This selection really speaks to my heart. It serves as an example of how we should be willing to serve others. Too many people seek to have authority over others, this is why Jesus told them that he came the minister to the people. Ministering in the Bible was more than just sharing the Gospel it was taking care of the people. This is a concept that gets overlooked by many modern churches.
We must be willing to serve if we want to lead others. Wouldn’t it be horrible to get to heaven and find out we weren’t staying because we were more worried about authority than serving? This is a concept that I constantly work on in my daily life. I would rather plant a seed in someone’s life and allow the Holy Spirit help it grow than try and force someone to see things the way I believe. Please remember me in your prayers.
I have recently noticed that there are several people writing about how so many Christians are persecuted. While I agree that Christians in other countries do face persecution on a level that I may never experience, personally I don’t experience this persecution. I work in two main environments: one as a janitor where there are several other Christians and the other is an office setting where there are not many Christians. In neither environment am I ever questioned about the validity of my beliefs. So, I don’t feel that I am personally being persecuted. All non-believers that I work with are respectful to the point that I am entitled to my beliefs and they are entitled to their beliefs. Do we always agree? No, but still there is no animosity on either side because we understand that we are in a country where we the right to agree to disagree.
Now we come to the point where people feel the need to make fun of Christians because of their beliefs. Names such as bigot, homophobic, and other terms of ‘endearment’ accomplish nothing in the process of creating a mutual respect in differing beliefs. Over the years, I have worked and even friend several homosexual people. They knew my beliefs on the lifestyle choice and they also knew that I didn’t think they were less than human because of it. Why? Sin is sin in my view. A gay man is no better or worse off than liar or thief. All three are doing things that go against the will of God. Now, just as I wouldn’t support someone robbing a bank, then I shouldn’t support someone in sexual immorality. Does this mean I feel that I am above someone else? Of course not, my actions can be better than theirs, but I am human just the same as they are.
So, no, I don’t feel that I am persecuted. I do believe there are people who want to attack my religion and would want me to subscribe to their beliefs, but that is their right. The problem is that instead of accepting they have the right to disagree with my beliefs and letting it go there, too many people feel the need to change my way of thinking. Why? I guess misery loves company. The fact of the matter is this: believe whatever you want to believe, just don’t get mad when someone disagrees with your beliefs.
I associate with people from many different beliefs that vary from my own. While I may not always agree with their ideas, I always try to be respectful of their right to believe a certain way. One example is the question that a few of my non-believer friends are quick to ask as an attempt to disprove my religion. The first time I heard the question I thought it was a joke. The question is: If God is really God, then can He created a rock heavy enough that He can’t lift it? My initial response was to laugh because I honestly thought it was a trick question. Sadly, I offended a few people until I realized that many skeptics rely on it as a solid proof that there is no God. So, if you are ever asked this question the person is looking for a sincere response.
The first reason I consider this an invalid question is that it assumes that God is constrained within the limits of matter, time, and space. In other words, we must be able to measure God’s presence otherwise he does not exist. How can God be God when He is limited to human intelligence? We can’t measure God within any standards know to man, this is why makes Him God. God is Spirit and therefore not limited to the physical existence that mankind is. This would be the equivalent of trying to measure the volume of water in a jar with a strainer. No matter how any times the water is poured into the strainer, it will run through the holes.
Remember, faith is knowing that there is a God and believing in Him with requiring natural proof. However, the theory of evolution and the Big Bang theory are ideas that are believed in without natural proof, otherwise they would no longer be theories. Protect your faith in God.
28 But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. 29 He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. 30 And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. 31 Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.
Since it has been a little while since I have posted I wanted to share something that I heard while working the other night. I was cleaning a classroom and listening to Matthew when this parable caught my attention. So many times people want to put forth an image that does not belong with their attitude. Just as the Pharisees thought they were so much better than regular Jews because of their flaws. The truth of the matter is that we all have flaws. It’s the grace of God that gives us the forgiveness that makes us worthy.
We all have worked with that one person that wants to get up in the boss’ face and make all these huge promises. The problem is that they never carry through with what they say. Then there are those that are standoffish that quietly go and complete the jobs needing to be done. In the end, people have to be willing to put forth effort without worrying about the credit.
You know, there are times when I am presented with situations that can serve as a test and I fail them. This is because I am a flawed man that can never live good enough to make it to Heaven on my own. Some things, such as being faithful to my wife, seem like a no-brainer that I never feel tempted about. I know I love her deeply and she is a part of me. Its other things like listening and partaking in gossip, neglecting praying, neglecting studying my Bible, and allowing harsh feelings to remain in my mind. These are the types of flaws that I must work on daily and rely on the strength of God to deliver me from them. Through God’s grace and mercy, I remain a forgiven man even with my flaws. We all do who have faith in God.
There will be times when situations are presented that are designed to show us that our faith is more powerful than we may realize. It reminds me of the poem, “Footprints in the Sand”, it is during our most difficult times in our lives that we are carried by God. We just need to accept His grace and believe that He will do what is best for us.
13 Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. 14 As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: 15 So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.
53 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? 2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. 8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. 9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. 10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. 11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
I wanted to wait until after Easter to start posting again because God showed me that this selection of Scripture was fitting for the holiday. There are many people who will avoid the Old Testament because they believe that with the fulfillment of the law, through Jesus, that the Old Testament no longer applies. However, when you read this selection I believe that it is apparent that this prophecy shows what Jesus would eventually go through over 600 years before it happened. Whether you agree about the appropriate way to celebrate the holiday or not, it is easy to understand that the reason for the holiday is because Jesus was accused, abused, wrongfully convicted, sentenced, crucified, and resurrected for a sinful world to be offered salvation. A choice that he made because of the love he had for God’ creation.
Short and simple truth. We are to be creatures of love because we come from a Creator of love. This Creator, God, sent His son in love to save the world. Any person who preaches or teaches it any other way is not of God, nor His love. These false teachers are trying to deceive us because of their lack of love.
I always tell people that they can either be of God or of the world, not both. Jesus told the people it was possible to serve two masters. Another piece of wisdom that can be overlooked is that a house divided against itself cannot stand. When you have true Godly love for others then this things are simple to follow.