Tag: Bible

The PRACTICAL Application of Luke 6:41-42 and Matthew 7:3-4 : How to Really Live the Word of God and Get that Log Out of Your Own Eye!!

41 “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 42 “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye. [The Gospel of Luke 6:41-42]

AND…

3 “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5 “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. [The Gospel of Matthew 7:3-5]

– – – – –

How can we apply Jesus’ (peace and blessings be upon him) teachings here in our own life, in a very practical, down-to-earth way? I think I’ve finally figured this own out! (God forgive me if I’m wrong)

The only way to do it is to focus ALL of your attention on improving yourself, so that there is none left for criticism or suggestion to other people on how they can improve. Even if such suggestions come from a good place, are 100% correct, and are delivered gently… if they ARE NOT ASKED FOR then do people ever really take them to heart? Maybe sometimes, but the truth is that if somebody doesn’t want to change… they wont.

But I hear you saying–But my husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend, mom/dad, brother/sister need to hear this because they’re causing themselves and others needless suffering or acting unrighteously, etc. etc. This may be VERY TRUE… buuuut… so long as they can blame you for something, or say, well you’re not perfect either, or whatever excuse they use to justify their behavior to themselves, THEY WONT CHANGE.

Here’s what you can do! —-> Be so good and nice and blameless that they will have to realize that it’s NOT you who’s creating the problems and then they’ll see that it is them… or at least get off your case!

WARNING: They will subconsciously use all their tricks to get you to loose your cool and contribute to the problem. They will act OUTRAGIOUSLY to do so before they’ll consider themselves and their own actions. DON’T LET IT GET TO YOU and DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY. (it’s just the devil doing his best to ruin you both) If you can survive this onslaught and remain compassionate and calm, then you’ll grow in ways you never imagined possible.THIS IS YOUR TEST. Treat it as such, and expect it to be a tough test indeed.

Much love to you all and God bless.

~Shams

P.S. – Feel free to vent about the ONE WHOSE DRIVING YOU CRAZY in the comments below! better you get it off your chest here so you can face them without that resentment in your heart. But remember to do it with compassion and understanding. Just because we (and they) don’t understand them doesn’t mean they don’t have REAL REASONS to act that way…. Better yet… VENT about how YOU drive other people crazy and keep an eye on the log in your own eye… Ah-ha! 🙂

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Want to Chat About Ancient Scriptures Online?

I was going to start a meetup group, but thought that I’d first see if there was any interest here to have an online meetup group to chat about our favorite passages from ancient religious/philosophical scriptures of all sorts. Then we wouldn’t be limited to a certain location, but could share perspectives from all around the world! If interested, please post a comment and let me know 🙂

Here is my description of the group:

What do some of the ancient scriptures say, and what does that mean to you or what feelings does it evoke? Bring your favorite passages from the scriptures of the Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, Confucian, Jewish, Christian, Islamic, or any other pre-Islamic era religion/philosophy (ancient Greek or Mesoamerican philosophy, for instance) to share and discuss.

The format will probably be that we each read a passage that we brought and then talk about how each of us felt about it and share thoughts and ideas. This isn’t the place to debate the validity of one scripture over another, nor to judge or even understand one another’s beliefs… And definitely not to try to convert anyone to your beliefs please 🙂

The point is to share and discuss ancient religious/philosophical writings from the past that we find inspiring, interesting, frightening, baffling, or maybe just cool!

I’ve always had a keen interest in the texts that shaped people’s lives, civilizations, and consequently the world and thought it would be great to meet other like-minded people to learn and (hopefully humbly) grow in knowledge and wisdom together.

Do you wonder what ancient peoples believed? Love stoic philosophy? Have a favorite Bible verse you’d love to talk about? Curious about what the Qur’an actually says? Struggling to unlock the secrets of the Tao Te Ching? Love to ponder the Dharmas? Or have any other ancient scripture based quandary? Me too! Let’s chat 🙂

Weakness, Strength, and Wisdom… The Elements of Government.

It’s late, I’m tired, but I’ve been struck by the bolt of inspiration. Forgive the messiness but I just need to get this thought out.

I heard a quote (in a Nas song): “The strong rule the weak, but the wise rule the strong.”

