Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Moving Day?

Luke 10:30-34 (Contemporary English Version)

30 Jesus replied:
As a man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, robbers attacked him and grabbed everything he had. They beat him up and ran off, leaving him half dead.
31 A priest happened to be going down the same road. But when he saw the man, he walked by on the other side.

32 Later a temple helper came to the same place. But when he saw the man who had been beaten up, he also went by on the other side.
33 A man from Samaria then came traveling along that road. When he saw the man, he felt sorry for him
34 and went over to him. He treated his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put him on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him.

This story, that Jesus told, was an example of compassion. An expert in the law tried to trick Jesus by asking Him to define the meaning of the word neighbor. Jesus painted a vivid picture of what it takes to be one. This story can easily be overlooked if we don't put ourselves in those same situations.

Now excuses can be made for the priest and temple helper. They may have been preoccupied or in a hurry, but that doesn't minimize the fact that they both saw the robbery victim. The difference was whether they were moved by what they saw.

The Samaritan was moved and he did something about it. He could put himself in the victim's place and feel his pain, could you do the same?

Ignoring a situation is not a neutral position, you are either part of the problem or part of the solution. We are God's hands extended but sometimes our spiritual hearing has been dulled. I pray that the Holy Spirit would open our eyes and hearts so that we would know when it's

Moving Day.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Fare well?

Acts 4:32-35 (New Living Translation)

The Believers Share Their Possessions

32 All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had.
33 The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great blessing was upon them all.
34-35 There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need.

This is one of the most amazing Bible passages describing the Body of Christ (The Church). They had one aim and walked as one, directed by God, to serve His purpose and spread the Gospel. If they saw a need they met it with their own means. This was God's Word in action and they had His favor.

Things are much different for the church of today. This passage no longer seems relevant because of our fast food style of religion. You can drive in to each outlet and have it your way. Most of the menu is overladen with sugar, has no real substance and is detrimental to your health and well being. If you are truly needy, from the governments perspective, they even have welfare programs. Unfortunately, they never seem to lift a person any higher than where they started initially, but at least they're doing something.

Don't get me wrong, we all play a part in this and at some point we stopped doing our job. The truth is that before we had welfare we had The Church and it worked on the basis of "see a need and meet it". They were of one heart, acknowledged God's ownership, shared as the need arose and had His favor. This is what kept The Body of Christ healthy, and it still does.

I chose the word farewell for my title because it's an old english term that literally means to travel with favor. That's what The Church had, God's favor.

So tell me, in this life do you fare well?

Friday, June 19, 2009

What's Your Pleasure?

Hebrews 11:6 (Worldwide English (New Testament))

If a person does not believe God, he cannot please Him. Anyone who comes to God must believe that God is real. And he must believe that God will bless those who try to find Him. God will reward a person, if he really tries to find God.

Has anything ever seemed so simple to you that you thought that there had to be more to it?

We usually think that these type of things are too good to be true because we humans are skeptics at heart. There is a paradox in this passage. In order to please God we must believe in Him. In order to be blessed by God we must search for Him. There is the act of giving on our part to someone that we cannot see, to receive something from that same someone who you can't see.

We live in a world that tells us to take what we can get and get it while we can get it. Spend your time on you, so to speak. Do whatever you please. Don't waste your time on anything that you can't see an immediate result from.

God tells us to give our lives to Him, pursue Him and He will reward us because it pleases Him to do it. We pour out of ourselves so that He can pour Himself into us. This is pretty simple but it goes against human logic. Please Him because it will please you. So tell me:

What's your pleasure?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

What Is It To You?

John 21:20-22 (Contemporary English Version)

Jesus and His Favorite Disciple

20 Peter turned and saw Jesus' favorite disciple following them. He was the same one who had sat next to Jesus at the meal and had asked, "Lord, who is going to betray you?"
21 When Peter saw that disciple, he asked Jesus, "Lord, what about him?"
22 Jesus answered, "What is it to you, if I want him to live until I return? You must follow me."

Have you ever wondered why some other people appear to get treated better than you do?

Maybe you're just being paranoid but it seems that's how it is.

Peter was more than paranoid. He was just told how he would be a captive, and against his will, eventually die. This is how Jesus said that Peter would bring honor to God. The only thing Peter could think about was how his end compared to the other disciple that was with them.

How would you like that?

That's not the trip you thought you signed up for! Well you did, when you decided to follow the Lord.

I'm not belittling Peter for thinking the way that he did. We have a natural tendency to worry about what someone else has, believing that their situation is better than ours. If we lived in their situation and walked in their shoes, would it really be that much better? Each person has problems of their own. It's where we get our help that makes the difference.

God gives us what we need and He makes things happen for each one of us individually. That's what Jesus told Peter, don't compare yourself to John, I have your life under control. He really does and we should take comfort in that fact.

What is it to you?

Nothing if you worry about what you don't have, everything if you follow Gods' will.

Monday, June 15, 2009

How Do You Spend Your Mind?

Matthew 6:25-27 (New Living Translation)

25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?
26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?
27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

What we spend our time thinking about determines how we live our lives.

We spend a lot of time thinking about what we don't have. This isn't any new revelation. Jesus talked about it because they worried about what they didn't have. That wasn't the real issue, though, it was an issue of trust. Did they trust that God could take care of them?

Jesus pointed out that if the birds are taken care of, how much more will we be. God is in control but we fight Him with our worry. It won't make us live any longer. God wants us to talk to Him and meditate on His Word. There are too many good things there that we don't want to miss. If we really believe that God is going to take care of us then we have more than we need.

Friday, June 12, 2009

What's On Your Menu?

John 4:30-33 (Worldwide English (New Testament))

30 While they were on the way coming to Jesus, the disciples asked him, `Teacher, will you please eat.'
31 Jesus said to them, `I have food that you do not know about.'
32 So the disciples asked one another, `Has anyone brought him food to eat?'
33 Jesus said to them, `My food is to obey the one who sent me and to finish his work.

Have you ever been caught up into something so intensely that you even forgot to eat?

You might say no, because you have to eat.

The disciples were like that, they begged Him to eat. Maybe they were hungry and needed an excuse, I don't know. It's possible! They even thought someone might have slipped Him something when they weren't looking.

It wasn't any of those things. Jesus was on a mission, what about you? Some things satisfy for a moment and then the taste fades away and you still feel empty. When God feeds you with His Word it sustains you in a way that makes people wonder how you keep going.

So take some thought about,

what's on YOUR menu.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Who Are You Thinking About?

Philippians 2:3-4 (Worldwide English (New Testament))

3 Do not try to prove you are better than others. Do not be proud of yourselves, but be humble. Think of other people as being better than yourselves.
4 Each one of you should not think only about himself, but about other people also.

Have you ever listened to someone and heard the word "I" used repeatedly?

Hopefully that someone isn't you.

We do a lot of things to build ourselves up. We fight for position, one up others and put people down all in the name of Christ. This is contrary to God's Word. We think we have a right or a privilege, but we really don't because God made us all the same, His children.

God wants us to be righteous because righteousness requires our actions; in this case thinking of others and humbling ourselves. The "I" becomes a "We" because our focus and actions change. God will prove His Word whether we live it or not. We will prove ourselves by living His Word.

That brings us back to the original question:

Who are you thinking about?