to be “worshiped and glorified”, but I would advise caution. Check your heart before moving forward. Make sure you are worshiping and glorifying in the proper manner. This is true for each member of the Trinity! Each can be twisted into evil dimensions and for ridiculous endeavors.

Just remember, our focus should be on bringing glory to God. If there is doubt, you are in dangerous territory. The things of God will always edify the Church, glorify the risen Son of God, and bring praise to God (each part/the whole).

Holy Spirit History, Batman!

There is a lot of history behind beliefs of the Trinity and the Holy Spirit. Way more than I could really fit into one blog. Therefore, I will keep this short.

One of the big controversies started (or became famous) with Arius around the beginning of the 4th Century, and some people still hold to some of his teachings today. His teachings – known as Arianism – stated that Jesus Christ was born in eternity and that He and the Father created the Holy Spirit. If this is true, then worship of and prayers to the Holy Spirit would be wrong since they are going to a created being. This is idolatry.

However, a man by the name of Constantine became a Christian early in the 4th Century. In 323 he became Emperor of the Roman Empire. In 325 he called together the Council of Nicaea to help dispel any disagreements and even heresies (as well as help unite the Empire). It was at this council that we got the beginnings of what is known as the Nicene Creed, which basically took the Apostles’ Creed and expounded on it. It was not until the Council of Constantinople in 381 that it was completed. This Creed is still used in almost all churches in the world. There is one part in particular that we are going to read:

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.

It sure seems we should worship (and maybe even pray to) the Holy Spirit.

New (old) information is fun! After reading the last post and now this one, what thoughts do we have? (The next post I will put out some views of my own)

O, Holy Spirit, we beseech Thee!

Holy SpiritSeveral things have happened in recent weeks that kind of rocked my brain a bit.
One was hearing a dear friend suddenly exclaim “You do not worship or pray to the Holy Spirit!”
One was the topic coming up in my classes.
One was my remembering thinking about it several times over the past decade and having some random person online ask me about the role of the Holy Spirit.

Can we or should we worship and/or pray to the Holy Spirit?

I have heard arguments on both sides for years. One extreme is saying the Holy Spirit does not work anymore, the other extreme is that we need to focus primarily on the workings of the Holy Spirit. In the last couple of weeks, I have read that these issues have been debated and even fought over throughout the last two milennia on several occasions. That is one reason we have some of the Creeds.
But the question remains: Should we?
A few of the arguments I have heard are listed below, and just so we are clear these are arguments I have heard/read and not necessarily what I believe. As a list of pro’s and cons:

Pro’s (Why we should)
Con’s (Why we should not)
Connects us to God in Heaven
Is still with us here on Earth, not in Heaven
Is Jesus Christ within us
Pushes us towards faith in Jesus Christ
Is God helping us to do good works or doing works through us
Is merely a guide (Counselor)
Any thoughts? Throw me some feedback! Maybe we can get a good conversation going!