and the One who walks with me on it.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Selfishness

       Lately I’ve been thinking about selfishness and not in general terms but in very specific terms- meaning my own.  I used to think I was a very unselfish person, but I think back on some of my mothering and have to admit that I was.  If I didn’t want to play a certain thing then I wouldn’t despite my child wanting to.  Is that not selfish?  Or what about the many times I went to church for how it would make me feel or to bless me and not for what I could give?  Then there are numerous times I hid the chocolate so that I wouldn’t have to share.

       Just last year I gave two jars of peanut butter to a friend who immediately gave one to her daughter- in front of me.  I was upset, realized how stupid that was, and considered the reasons why it upset me: I wanted my friend to have enough to last a while, but she was sharing like we should.  John the Baptist spoke about sharing/ being unselfish as being important. ‘If you have two coats give one…’ (Lk. 3:11) and Jesus expected much as indicated in His parables,

For I was hungry, and you gave me food; I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you took Me in; I was naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me. (people question- when did we do this?)
And the King shall answer and say to them, Truly I say to you, Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brothers, you have done it to Me.  Mt. 25:35,36,40
(A man gets robbed and beaten.  A priest and Levite walk by ignoring him.)  But a certain traveling Samaritan came upon him, and seeing him, he was filled with pity. And coming near, he bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine, and set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. Lk. 10:33:34

       Earlier today I read something from a Christian that stated they own no possessions because everything they have was given by God and is only for use to further God’s kingdom.  I can’t say that has always been my outlook but I’m starting to think that way more and more.  What do possessions matter anyway if they cannot be used for good?  Our houses are filled up with things that serve no purpose to the kingdom of God.

Do not lay up treasures on earth ... But lay up treasures in Heaven for yourselves, ... For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Mt. 6:19-21
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. Mt. 6:33
And He said to them, Watch and keep yourselves from covetousness. For a man's life is not in the abundance of the things which he possesses. Lk. 12:15

       More and more I question our spending.  Do our possessions further God’s cause or are we heaping treasures to ourselves for our own pleasure?  We buy items (like movies) for our collections but someone out there is starving.  We buy books, music, holiday decorations to enjoy but someone out there is without needed clothing.  How is this stuff bringing glory to God?  We play on the computer while someone is lonely in the hospital.  We spend time reading but don’t visit those in prison.  How is our time usage bringing glory to God?  According to Scriptures- I am selfish with money and time.  Ouch!

But whoever has this world's goods and sees his brother having need, and shuts up his bowels from him, how does the love of God dwell in him? My children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And in this we shall know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him, 1Jh. 3:17-19
that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to share, to be generous, laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. 1Tm. 6:18,19
(Jesus to a seeker) …Go, sell whatever you have and give it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in Heaven. And come, take up the cross and follow Me. Mr 10: 21
But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing... Lk 6:35

Lord, help me change.
     Help us all to change…

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Enough Said…

Mat 24:6  And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled, for all these things must occur; but the end is not yet.
Luk 21:9  But when you hear of wars and disturbances*, do not be terrified, for all these things must first occur, but the end is not at once.
   *G181- instability, a state of disorder, disturbance, confusion
   (also Mr. 13:7)

Mat 24:7  For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines and pestilences* and earthquakes in different places.
Mar 13:8…there shall be earthquakes in different places, and there shall be famines and troubles┬║...
   ┬║G5016- disturbance, commotion, metaphorically a tumult, sedition
Luk 21:11  And great earthquakes shall be in different places, and famines and plagues*. And there shall be terrors^ and great signs from Heaven.
   *G3061- pestilence, plague
   ^G5400- that which strikes terror, a terror


Mat 24:8  All these are the beginning of sorrows. (also Mr. 13:8)


Mat 24:9  Then they will deliver you up to be afflicted and will kill you. And you will be hated of all nations for My name's sake.
Mar 13:13  And you will be hated by all for My name's sake, but he enduring to the end, that one will be kept safe.
Luk 21:12  But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you and persecute you…

Dan 12:4  … to the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

2014
wars and rumors of… (Mexico drug war, Syrian civil war, ISIL, South Sudan)
disturbances…  (Venezuela, Ukraine, Pakistan, India, Hong Kong, Tunisia, Egypt)
nation against nation kingdom against kingdom… (Russia, ISIL)
famines…  (always…)
plagues… (mers, enterovirus D68, ebola, chichungunya)
earthquakes…  (2x as many big ones first ¼ as other years)
terrors…  (terrorist attacks increasing)
hatred for Jesus followers…  (beheadings, shootings, stabbings)
run to and fro…  (quickly move about-planes, fast trains, bridges)
knowledge increased…  (science, internet, computers)

Enough Said…

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

How much of my time…

       Reading the following Scripture I have to strongly consider if I do what I am supposed to do even half of the time.  My life still seems to be centred on the things I want/ want to do/ have/ don’t have, etc.  Scriptures like these convict me and make me think- are we (as Christians) truly living how Jesus did, or how He wants us to?  How often do we justify our lack of ‘going all the way’ to do what He says by thinking He didn’t mean for us to? 