I thought about it… it is true on a profound level. But there is a piece missing… As with almost everythign in existence, the system is cyclical. While this proverb (in the non-Biblical sense) makes sense on a logical, easily understandable level. The missing piece however is not drawn from temporal wisdom, but rather spiritual wisdom.

We learn in the Bible the favor that the weak, meek, poor in spirit, etc. have in God’s eyes and heart. They shallinherit the Kingdom of Heaven, it is said. For you see, in God’s ideal world system, the weak rule the wise. In that the wise take council from the weak, in turn commanding the strong, who take care of the weak. This is in essence the idea of democracy, in which the (weak) masses, rule the (wise) politicians, who command the (strong) army, money, etc.

This is why democracy fits so well with a Christian-born governmental system.

True wisdom is found in submission.

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” (Proverbs 9:10)

Fear begets submission.

If the wise do not submit to the will of the weak and rule the strong by their own will, then they have traded their wisdom for arrogance, and their wisdom is turned to veiled strength. So you see, the world leaders of this day are not wise, for they lack the humble wisdom of submission. They rule with intellectual STRENGTH. Not wisdom…

The question is… are they fools, sinners, or have they (or someTHING else) purposefully broken God’s system?

What does GOD want you to KNOW?

This isn’t some whishy-washy religious feelgood cliche.

God wants you to know that He loves you, even if you are the most detestable person in the world, He loves you (a WHOLE LOT!) unconditionally. And He wants you to know this because if you choose His side you will FEEL AMAZINGLY GOOD when you die, but if you pick the other side you will be cast into darkness. The real sadness and terror of hell is knowing that you are eternally separated from GOD who is the source of all goodness and love. This means you are ETERNALLY SEPARATED FROM ANY HOPE of feeling loved, accepted, cared for, etc. INSTEAD OF eternally separated from all DARKNESS and negative feelings.

God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.(John 1:5)

~Jones

JESUS IS LORD, what does that mean?

I’ve been thinking about Jesus (pbuh) a lot lately, and what he meant by a lot of things he said in the Gospels as well as things that have been said about him. “Jesus is Lord” is one of those things. It clearly has a great significance, but what does that really mean. As a Muslim I don’t believe that Jesus is God Himself, yet he clearly held a unique position that none of the other prophets (peace be upon them all) did. To name a few:

• Jesus was sinless.

• Jesus performed many miracles, including his resurrection, which is particularly unique.

• Jesus was tempted by Satan personally for 40 days. (After which it seems like he left him alone for good.)

 

I’m sure there are other reasons, but my point is he’s different. I’ve been watching these NEAR DEATH out of body experiences where people are brought to see HEAVEN or HELL or both. Most people, even a Muslim guy, mention that Jesus played a prominent role in this experience, but none mention Muhammad or Moses (pbut). (You can check out some of those videos HERE) Hmmm… Why is that?

Well, let’s get back to the question at hand to find out (my humble theory!)

First off, what is a LORD? Throughout European history there have been many lords. They served the king by presiding and taking care of an area of land. The land still belonged to the king technically, but the lord basically acted as the leader/caretaker of that region on the king’s behalf. It’s a VERY prestigious position, just below the king himself.

My theory is… GOD IS KING and JESUS IS LORD. This world and all its people belong to God, but God has appointed Jesus Christ to be the caretaker of this world. He is the king of kings on earth and has power over everyone but God Himself. But Jesus would never do anything that would be against the will of God anyways, because his way is perfectly aligned with God’s will and spirit (the Holy Spirit!). I believe this is why God sent the Holy Spirit to conceive Jesus in Mary, instead of saying the He himself came down and did it. There is a certain distance there, as well as when Jesus prays to God in John 20:17  among other places, where it is clear that Jesus still praises and prays to God, which would be redundant if he WAS God.

When I thought about it more something else popped into my mind that makes a lot of sense! (Although just because something makes sense doesn’t mean it’s the truth, and visa versa) Everything that God created seems to come in opposite pairs: light/dark, male/female, good/evil, left/right, love/hate, etc. Where I’m going with this is that JESUS and SATAN are this sort of OPPOSITES, representing Good and Evil, Truth and Lies, Life and Death, and the struggle that ensues between all these things.

The good news is that Jesus has God strictly on his side, and God holds all the cards. It almost makes me feel bad for Satan… I mean, everyone, including himself knows that him and all his followers are screwed for all eternity! :S

I posted a video that gave me a lot of insight into this matter below. It’s about… well, you’ll see.

