Sunday, December 21, 2014

Why Can't We Just See?

     Why can't we just see that every time we ignore the teachings of Jesus Christ we grow apart from each other. Our love grows cold and we separate from our brothers and sisters. Could this be an evil plan to divide us, then conquer us? Sounds like something the devil would do. It seems to me we are building more walls around us because our world is becoming more violent. The devil is trying his best to push out love by spreading fear and hate. In 1 John 4:8 it says God is love so the devil is trying to push God out of our lives.
     If we allow fear and hate to rule our lives the devil wins. God wants us to be a happy family. The devil wants us to act like Cain and kill our brother rather than to love him. We cannot ascend to a higher level as a society if we are killing each other. We must embrace doing good over evil in order to bring peace and security into our world. People must feel relaxed in their surroundings rather than to feel a need to carry a gun. Each of us has a duty if we want to live in a better world is to follow in Jesus Christ's footsteps, advocating love and forgiveness over hate and violence.
     All we have to do is read the story of Noah to see where a world full of violence get us. According to Genesis 6:13 God said to Noah that the earth was filled with violence and that he was going to destroy it. God destroyed the world with a great flood in order to cleanse it from the violence. So we should see from the story that we should not being filling our world with violence. But to the contrary, hate and violence have increased in our world. I guess will still have not learned our lesson.
     It seems to me that generation after generation are stuck in a destructive cycle rather than an up building one. Somehow we end up doing what is wrong over what is right. If only we would change our lives according to the words of Jesus Christ so that cycle of destruction can change as well. I sometimes have a hard time understanding why can't people just do what is right over what is wrong every time instead of just sometimes. Why can't people live their lives more in a righteous manner than an evil one? It is mind boggling to me at times. Oh well, I guess I will just have to wait until our Lord's arrival for a better world. But I do wonder, why can't we just see?      

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Breaking the Cycle of Hate with Forgiveness

     In Matthew 5:22 Jesus said, "But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgement; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, 'You fool!' will be liable to hell of fire." As we see in this verse that inward anger will manifest outwardly causing more damage to a relationship. First you are angry at someone and then it increases to a point where you hurt them mentally or physically and if your anger is left unchecked it will consume you. Your hatred will become a large part of your life and become a barrier between you and God. By not holding grudges and forgiving those who have hurt you in someway you can start to heal. You can begin to love again and have a close relationship with others and with God. Hatred blocks out our love and forgiveness becomes a doorway for love to come back into our hearts.      
     Matthew 18:21,22 "21Then Peter came up and said to him, "Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?" 22Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times." In the Lord's Prayer, Matthew 6:12 Jesus tells us to pray like this, "and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors." If we do not forgive our brothers or sisters who trespass against us, our anger and hatred will not be broken. And if we hate them and they hate us how will our situation change if we do nothing? Jesus tells us to take the first step and to forgive in order to heal your soul. In so doing you will show others how to live a better life. The cycle of hate can be broken if only we can start to forgive each other.                                                                   (ESV)    

Thursday, December 11, 2014

We Must Not Take for Granted God's Forgiveness

      In the parable of the unforgiving servant in Matthew 18:21-35, a servant owe the king a great amount of money that he could not repay. The king wanted the servant, the servant's wife and children to be sold. He wanted everything that the servant had to be sold so to pay for the debt. The servant beg the king for his patience and give him more time to pay off the debt. The king had pity on him and release him and forgave him of his debt.
     The servant left the king and found someone who owe him money. Instead of being forgiving as the king did to him, he choke his debtor and had no mercy upon him. He had his debtor thrown into prison until he could pay off his debt. Another servant of the king saw what he had done and told the king about it. The king was very angry that the person that he had forgiven did not forgive someone else. So the king summoned that servant before him and told him since he did not give mercy to another, no mercy will not be shown to him. The king had that servant thrown into jail.
     In Matthew 18 verse 35 Jesus said to his disciples, "So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart."
     This parable is about our sin (our debt) against God. We could not repay it on our own. Jesus Christ's sacrifice on the cross paid for our sins. God had mercy on us and took our sins away. Here is where not taking God's forgiveness for granted comes in. We were all forgiven of our sins by God's grace. Now it is up to us to give mercy out to others who have trespass against us and if we do not, on the day of our judgement no mercy shall be shown to us. We will be imprisoned in a very bad place, a place you do not want to spend your eternity in.

Friday, December 5, 2014

How Valuable is the Kingdom of God to You?

     Mathew 13:44 "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field." This verse tells me to place my service to God first and foremost in my life. It tells me God is not satisfied with partial worship but only with my total commitment.
     In Matthew the 19 chapter a man ask Jesus, what must he do to have eternal life? In verse 21 Jesus said to him,"If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." verse 22, When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions." In these verses it showed a young rich man could not give his heart and soul totally to God's service for a part of him value his material possessions over his value of the kingdom of God.
     In Mark 12:41-44 tells a story of a poor widow who put two small copper coins in the offering box, while the rich put in large sums of money. Jesus said to his disciples that the poor widow put in everything that she had, all she had to live on, while the rich only donated out of their abundance. The poor widow loved God more than she loved herself. She clearly demonstrated the greatest commandment. Matthew 22:36,37 "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?" And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind."
     The apostle Paul show us the right attitude in serving God. In Philippians 3:8,10,11 he said, "Indeed. I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ. 10that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead."
     Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:24 "No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money."
     Jesus gives us comforting words if we are feeling a lost in his service. Jesus told his disciples this in Luke 18:29,30 And he said to them, "Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brother or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, 30who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life."
     In these modern times that we live in, fame and fortune seems to be the main goal in life. We are told to buy many things and that having these things will bring us happiness. We see in God's word the Bible that this is a lie that we are told. Having true value in our life comes with serving our God with our whole heart, mind and soul. All other things in our life will disappear but God's kingdom will last forever.                                                      (ESV)