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God. Be mindful of things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life has been hidden with Christ in God. When Christ our Life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.
Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness (which is idolatry), Cl. 3:1-5

       Obviously, if we are born again, we were raised with Christ so we should be seeking/ mindful of those things which are above and not earthy things.  How much of my time do I do this?  In my estimation- not enough.  Paul continues to write about some of these earthly things of which I will expound using Thayer’s dictionary:

fornication- any sex outside of marriage between one man and one woman.
Personally I would include pornography, ungodly deviancy in or out of marriage, sexually explicit material including many romance novels and such.
uncleanness- physically or morally impure, lustful (desire for gratification), reckless living without thought for the consequences.
passion- good or bad, in NT usually depraved, vile passions.
evil desire- bad/ injurious, destructive desires, cravings, lusts, desire for what is forbidden
covetousness (which is idolatry)- greedy desire to have more, desire of gaining or possessing, unable of being satisfied

These are what we are to put to death- dead- unable to act upon due to our deadness…

       Do I cheer for the adulterous couple who finally gets together in the movie because the one’s spouse is ‘bad’?  Do I desire to gratify myself in wants when many are doing without?  Do I care about others lives or just about my own desires and needs?  Is life more about my wants or what God wants?  Do I always want more, better, newer, more stylish… more ‘treasures’ or do I want to give more, better, more often, higher quality…?  How much of my time do I devote to things above as opposed to things on earth?  A young man who thought he was doing alright, following enough of the law asked about gaining eternal life (Mr. 10:17).

Then Jesus, beholding him, loved him and said to him, One thing you lack. Go, sell whatever* you have and give it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in Heaven. And come, take up the cross and follow Me. And he was sad at that saying and went away grieved, for he had great possessions. Mr. 10:21,22  * as great as, how much

Would we, could we give it all?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Scanning the Computer

       We are fairly cautious internet users.  We don’t download a lot of stuff and never open emails or links from people we don’t know- or suspicious ones from those we do know.  Most of the problems we get are from ad ware which is fairly easy to resolve.  Viruses, spyware, worms and trojans are things to beware for they can hijack your computer, corrupt data or even ‘kill’ your machine.  It’s scary stuff, especially since we can now keep terabytes of important/ personal information on our machines.

       Yesterday, it was time to upgrade my free anti-virus and it came in with next year’s date like a car.  As usual, when it was done, it wanted me to restart the computer to get it running properly.  That was a little annoying because I had work to do and didn’t have time to reboot.  I finally had time for the reboot and then it wanted to run a computer scan; nothing I wanted to do since it would slow down my work, so I put it off until today. 

Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts; and see if any wicked way is in me; and lead me in the way everlasting. Ps. 139:23,24
Wash me completely from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions; and my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, I have sinned, and done evil in Your eyes; ... Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Ps. 51:2-4,7,10

       King David was a man who was passionate about Jehovah, accomplished great feats, and made enormous mistakes.  But I think the reason God said, “…I have found David the son of Jesse to be a man after My own heart,…” (Ac. 13:22) is because David showed his love for God by his obedience to God’s will and his repentant heart.  He wasn’t content to allow sin to remain in him, not even those sins he didn’t know about.  “My sin is ever before me.” indicates that he lived a life of conviction, he knew that sin was against Jehovah and only Jehovah could wash him clean.

       So it was kind of like David realized the viruses, spyware, worms and trojans were constantly infiltrating his being and so he’d run (to) his anti-virus software (God) to scan, root them out and clean them up.  I think in that sense, we all need to scan for sin daily, constantly bringing what we know to the Lord for forgiveness, and asking Him to deal with that which we do not know.  For myself I usually ask the Lord to expose my unknown sin to me or others so that it can no longer hide in the darkness keeping junk between Him and me.  I don’t want ANYTHING of the dark between us anymore.  How about you?

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Jh. 1:8,9

Sunday, October 19, 2014

All Die and All Live

       Funerals are very emotional to me whether or not I know the person who died.  I go through a general sadness in that no man should have to die, and a specific sadness that no one should have to suffer the loss of a loved one.  Yet, we all must die (2Sm. 14:14).  Even when the person is in Heaven and there is hope for seeing them again, that does not stop the ache of missing them here and now.  There are many I miss in my own life; I’m confident some were saved and are waiting for me in Heaven, and others I am unsure about because they may have been saved in the last few moments of their lives.

       So it was after the funeral yesterday that I sat reading Scriptures and was astounded by the end of a verse that indicated something I simply never considered.  We experience the loss of a person, their touch, their voice, their laughter, their love, their wisdom, etc. while we remain living on this earth.  But God, who is eternal and knew us before we were born (Jr. 1:5; Ps. 139:16), is not the God of the dead but of the living…

But that the dead are raised, even Moses pointed out at the Bush, when he called the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. For He is not God of the dead, but of the living. For all live to Him. Lk. 20:37,38

       Now, this could mean God is the God of the spiritually living (saved) and not those spiritually dead (unsaved), but proper interpretation of the Bible is to take it literally when at all possible.  For all live to Him.(Mt. 22:32; Mr. 12:27 omit these 5 words) God IS the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob because they are not dead in spirit but in body.  “…to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.(2Cr. 5:8 Web) 

All live to God.

       To God, we don’t die.  There is no loss in the respect that our spirit lives on, so our physical death (in my mind) probably doesn’t affect Him like we are affected by the death of a loved one.  I think for Him it would be worse if our spirit was dead to Him due to rejecting Jesus Christ and His work on the cross.  God doesn’t want one to perish (2Pt. 3:9), not one, but all to repent and turn to Him.

All live to God.  It is our choice how we live after our bodies die…
     Will it be eternal life or torment?  Choose wisely…

And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. Dn. 12:2
And these shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into everlasting life. Mt. 25:46
as Sodom and Gomorrahundergoing vengeance of everlasting fire. Jude 1:7
He who believes on the Son has everlasting life, and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides upon him. Jh. 3:36
And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever. And they have no rest day or night, those who worship the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name. Rv. 14:11