God bless.

~Jones

LINK between the QURAN and the GOSPELS – revealed by my DOUBLE MIRACLE!!

I think I just figured it out! Here are the two quotes that have been buzzing around my head for a few days in my contemplation:

“Let the People of the Gospel judge by what God has revealed therein” (Quran 5:47)

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”” (John 14:6)

So Go revealed through Muhammad (pbuh) that the Christians are to judge Islam by what is written in the Gospels in particular (not necessarily including the Old Testament). This basically mean (and I think it’s implied in the Arabic) that the Gospel is not corrupted (even if it’s been changed or added to, it was not CORRUPTED. Those additions or commissions or changes could very well be the will of God).

So considering this, I turned to the Gospels and of course thought of the very famous John 14:6. So we cannot come to God except through Jesus (pbuh). For ME (what my heart tells me) is that that means through Jesus’s way and teachings.

As I thought about it this is the conclusion I came to. If you follow Islam you will be following God. You will act in a way that is appropriate, but not necessarily EXEMPLARY. For that we should turn to the teachings of Jesus, who above all prophets embodied Godly love most purely. The only issue that Islam has with Christianity is that Jesus is NOT God. I wanted to know what to make of this, since many Christians seem to have inferred from the Gospel otherwise.

I opened to a random section of the Gospel and FOUND MY ANSWER LIKE A MIRACLE! —- :O! OH WOW. I just had a DOUBLE MIRACLE! Just now, I was searching for the quote to copy/paste and I typed something accidentally! John 17, instead of 20:17. The passage I found was equally pertinent!! (praise and glory be to God!) Ok here they are:

After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.” (John 17)

17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” (John 20:17)

What John 17 tells me is that Jesus and God are separate. God sent Jesus (as Jesus said) and so must be ABOVE Jesus in power/authority. And in my mind, God is what is above everything and so incredibly indescribable that even though Jesus is an incredible miracle (like an angel or the universe), he is still a creation and subject of the ALMIGHTY GOD.

What John 20:17 tells me is that YES, Jesus IS the son of God, BUT SO AM I! He says “my Father AND your Father, my God and your God.”

Thank you God for clarifying this for me.

And much love to all you people out there. if you have any doubts if the AFTERLIFE IS REAL. Please check out the videos in my last post. If you are sincerely searching for answers to your spiritual questions you might just find them there. I pray you do.

God Bless,

~Jones

JESUS (pbuh) in ISLAM – the TRUTH about it

Jesus (Peace Be Upon Him) said “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well.”(John 14:6-7)

Despite popular belief, as a Muslim I am required to believe in the books of the Gospel and the Old Testament. They are mentioned a few times in the Qur’an as being books of God, and so their truth cannot be contested by true Muslims. But then, don’t these religions contradict each other sometimes. YES, the RELIGIONS do, but the BOOKS do not. In my opinion (and I believe this is the opinion of many Muslims), it is only the BOOKS that are sacred, not the people who comment on and interpret it, regardless of how HOLY they claim to be.

For instance, the above quote is interpreted by mainstream priests, evangelists, etc. to say that the only way to get into heaven is to be Christian. But that is NOT what it says. it says that the only way to God is through Jesus. I interpret that as the only way to God is through Jesus’s teachings. The stories of Jesus are related (very) often in the Qur’an (see below), so I believe it should be considered by Christians to be another Gospel of sorts (at least).

The PROBLEM THAT CHRISTIANS SEEM TO HAVE with the Quranic perspective on Jesus (PBUH) is that it exults God and NOT Jesus. It claims that Jesus was a messenger of God, and a beloved prophet imbued with the Holy Spirit, but he still, like all things, would have no existence without God. GOD is the only thing worthy of our worship, although prophets are most definitely worthy of our love, utmost respect, and veneration.He’re a (seemingly) comprehensive list of quotes about Jesus fromt he Qur’an (with the short intro from the original post on 4truth.net)

note: “Allah” is the Arabic word for “God” regardless of if you are Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, etc…

———————–

Among the major world religions, Islam is the only non-Christian faith that recognizes the person of Jesus. Qur’an talks a great amount about Jesus. However, Jesus Christ is the most controversial personality in Islam. In the Qur’an, Jesus is referred to in over ninety verses in fifteen surahs. Islam corroborates that Jesus was born to a virgin, was sinless, performed miracles, and was superior to other prophets. Yet, Islam teaches that Jesus was no more than a prophet. It denies the central message of Christianity by denying Jesus’ divinity, crucifixion, and resurrection.
(Yusufali translation)

SURAH REFERENCE

2:87 We gave Jesus the son of Mary Clear (Signs) and strengthened him with the holy spirit.

