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Activated May 2012

Activated May 2012

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Published by: Activated Online on May 06, 2012
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11/16/2012

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 Vol 13 Issue 5
change your life. change your world.
The upside of questioning
Inuences
How our choices shape us
Faith and Comfort Zones
Push the boundaries
 
HEALTHY DOUBTS
 
 Vol 13, Issue 5
PERSONALLY SPEAKING
It seems that a lot of people, Christians andnon-Christians alike, think Christianity is all aboutdos and don’ts. Keep the rules and we earn God’sblessing; break the rules and we fall out of favor. Is itreally as clear cut as that?In Paul’s letter to the believers in Rome, he jumped into a controversy that was consuming much of the early Christians’ time and energy and threatenedto divide them: Did God expect Christians to keep the Mosaic Law?
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Tatcontroversy was actually an extension of the discussions and debates that hadbeen going on among Jews for hundreds of years over which of the Law’s613 commandments were the most important to obey and what to do whenconicts arose.If those on one side of the Christian debate were right, then those on theother side must be wrong—right? Wrong, according to Paul. He was convinced that Christians are free fromkeeping the Mosaic Law, but he also believed that things aren’t as black and white as we tend to try to make them. No one has a corner on “rightness,” hesaid in so many words. And besides, God isn’t hung up on details. He’s biggerthan that, His love more inclusive. Te real issue, the one that matters mostto God, is that we each act out of love for Him and others as dictated by ourpersonal convictions, based on our understanding of His Word.Personal convictions are just that—personal. Tey aren’t uniform, genetic,or transferable. Neither do they just happen. Tey are the result of personaltriumphs and tragedies, study, reection, and soul searching, generally overmonths or years. Tey also aren’t static; they change and mature with us. Tey become a little clearer each time we put thought into them, a little strongereach time we act on them or they are put to the test.“Come,” God says, “let us reason together.”
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Keith PhillipsFor
 Activated 
Browse our website or contact one of thedistributors below to enjoy the inspirational,motivational, and practical help offered in ourbooks and audiovisual material.
 www.activated.or
 Activated Ministries
P.O. Box 462805Escondido, CA 92046–2805, USA Toll-free: 1–877–862–3228Email: info@actmin.org www.activatedonline.com
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P.O. Box 1147Antipolo City P.O.1870 Antipolo City, PhilippinesCell: (0922) 8125326Email: activatedPI@activated.org
 Activated Australia
+61 2 8005 1938Email: info@activated.org.au www.activated.org.auE Keith PhillipsD Gentian SuçiP Samuel Keating
www.auroraproduction.com© 2012 Aurora Production AG. All RightsReserved. Printed in Taiwan by Ji Yi Co., Ltd.All scripture quotations, unless otherwiseindicated, are taken from the New King JamesVersion®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.Other Bible references are from the followingsources: New International Version (NIV).Copyright © 1978, 1984 by International BibleSociety. Used by permission. Common EnglishBible (CEB). Copyright © 2011 by CommonEnglish Bible. Used by permission. New Living Translation (NLT). Copyright © 1978, 1996 by Tyndale House Publishers. Used by permission.
1. See Romans chapter 14.2. Isaiah 1:18
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A friend of mine has exten-sively studied a number ofreligions,
and we regularly enjoy deep discussions about various belief systems—discussions that invariably come around to our own beliefs.“I respect those who believe inGod, but I can’t manage to myself,”my friend once said. “I don’t feelit. I also can’t understand all thatspiritual and supernatural stu.”I could relate. Not the part aboutnot believing in God, but the partabout not feeling or understandingthe supernatural, which is whatmany people equate with faith.“I don’t feel it either,” I told him.“I believe because I choose to. Forme, faith is a choice.”I’ve thought about that conversa-tion and my answer a lot since. I
I CHOOSE FAITH
Don’t neglect your critical faculties. Remember that God is a rational God, who has made us in His ownimage. God invites and expects us to explore His double revelation, in nature and in Scripture, withthe minds He has given us, and to go on in the development of a Christian mind to apply His marvel-ous revealed truth to every aspect of the modern and post-modern world.
—John Stott, Anglican cleric 
grew up in an atmosphere of faithbut went through the usual teenagestages of questioning. Many of my friends, both mentors and peers,had told me about the experiencesthat had helped build their faith.Many of those had been centeredon supernatural events—signs,dreams, and mystic, unexplainablecircumstances that they calledmiracles. I hadn’t had any of theseexperiences myself, and I sometimesthought of logical explanations fortheirs. What I did see, however, werelittle manifestations of God’s loveand care in my daily life. Eventhough some of those situationscould also have been explainedas happy coincidences or acts of goodness on someone else’s part,they were consistent with what Ihad read and been taught about thenature and essence of God. Troughthem I felt loved and cared for, thatsomeone was looking out for me. Ichose to believe that this was God working in my life, even though Ididn’t experience the spiritual highsor see the reworks that some do. What I have is a quiet re, but it’skept me warm for years now.I live a rather unconventionallife, but God has always looked outfor me and I have an inner assur-ance that He will continue to doso. My life is in His hands. Feelingsare irrelevant. I believe because Ichoose to.
Lily Neve is a member of TFI inSouth Asia.
By Lily Neve
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