How To Love God?

Definitely! The best way to witness to a Muslim is to tell them to be a better Muslim. More devout. More sincere. Put the flesh under more. Self sacrifice more. Being selfless is being after God's heart. The thick irony is simply that many appear to be selfless but are not!! Pushing them to be, makes them realize they are not so truly selfless ;). Jesus said it best in Matt 23. The Pharisees did well to obey the laws!!! but they ignored the beggar. They did their deeds to be seen by men. So whilst our eyes tell us their is selflessness with religious (any) folks, God sees selfishness. Jesus said ''their hearts were far from God''.

Do selfless deeds, approve of selfless deeds and its just a matter of time before God, the King of selflessness pays a visit. Just look at Jesus's teachings. ''Turn the left cheek'', ''love your neighbour as yourself'', ''feed your enemy''. How can we do these things consistently unless there has been a change in our hearts? Before we meet God / Jesus our hearts are.... Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

When we believe in and accept Jesus as Lord we are made new creations 2 Cor 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here.

Interesting..... I think I'll take some time to reflect on this.

Thanks for providing some insight =)
 

Giver

Inactive
To love God one needs to live the whole Word of God. One can’t live the whole Word of God unless he or she has the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.


(Romans 8:1-4) “The reason, therefore, why those who are in Christ Jesus are not condemned, is that the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. God has done what the Law, because of our unspiritual nature, was unable to do. God dealt with sin by sending his own Son in a body as physical as any sinful body, and in that body God condemned sin he did this in order the Law’s just demands might be satisfied in us, who behave not as our unspiritual nature but as the spirit dictates.”


(John 14: 23) “Anyone who loves me will keep my word and my Father will love him, and we shall come to him and make a home in him.”
 

RiverJordan

Inactive
You may be right. Allow me to pose an interesting scenario that I ponder quite often. If you and I were face to face, and I pull a quarter out of my pocket, then ask you to choose heads or tails, you would choose one of the two choices, naturally. Now here's my query: If after you made your choice, I pull out one of those nifty little sticks from Men in Black and erase your memory of the event (essentially resetting the factors), and then repeat the experiment one hundred times, would you make the same choice (heads or tails) a hundred times in a row, or would you make varied choices?

I assume that if free will existed, it would allow you to make varied choices, even though the experiment is identical each time. I also assume that if you were to make the same choice one hundred times in a row, you would be controlled by the internal factor scales that I believe simulate free will. Interesting thought eh?

You could very well be correct. There's no real way to know for sure, but it's interesting to theorize.
That's an interesting thought experiment, but in the absence of the mind eraser, we'll never know.

I recall a real story of a crowd waiting for the subway train:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/03/nyregion/03life.html?_r=0
A man had fallen on the subway tracks as the train approached, and another man jumped into the path of the train and saved the other man's life by pushing him down and staying low as the train passed inches above their heads.

There's no doubt that this man is a hero. But why did he do it? Some would say that he was a good man, which gave him courage enough to do what had to be done to save his fellow man; but I think that there's more to it.
What typically drives people to do such things is a sense of empathy. IOW, they place themselves in the other person's spot and ask, "What would I want someone to do". I'm not sure how you would factor this in, but multiple studies are also showing that some non-human animals (mostly primates) exhibit empathy and altruistic behavior. One famous experiment showed that a species of monkey would forego food in order to spare another monkey receiving a shock.

This is how my mind works at least. Every decision is like a math problem on a chalkboard to me, and even a split decision goes through the chalkboard before I can make a decision.
So you believe what I described earlier, where we are nothing more than robots that run on software code. Input is received and an output is given with absolutely no "human factor" involved?

Other people seem to think on a different level than I do, so perhaps it only seems to me like I don't have free will because of the peculiar way that I handle life.
What do you mean by how you "handle life"?

Sometimes I wonder if God simply keeps the good children and burns the bad ones, regardless of how much control those people had over their lives. I mean, how many people are going to burn in Hell simply because they never heard the good news of Jesus?
I don't believe those who have never truly heard the Gospel are condemned (and for me, that includes people who have heard it, but not in a manner that is conducive to accepting it). Heck, I don't believe God condemns those who aren't Christians for very good reasons (e.g., victims of abuse by church authorities).

I'm enjoying our conversation. I'm always interested in learning, and I can handle opposing viewpoints and challenges without taking offense. I hope you are enjoying it as much =)
Absolutely!
 
That's an interesting thought experiment, but in the absence of the mind eraser, we'll never know.


What typically drives people to do such things is a sense of empathy. IOW, they place themselves in the other person's spot and ask, "What would I want someone to do". I'm not sure how you would factor this in, but multiple studies are also showing that some non-human animals (mostly primates) exhibit empathy and altruistic behavior. One famous experiment showed that a species of monkey would forego food in order to spare another monkey receiving a shock.


So you believe what I described earlier, where we are nothing more than robots that run on software code. Input is received and an output is given with absolutely no "human factor" involved?


What do you mean by how you "handle life"?


