Please watch for more of our blog posts where you can read some of the beautiful words of Jesus.
The Qur’an says to read the books that came before. This would include the words of Jesus in the Injil.
The Qur’an does not reject reading the Bible. Instead, it gives many positive references concerning the Bible and the importance for Muslims to read it:
“Lo! We did reveal the Torah, wherein is guidance and a light” (Sura 5:44).
“And We caused Jesus, son of Mary, to follow in their footsteps, confirming that which was (revealed) before him in the Torah, and We bestowed on him the Gospel wherein is guidance and a light, confirming that which was (revealed) before it in the Torah – a guidance and an admonition unto those who ward off (evil)” (Sura 5:46).
“It is He Who sent down to thee (step by step), in truth, the Book, confirming what went before it; and He sent down the Law (of Moses) and the Gospel (of Jesus) before this, as a guide to mankind, and He sent down the criterion (of judgment between right and wrong)” (Sura 3:3).
“And be not thou of those who deny the revelations of Allah, for then wert thou of the losers” (Sura 10:95).
(Our next blog post will be about what Jesus said in the Holy Bible – especially the Injil – abouttrue happiness!)
It was a tremendous experience to visit the ancient Roman ruins of Jerash in the country of Jordan. I really enjoyed meeting these two men in the winters of 2019 and 2020 and singing along to the great hymn, “Amazing Grace.”
We love thecountry of Jordan so much. We love the people of Jordan – and the food too!
We pray for Jordan, and we pray for the Muslim people there.
John 3:16 and Ephesians 2:8-9in the Bible tell about God‘s amazing grace for those who believe in his one and only – Jesus, Isa al Masih, the Messiah.
If you have questions about how to receive God‘s amazing grace so that you might know you will be in Paradise, please contact me – Mark – at InTheHarvest@gmail.com.
There is a dirt and a filth that has attached itself to our very souls. We all know it.
We ask people everywhere in our travels, “How can people get their sins forgiven? How can we get our sin and shame washed away? How can we be made pure and clean – like the driven snow?”
We have been so blessed to travel to many states in the US and to quite a few countries in the world, particularly the Middle East.
Everywhere we go, we get into spiritual conversations with people. And everywhere we go, people have the same answers about how their sins can be removed. . .washed away. . .made totally clean. What do they say? The answers almost always fall in one of three categories.
Despair/Despondency/Hopelessness: “I can’t stop doing what is wrong.” “I have tried to keep God’s rules. I just can’t.” “I’ll never make it. I’ll never be good enough.” “I can never measure up to God’s glorious standard (perfection) to enter Heaven.”
Pride: “I’m not a bad person.” “I have done my best to be a good person.” “I have tried to keep the rules of my religion – prayer, fasting, etc.” “I am sure that my good deeds have outweighed my bad ones.” “How could God refuse me?”
Anxiety/Uncertainty: “I hope I have done enough, but I just don’t know.” “I guess I will have to wait until the end and see what happens.” “Inshallah – if God wills – I will be in Paradise after the Day of Judgment.”
The prophet, Isaiah, wrote these words that he heard from God about 700 years before Christ:
“‘Come now, let’s settle this,’ says the LORD. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.'” (Isaiah 1:18)
God is saying in effect, “Let’s settle this matter about forgiveness once and for all. You can be forgiven of all your sins. Made white like the snow! You can have this forgiveness. Now. Here. You don’t have to hope you will go to Heaven/Paradise. You can know it!”
He tells us more here: “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood.” (Romans 3:23-25)
That’s it, my friends.
Your clothes may be “colorfast” – dyed in colors that will not fade or be washed out – but your sins can be made “as white as snow.”
(I posted this in 2017, but everything I wrote then, I want to share with you now.)
A few nights ago, I was driving to a store and saw beautiful clouds from the sun slowly setting in the west. It moved me so much that I just stood outside the store for quite a while looking up into the sky. It brought a beautiful quietness to my soul.
As I looked at these beautiful colors, it brought to mind thoughts about God. . .and me. How great He is. . .and how I am not so great at all. I was feeling very badly about myself. I was struggling with something I have struggled with off and on for much of my life: performance based spirituality. What is that? It is the belief – consciously or subconsciously – that God truly loves us only when we are performing well spiritually. When we are:
– prayingenough – fastingenough – givingenough – reading our Holy Book enough – etc. (add any number of other spiritual duties)
This performance based relationship with God creates two potential problems:
#1 – Pride – if I think I am doing well in this checklist of spiritual duties, I can become prideful; #2 – Inferiority – if I don’t think I am doing well in this checklist of spiritual duties, I can feel inferior.
