Monday, January 20, 2014

Do Not Consume One Another

Do Not Consume One Another
I heard this woman on the radio taking about her pet peeve and she said she was a grammar nazi. Actually, it sounded more like she was bragging about it and attempting to justify this. 

As I listened to her I thought this sounds like pride!

I began to think about my deduction and I wondered if we all had pet peeves like that and if perhaps I had a pet peeve? I asked myself what my pet peeve might be? And I immediately and also quite pridefully said my pet peeve is people who answer a question before hearing it and people who don't really listen, but answer a different question than was asked. Then these two scriptures came to my mind: 

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
Luke 6:31 

"But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another."  Galatians 5:15 (ESV)

It seems to be taking me so long to learn some of this stuff. But God is breaking down my walls of denial, unbelief, and self righteousness.

It seems like in my life there have always been an enormous amount of people knocking me down. I almost never made it back up the last time. But God has been showing me how to lean on Him and fall on Him. He has also been showing me I can trust Him. My faith has increased greatly. But still, there seems to be so many people who want to knock me down. I have to ask myself the question.....

"Am I one of those people who knocks others down? Do I bite and devour others?" 

I so much want to say that I never do that and I never have. But I can't say that. 

While I firmly believe we are to recognize sin when we see it, (Sin is a terrible thing. If we can't recognize sin, how can we help a brother or sister who has become tangled up in sin be set free?) I think the point is, when we recognize sin what do we do with that knowledge? 

For starters, I think it depends on our relationship to the person. But we should certainly pray for wisdom and guidance from our Heavenly Father. Perhaps that is as far as He would have us take it. But if He does direct us to go to the person, then we need to approach them in a spirit of meekness and fear least we also fall prey. 

I think when He says we are not to judge, He means like we are not to have the attitude of "Thank God I am not like that person!" Or "I would never do that!" 

"Watch out that you are not consumed by one another." 

This seemed  to explain everything. I was consuming others and being consumed by others! I would even judge them for consuming me, but I would justify my consuming others.

Christians destroying Christians! Oh my! This really is as bad as it sounds. 

Lord help us love one another. Help us to "not return evil for evil or insult for insult, but give a blessing instead." 1 Peter 3:9 

I have such a long way to go. But thankfully, God IS God and he is faithful to complete the good work He began. 

"Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass." 
1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

"For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6

Thank God we have hope in Christ!!! Amen.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Only Him to Lean On

I was feeling sorry for myself because I realized as always it seems, I am alone. Who stands with me? Who understand? Who believes in me? Yes, true pity, potty, party. Ever been there? :)

Then I think about Jesus; in times past, I have told myself that He at least had a good foundation. His parents loved Him. They took care of Him. Anyway, I would tell myself that with a good foundation I think one can do most anything in life. Later he had His disciples. True one was bad, but the others loved Him and were faithful. What have I? Sure most of what I don't have is my fault, but not all. Some things I think God Himself has deprived me from for the purpose of teaching me to lean on Him. My lack is actually an answer to prayer. I do want to know Him and walk with Him. He helps me in my endeavor by eliminating my people idol and crutches. When I look around and see only Him walking beside me how can I get lost?

But today I had an interesting thought. Did Jesus ever really have anyone He could share His heart with? Was there ever anyone who understood Him? Could it be that His only true communication was with His Heavenly Father? Did He perhaps recognize His need to walk in the spirit rather than the flesh to get His needs met? Is that not what we are all called to do once we have been born again? We are now made anew in Christ. It is nice when we can share are hearts and dreams with others. But many times that cannot be.  

I say I want to walk with God. That I want true fellowship with Him, yet I continually seek to be understood by man. Is my purpose to be understood or to understand? Perhaps God has called me to listen and hear His people and not seek to speak and be heard.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

He Made Every Provision

He Made Every Provision
You know He didn't have to do any of it. He could have just made us angels or let everyone choose if they wanted to go with Him or with Satan, but He had a much better plan for us than that. He wanted us to be His children, joint heirs with Jesus and live with Him in heaven forever and ever as members of His kingdom. (He wants us to know Him; He loves us.) He spared nothing for us, but made every provision, even to the point of offering his own son- and Jesus Himself, willingly laid down His life to be the final Passover sacrificial lamb for our sins.

I was listening to an apologetic debate between a Christian theologian and a man who used to be a "minister" debating "the existence of God." You know I don't recall anywhere reading that Paul or any other person in the Bible actually tried to convince an atheist that God exists. Though the Bible does specifically address this. But it seemed like everyone already understood there was a god of some sort.

"…because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.…" Romans 1:19-21

I personally would no longer attempt to convince someone of God's existence. God already did that and they rejected Him. I cannot presume to do a better job of convincing them He exists if they choose not to see His evidence. What I would attempt though is to point out their rebellion. Because I perceive rebellion is the root of their unbelief. And unbelief is a sin that God does not take lightly. We are responsible for our unbelief (rebellion) and we will answer to God for it.

In the debate where Dan Barker and John Mark Reynolds debated the existence of God, Dan Barker asserted that almost all Christians are nicer than Jesus and that he himself is nicer than Jesus.

I think it is pretty obvious that He doesn't know Jesus and never did. He claimed that he had the same type of spiritual experiences with "Jesus" that we did. Apparently Dan doesn't realize that Satan also likes to go by the name of Jesus and is ready to slip in there with anyone who will receive him. Satan is not only a liar but a thief.

"My sheep hear my voice and will not follow another." And also, "they went out from us because they were never really with us." John 10:26
1 John 2:19

Dan also told us how he really loved his "Jesus." Like this was some kind of proof that he understood what being a Christian was all about. I used to really love the Tooth Fairy. I mean I really really loved the Tooth Fairy. But once I realized the Tooth Fairy wasn't real, I was able to walk away. I just lost a false belief system. I didn't lose Jesus and neither did Dan. Dan lost a lie that he had embraced and loved and counted as the truth.

You know Satan also has plans for our lives and it appears that Satan had big plans for Dan's life. But does Dan want the Truth or is he happy with his deception? Dan is doing the will of his father (Satan) whether he means to or not. He is encouraging and heralding the lost onto a more sure footed road to damnation.

Dan Barker and John Mark Reynolds debated the existence of God. 
What Do You Believe? Does God Exist?

Dan Barker- Co- president, "Freedom From Religion Foundation" Also known for his advocacy of atheism and rationalism
Criticism of religion.

John Mark Reynolds from Houston Baptist University.