I don't believe those who have never truly heard the Gospel are condemned (and for me, that includes people who have heard it, but not in a manner that is conducive to accepting it). Heck, I don't believe God condemns those who aren't Christians for very good reasons (e.g., victims of abuse by church authorities).


Absolutely!

That's an interesting thought experiment, but in the absence of the mind eraser, we'll never know.
Ah yes, sad but true....
Just out of curiosity, what do you believe your results would be?

What typically drives people to do such things is a sense of empathy. IOW, they place themselves in the other person's spot and ask, "What would I want someone to do". I'm not sure how you would factor this in, but multiple studies are also showing that some non-human animals (mostly primates) exhibit empathy and altruistic behavior. One famous experiment showed that a species of monkey would forego food in order to spare another monkey receiving a shock.

Wow! That's interesting. I wonder which animal is the most altruistic out of them all (my guess would be dolphin).

So you believe what I described earlier, where we are nothing more than robots that run on software code. Input is received and an output is given with absolutely no "human factor" involved?

What do you mean by how you "handle life"?

I feel like I process information and life much like a calculator does, yes. In every decision I make, my mind weighs pros and cons and makes the decision that seems to carry the most weight. If all possible options have equal consequences, I find that I hesitate to make a decision, and I cannot choose until I've worked out more factors that give one solution weight above the others. My choices are always and never different than personality+emotions+pros-cons-ethics=decision, and I no longer feel like I can make a choice just for the heck of it without it being made for me by that formula.

I grew up in a home where expression of emotion was heavily frowned upon, so I guess I learned to live by cold hard logic, and try to snuff out my feelings. I've noticed that nobody else seems to view life the way that I do though, so maybe I'm the only one, or maybe I've diluted myself into believing what I do to ease my guilt and deal with the imperfection of life without going insane.

I don't believe those who have never truly heard the Gospel are condemned (and for me, that includes people who have heard it, but not in a manner that is conducive to accepting it). Heck, I don't believe God condemns those who aren't Christians for very good reasons (e.g., victims of abuse by church authorities).

That's a comforting thought. I hope that you are right.
 
To love God one needs to live the whole Word of God. One can’t live the whole Word of God unless he or she has the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.


(Romans 8:1-4) “The reason, therefore, why those who are in Christ Jesus are not condemned, is that the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. God has done what the Law, because of our unspiritual nature, was unable to do. God dealt with sin by sending his own Son in a body as physical as any sinful body, and in that body God condemned sin he did this in order the Law’s just demands might be satisfied in us, who behave not as our unspiritual nature but as the spirit dictates.”


(John 14: 23) “Anyone who loves me will keep my word and my Father will love him, and we shall come to him and make a home in him.”

I agree Giver. =)
 

RiverJordan

Inactive
Ah yes, sad but true....
Just out of curiosity, what do you believe your results would be?
I think the results would vary. There are too many variables at play at any given moment, and it would be impossible to recreate them perfectly.

Wow! That's interesting. I wonder which animal is the most altruistic out of them all (my guess would be dolphin).
I don't know if an actual comparative study has been done, but from what I've read the traits seem to be strongest in non-human primates, especially the ones that live in strong social groups.

I feel like I process information and life much like a calculator does, yes. In every decision I make, my mind weighs pros and cons and makes the decision that seems to carry the most weight. If all possible options have equal consequences, I find that I hesitate to make a decision, and I cannot choose until I've worked out more factors that give one solution weight above the others. My choices are always and never different than personality+emotions+pros-cons-ethics=decision, and I no longer feel like I can make a choice just for the heck of it without it being made for me by that formula.
All that sounds totally normal to me. The only thing I would say is that personality, emotions, and ethics are some of the things that make you who you are. So when you say you don't "feel like you make a choice" because your personality and emotions drive your decisions, that seems odd to me because "you" = personality + emotions. Not only that, but your personality and emotions change from day to day, and over longer periods of time. I know I'm not the same person I was 5 years ago.

I grew up in a home where expression of emotion was heavily frowned upon, so I guess I learned to live by cold hard logic, and try to snuff out my feelings. I've noticed that nobody else seems to view life the way that I do though, so maybe I'm the only one, or maybe I've diluted myself into believing what I do to ease my guilt and deal with the imperfection of life without going insane.
That's kinda sad. Is some of what you express here because you have feeling and emotions inside, but since you've been taught from an early age that "showing emotions = bad", they go unexpressed and/or are repressed? If so, I can see how playing that out long enough would cause one to start thinking of oneself as a robot.

Have you ever tried to start expressing your emotions more?

That's a comforting thought. I hope that you are right.
If God is truly omnibenevolent, then I can't imagine anything else.
 
To love God one needs to live the whole Word of God. One can’t live the whole Word of God unless he or she has the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

I agree ..
love has many degrees ..
Jesus articulated "ALL" was needed ..
when you believe/trust you do love ..
but obedience must first be mastered within our lives ..
because the indwelling of the HS is given to those who obey (Act 5:32) ..
and our love is perfected by living His word, so we can truly claim we love with our "ALL"
 
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