2:136 We believe in Allah, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Isma’il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) prophets from their Lord: We make no difference between one and another of them . . .

2:253 . . . To Jesus the son of Mary We gave clear (Signs), and strengthened him with the holy spirit.

3:45 O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah.

3:46 “He shall speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. And he shall be (of the company) of the righteous.”

3:48 And Allah will teach him the Book and Wisdom, the Law and the Gospel.

3:49 And (appoint him) a messenger to the Children of Israel, (with this message): “I have come to you, with a Sign from your Lord, in that I make for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allah’s leave: And I heal those born blind, and the lepers, and I quicken the dead, by Allah’s leave; and I declare to you what ye eat, and what ye store in your houses. Surely therein is a Sign for you if ye did believe.”

3:50 (I have come to you), to attest the Law which was before me. And to make lawful to you part of what was (Before) forbidden to you; I have come to you with a Sign from your Lord. So fear Allah, and obey me.

3:52 When Jesus found Unbelief on their part He said: “Who will be My helpers to (the work of) Allah?”

3:55 Behold! Allah said: “O Jesus! I will take thee and raise thee to Myself and clear thee (of the falsehoods) of those who blaspheme; I will make those who follow thee superior to those who reject faith, to the Day of Resurrection: Then shall ye all return unto me, and I will judge between you of the matters wherein ye dispute.”

3:59 The similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam . . .

3:84 . . . and in (the Books) given to Moses, Jesus, and the prophets, from their Lord.

4:157 That they said (in boast), “We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah”;-but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not.

4:163 We have sent thee inspiration, as We sent it to Noah and the Messengers after him: we sent inspiration to Abraham, Isma’il, Isaac, Jacob and the Tribes, to Jesus, Job, Jonah, Aaron, and Solomon, and to David We gave the Psalms.

4:171 O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) a messenger of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His messengers. Say not “Trinity”: desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is one Allah: Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth.

4:172 Christ disdaineth nor to serve and worship Allah . . .

5:17 In blasphemy indeed are those that say that Allah is Christ the son of Mary.

5:46 And in their footsteps We sent Jesus the son of Mary, confirming the Law that had come before him: We sent him the Gospel: therein was guidance and light, and confirmation of the Law that had come before him: a guidance and an admonition to those who fear Allah.

5:72 They do blaspheme who say: “Allah is Christ the son of Mary.” But said Christ: “O Children of Israel! worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.” Whoever joins other gods with Allah,- Allah will forbid him the garden, and the Fire will be his abode.

5:75 Christ the son of Mary was no more than a messenger; many were the messengers that passed away before him. His mother was a woman of truth. They had both to eat their (daily) food.

5:78 Curses were pronounced on those among the Children of Israel who rejected Faith, by the tongue of David and of Jesus the son of Mary: because they disobeyed and persisted in excesses.

5:110 O Jesus the son of Mary! Recount My favour to thee and to thy mother. Behold! I strengthened thee with the holy spirit, so that thou didst speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. Behold! I taught thee the Book and Wisdom, the Law and the Gospel and behold! thou makest out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, by My leave, and thou breathest into it and it becometh a bird by My leave, and thou healest those born blind, and the lepers, by My leave. And behold! thou bringest forth the dead by My leave. And behold! I did restrain the Children of Israel from (violence to) thee when thou didst show them the clear Signs, and the unbelievers among them said: ‘This is nothing but evident magic.’

5:112 Behold! the disciples, said: “O Jesus the son of Mary! can thy Lord send down to us a table set (with viands) from heaven?” Said Jesus: “Fear Allah, if ye have faith.”

5:114 Said Jesus the son of Mary: “O Allah our Lord! Send us from heaven a table set (with viands), that there may be for us-for the first and the last of us-a solemn festival and a sign from thee; and provide for our sustenance, for thou art the best Sustainer (of our needs).”