That night, I was feeling depressed. Not very spiritual. Not measuring up to God’s expectations. And sadly. . .wrongfully. . .I was feeling not very loved by God.
But then God spoke to my heart while watching that sunset, not in an audible way, but in a very real way nonetheless.
He spoke to me of who He is. About His love. About how I need to focus on His greatness, not on my weakness.
It was so amazing to hear His voice as He impressed these thoughts on my heart:
* God loves us because He is love, not because we are so lovable. * God loves us because He is so good, not because we are so good. * There is nothing in us that prompts His love for us. There is everything in Him that prompts His love for us.
As God spoke these simple truths to my heart once again, I simply basked in His rich, undeserved, extravagant love.
God’s love is:
A love not based on my performance. . . or how much I pray or give. A love not based on how much I read my holy book. . . or how much good I do.
God’s love is a love based on just one thing: Him.
It’s not about who I am or what I do or don’t do. God’s love is based totally on who He is.
Tonight, once again,I rejoice in His love. A love that cannot be earned. Only received.
PS – for me as a Christian – a follower of Jesus – I have amazing verses in the Bible that remind me of what I have written above. But I need to remind myself of them on a regular basis so I don’t fall back into performance based spirituality.
Here are just two of those verses. . .
Whether you call yourself a Muslim or a Christian, do you know this love?
Who tells a violent, dangerous, stormy sea to be still and. . .it happens.
Only Allah, right?
In the Zabur, Psalm 65:7, we read that God is the One who calms the raging oceans with their pounding waves. We read similar words in Psalm 89:8-9 (NKJV):
“O Lord God of hosts, Who is mighty like You, O Lord? Your faithfulness also surrounds You. You rule the raging of the sea; When its waves rise, You still them.”
Other verses in the Zabur speaks of God’s power over the sea such as Psalm 107:28-29, NLT:
“Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He calmed the storm to a whisper and stilled the waves.”
There is an amazing story in the Injil found in Matthew 8:23-27, NLT (but also found in Mark 4:35-41 and Luke 8:22-25):
“Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, ‘Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!’
Jesus responded, ‘Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!’ Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm. The disciples were amazed. ‘Who is this man?’ they asked. ‘Even the winds and waves obey him!'”
One of the things that I love about you is how you give praise to God using the word, “Subhanallah.”
I know that word speaks about God being perfect and free of error. But it can also be an expression of thanks to Him and awe for what He has done – including His beautiful creation:
“Praise to God for making this beautiful sunrise, flower, ocean, desert, forest, sunset, star, galaxy, and beyond!”
As Muslims and Christians, we have some different views about who God is and about who Jesus is. There’s no doubt about that, and they are very, very important differences that we should think about and talk about (especially our views of how God says we can get to Paradise – the Bible speaks to this in Ephesians 2:8-9; John 3:16).
But we also have some things that we agree about concerning who God is and what He has done.
And one of the things we agree about is this: let us always thank God for the beautiful creation that He has made for us to enjoy. His creation expresses some of the beauty and perfection of who He is.
You say, “Subhanallah!”
We say, “Glory to God!”
Let’s keep talking about who God is. Who Jesus is.
I love you my Muslim friends!
“Before the mountains were born
or you brought forth the whole world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.”
Psalm 90:2, NIV
“Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.”
Jeremiah 32:17, NIV
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.”
John 1:1-4, NIV
Ypsilanti MI, Rolling Hills Park
Video by Brent
July 26, 2020
What a wonderful time distributing food to Muslim people in Hamtramck, Michigan during the corona virus pandemic – May 1, 2020!
Here is our video:
“If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.”
(1 John 3:17-18, NLT)
As a “Christian” (I prefer the term, “follower of Jesus”), it was a real joy to meet new Muslim friends and work together in giving out food to immigrant people from Bangladesh.
Hamtramck has been hit by the corona virus and people needed help!
“What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, ‘Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well’—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.”
(James 2:14-17, NLT)
All glory to God: “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name goes all the glory for your unfailing love and faithfulness.”
(Psalm 115:1, NLT)