If you want Intimacy With Jesus, pray a prayer like this, in your own words, or use mine. Almighty God. Heavenly Father. Thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus. He paid for my life with His Blood. He defeated the devil for me and saved me from the clutches of hell. Thank You for giving me the "free will" to choose Jesus as my Lord. I bow my knee before Your Son and I say: "Come, Lord Jesus, be my Lord. Live Your life through me. Use me for Your glory. I surrender everything to You. Let me know You intimately. Amen."
In Answer to Your Oft Asked Question
OK! OK! You win! I'll answer the question. People are always asking me about the differences between Protestants and Catholics, and in the spirit of the Pope's current call for unity, I want to encourage that spirit. Normally, I only want to point out the similarities, but I can see that this question must be answered. And I have to agree, if we are to become "one" according to the prayer of Jesus, then we cannot be at odds with one another, suspicious, not understanding. We don't have to agree; we do have to surrender to the absolute and ultimate Lordship of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
So let me begin by saying, at the beginning of 2014, Pope Francis sent a DVD message to Kenneth Copeland and the ministers attending his annual meeting in Texas. he stated that the word "Protestant" no longer needs to be utilized as the dogmas of the Roman Catholic Church now agrees with the Protestant dogma: We are saved by grace through faith, and then we will fulfill the good works the Lord has planned for us. (Those aren't his exact words, but close enough.) In other words, Catholic salvation no longer depends on the individual's good works. Their salvation depends on the grace of God through faith, just like the Protestants believe.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. (Ephesians 2:8).
I was delighted! I tried that on for size. "I am a member of the Universal Church of Jesus Christ." "I am a member of the Christian Catholic Church." (Catholic means universal.") "I am a member of the Universal Catholic Christian Church." I couldn't make any of those statements exactly roll off my tongue, but I just knew I'd find an appropriate title for my new standing with the Catholics. I really want the prayer of Jesus to be fulfilled by His Church. I want us all to conform to His way, and His way always involves love, loving one another, especially loving those who follow Jesus, and if we don't understand each other, then we can never be united. We don't have to agree; we do have to accept and love each other exactly as we are.
There are differences that we need to understand. Like Rome. God lives in a vast, immeasurable heaven. His city is called Jerusalem, and there in heaven, God's city measures one-half the size of the United States or the size of France multiplied by 25. The countryside is infinite. Apparently, He has only one city. He calls the Jerusalem we have on earth His Holy City, which will last forever.
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The kind of giving that pleases God are the gifts given in joy. Ask Him what He wants you to give and then give it with hilarity (that’s a Biblical term). His promise of abundance is attached to your obedient, joyful giving. The amount of joy the Lord wants us to live in is full of glory!
7) So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful (hilarious) giver. 8) And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:7, 8)