5:116 Allah will say: “O Jesus the son of Mary! Didst thou say unto men, worship me and my mother as gods in derogation of Allah’?” He will say: “Glory to Thee! never could I say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, thou wouldst indeed have known it. Thou knowest what is in my heart . . .”

6:85 And Zakariya and John, and Jesus and Elias: all in the ranks of the righteous.

9:30 The Jews call ‘Uzair a son of Allah, and the Christians call Christ the son of Allah.

9:31 They take their priests and their anchorites to be their lords in derogation of Allah, and (they take as their Lord) Christ the son of Mary; yet they were commanded to worship but One Allah: there is no god but He. Praise and glory to Him: (Far is He) from having the partners they associate (with Him).

19:19 He said: “Nay, I am only a messenger from thy Lord, (to announce) to thee the gift of a holy son.”

19:20 She said: “How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has touched me, and I am not unchaste?”

19:21 He said: “So (it will be): Thy Lord saith, ‘that is easy for Me: and (We wish) to appoint him as a Sign unto men and a Mercy from Us’: It is a matter (so) decreed.”

19:22 So she conceived him, and she retired with him to a remote place.

19:27 At length she brought the (babe) to her people, carrying him (in her arms). They said: “O Mary! truly an amazing thing hast thou brought!”

19:30 He said: “I am indeed a servant of Allah: He hath given me revelation and made me a prophet.”

19:31 “And He hath made me blessed wheresoever I be, and hath enjoined on me Prayer and Charity as long as I live.”

19:32 “(He) hath made me kind to my mother, and not overbearing or miserable.”

19:33 “So peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life (again)!”

19:34 Such (was) Jesus the son of Mary: (it is) a statement of truth, about which they (vainly) dispute.

19:88 They say: “(Allah) Most Gracious has begotten a son!”

19:91 That they should invoke a son for (Allah) Most Gracious.

19:92 For it is not consonant with the majesty of (Allah) Most Gracious that He should beget a son.

21:91 And (remember) her who guarded her chastity: We breathed into her of Our spirit, and We made her and her son a sign for all peoples.

23:50 And We made the son of Mary and his mother as a Sign: We gave them both shelter on high ground, affording rest and security and furnished with springs.

33:7 And remember We took from the prophets their covenant: As (We did) from thee: from Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus the son of Mary: We took from them a solemn covenant.

42:13 The same religion has He established for you as that which He enjoined on Noah-the which We have sent by inspiration to thee-and that which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: Namely, that ye should remain steadfast in religion, and make no divisions therein: to those who worship other things than Allah, hard is the (way) to which thou callest them. Allah chooses to Himself those whom He pleases, and guides to Himself those who turn (to Him).

43:57 When (Jesus) the son of Mary is held up as an example, behold, thy people raise a clamour thereat (in ridicule)!

43:61 And (Jesus) shall be a Sign (for the coming of) the Hour (of Judgment): therefore have no doubt about the (Hour), but follow ye Me: this is a Straight Way.

43:63 When Jesus came with Clear Signs, he said: “Now have I come to you with Wisdom, and in order to make clear to you some of the (points) on which ye dispute: therefore fear Allah and obey me.”

57:27 We sent after them Jesus the son of Mary, and bestowed on him the Gospel; and We ordained in the hearts of those who followed him Compassion and Mercy . . .

61:6 And remember, Jesus, the son of Mary, said: “O Children of Israel! I am the messenger of Allah (sent) to you, confirming the Law (which came) before me, and giving Glad Tidings of a Messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad.” But when he came to them with Clear Signs, they said, “this is evident sorcery!”

61:14 O ye who believe! Be ye helpers of Allah: As said Jesus the son of Mary to the Disciples, “Who will be my helpers to (the work of) Allah?” Said the disciples, “We are Allah’s helpers!” then a portion of the Children of Israel believed, and a portion disbelieved: But We gave power to those who believed, against their enemies, and they became the ones that prevailed.”

———————–

I’m not trying to convert anyone, as I have the utmost respect for ALL WHO BELIEVE IN AND SERVE GOD on this earth, regardless of the path these choose to do so. I do, however, wish to promote understanding and learning, especially in the (often under-studied) field of theology.

~Jones