Lately there has been several incidents that have happened in my life that makes me questioned the intentions of people. I previously wrote a post about how people claiming to be Christian thinking they are above others (this is impossible, God wants us to love everyone). In the recent weeks, I have noticed there are some people who now what to act improperly at the most inconvenient times. Don’t get me wrong, there needs to be laughter in the world. People who take life too serious all the time can suck the joy out of life for others. I don’t think Jesus intended for us to act this way either. As children of God, there is a balance that can allow us to enjoy certain aspects of life while maintaining a level of decency and order.
Paul summed it up best when he wrote in 1 Corinthians 13:11, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” There is a time and place for different behaviors. We need to be examples of servants of God.
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.
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
I am sure there are many of us that have heard something along the lines of; “that old Bible thumper”, or “they think they are better than me”. These are the kinds of comments that people will use as a form of discouragement for true Children of God. In fact, if you are not experiencing this type of persecution there is a good chance that you might be lacking in the dedication department.
Now I am not saying this is always the case, because Jesus went to some places where he was welcomed by the people. However, there always seemed to be that one person who wanted to question what he was doing. The lack of faith can be a powerful tool for enemies of God and those that follow Him. Our job, as His followers, is the spread the greatness of God’s love and not allow those of this world to discourage us in the process.
It’s been a while since I posted anything, it’s be a hectic start to the new year. Recently, I started my second job and been trying to find the balance needed to finish my last month of class and two jobs. My wife had been working double shifts at her job due to call-offs and this has thrown our schedules for a bit of a loop. Hopefully, things have already started on an upswing for us. If not, it is the will of God and we will accept this faithfully. I know that sometimes we tend to push this to the back of our minds, but God isn’t going any where. All it takes if for us to turn our problems over to Him and He will carry us through it.
1 Peter 5:6-11 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. 10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. 11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
If not for the Grace of God I believe that my life would have taken much worse turns than it already has. I believe this comes from the prayers of others would cared enough to lift my name up to God even when I was too self-involved to recognize the need for Him. I believe this is a problem that many of us will face until the end of time: the illusion that all things good come from our accord. Good or bad, it comes from the Grace of God and His loving hand being placed over us for our protection. Don’t ever assume we can live good enough to make it on our own. Jesus even told his disciples that there was none good except for God.
Daily I am learning the importance of relying on God. Every decision that I make on my own works out in the worse possible way. It is when I ask for guidance that the better choices become more apparent and the end results are more positive. So I always stand in need of prayers from anyone who is willing to mention me. God bless!
My last two college classes are beginning on Tuesday. Just after the first of the year I will have my Associate’s degree. By the grace of God, I will have accomplished this by the age of 40. When you compare this to thing that God did in the Bible, it’s really small by comparison. However, it serves as an example of how important each and every one of us all are to God. While I may never slay a giant, part a sea, or walk on water (though I believe I could if it served to further the glory of God) hopefully my decisions will inspire someone else. Just maybe my faith can be an example to what faith can do for others.
This is where I pray to get into the swing of things, not because I want God to help me handle my schedule, but because I want God to hep me handle it in a Godly manner. Sometimes, it’s not what do, but how we do it. We must be willing to let God take control of things. His understanding is far beyond our scope of understanding (probably the reason we screw things up so badly). We have to be set apart from so many different things of the world. Otherwise, we run the risk of allowing worldly things to take too much of our attention.
Paul wrote about this in Romans Chapter 12, we should not let ourselves conform to the world. We have to live in this world, but we don’t have to accept immoral things that others do. It all falls back to Jesus telling the people to be a light and a city on the hill. We need to be a Godly example and not just go with the flow. That’s why I believe that we need to get into the swing of things first by asking God to guide our choices daily. He won’t force us to seek Him out, but He won’t leave us hanging when we do.
24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. 26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
There are times in my life when I question why things have happened and what is the lesson to be learned from them happening. When it comes to these times, I think of this selection and it helps me remember that I don’t have to know the reason. Instead, I need to have the faith that God is doing this for my benefit. I may not see the big picture, but I should have faith that God already knows what are the effects of this happening to me. I believe this where the whole Scripture about walking by faith and not by sight applies to our lives.
As I am sitting here typing this post, my 1-year-old granddaughter has pushed the power button on my laptop twice. She has crawled underneath my end table and gotten stuck and has caused me to have to deal with her several other times. This is a good example of what I am talking about because as aggravating as this is, I am still blessed with grandchildren to cause me aggravation. The joy they bring far outweighs the bad.
So my advice is this: appreciate what we have, keep your eye on the prize, and remember God knows more than we can understand.