Monday, December 31, 2012

Not Asking Jesus if there are Good Benefits or Stock Options

And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptized thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet?  John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth One among you, Whom ye know not; He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, Whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose.  These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.  The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.  This is He of whom I said, After me cometh a Man which is preferred before me: for He was before me.  And I knew Him not: but that He should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.  And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon Him.  And I knew Him not: but He that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, the same is He which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.  And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.  Again the next day after John stood, and the two of His disciples: and looking upon Jesus as He walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!  And the two disciples heard Him speak, and they followed Jesus.  Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye?  They said unto Him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest Thou?  He saith unto them, Come and see.  They came and saw where He dwelt, and abode with Him that day: for it was about the tenth hour.  One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.  He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is being interpreted, the Christ.  And he brought him to Jesus.  And when Jesus beheld him, He said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.  The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow Me.  Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.  Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found Him, of whom Moses in the Law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.  John, Chapter 1, verses 25-45.

I think this passage is very moving.  It shows the dedication of the followers of Jesus.  John the Baptist spent his adult life not earning a good living, gaining status or climbing the ladder of success; but instead, he told people of the coming of Jesus.  John the Baptist had a very humble, but magnificent job!  Jesus’ disciples gave up their previous jobs and lifestyles to join Him.  They didn’t ask Jesus if there would be good benefits, what the stock options were or what was in it for them.  They just followed Jesus.
It’s sad that it would be difficult in this day and age for most of us, including me, to totally give up everything and follow Jesus.  I want to go in the direction where Jesus needs me just like the disciples who were willing to do as Jesus asked.

Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage. Debbie


This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

God Is There Loving Me When I Find it Difficult to Love Myself...

And while He yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss Him.  But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of Man with a kiss?  When they which were about Him saw what would follow, they said unto Him, Lord, shall we smite with the sword?  And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear.  And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far.  And He touched his ear, and healed him.  Luke, Chapter 22, verses 47-51.

I don’t know if I could do something nice like heal a person who was part of a plot to kill me.  I’ve been known to remember situations for over twenty years where someone has been rude or hurtful to me, yet I am dependent on Jesus’ forgiving nature.  If He remembered all my sins the same way I have harbored resentments toward others, there’s no way I would ever make it to heaven.  He forgives me over and over, even when I don’t deserve His forgiveness.  He is there loving me when I find it difficult to love myself.  I’m so fortunate to have Jesus as my Savior and Redeemer.
I write these things and find I’m very two-faced.  I say things like Savior and Redeemer in my writing and realize that I would never be caught dead saying these things in public.  I think that’s because I don’t want to sound like a religious fanatic to others.  I might say that I love Jesus, but that’s usually as far as my profession of faith goes.  I need to pay attention because I could be faced with Jesus saying, “I love Debbie, but I can’t allow her to have Salvation because she is afraid to risk the condemnation of others.  She is afraid that if she says I’m her Savior and Redeemer, others will think she is a religious fanatic!  What a shame.  She had such potential, but if she can’t acknowledge Me, I don’t feel obliged to acknowledge her.  Such a shame!”
Actually, this reminds me about the passage I had just written where Simon Peter denied Jesus three times.  Well, Simon Peter still received Salvation, because he learned from his mistakes and realized how terrible it was that he had denied Jesus.  Simon Peter turned his life around where he became someone who readily proclaimed his love for Jesus.  Now I need to be able to do the same.  I need to turn my life around and not hide behind my fear of what people will think of me.  I’m still very weak in this area and need to ask that God gives me the willingness to let Him guide my actions and my words, now and always, not just when it’s comfortable.

Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage.


This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

I've Said There's No Way I Will Slip Into Temptation

And He came out, and went, as He was wont, to the mount of Olives: and His disciples also followed Him.  And when He was at the place, He said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.  And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from Me: nevertheless not My will, but Thine, be done.  And there appeared an angel unto Him from heaven, strengthening Him.  And being in an agony He prayed more earnestly: and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.  And when He rose up from prayer, and was come to His disciples, He found them sleeping for sorrow.  And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.  Luke, Chapter 22, verses 39-46.

As a Christian, it’s easy for me to say, “Oh, no problem.  I love You so much, Jesus; that there’s no way I will slip into temptation.”  Well, if the disciples who loved Jesus very much could slip into temptation, then we need to learn from their actions and realize the importance of praying for God to keep us from temptation.
I recognize that sometimes when I say the Lord’s Prayer each night, I tend to ramble through it even though I know I shouldn’t.  I’m not sure that God acknowledges prayers when we just ramble through them in a repetitive manner.  When I say my prayers in the morning, I ask God to take care of all sorts of things: my family, the world, and me; but I don’t ask Him to protect us from temptation.  This has made me extremely aware of my need to add that to my daily prayers and to slow down and focus on what I’m praying.
Here are some related passages:
*Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.  Matthew, Chapter 26, verse 41.


Because this an example of how I’ve applied these Bible passages to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passages.


This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

All Too Often I'm a "Luke-warm Christian"

And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.  And he said unto Him, Lord, I am ready to go with Thee, both into prison, and to death.  And He said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest Me.  Luke, Chapter 22, verses 31-34.
(I’ve skipped some verses.) 
Then took they Him, and led Him, and brought Him into the high priest’s house.  And Peter followed afar off.  And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and were set down together, Peter sat down among them.  But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and earnestly looked upon him, and said, This man was also with Him.  And he denied Him, saying, Woman, I know Him not.  And after a little while another saw him, and said, Thou art also of them.  And Peter said, Man, I am not.  And about the space of one hour after another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow also was with Him, for he is a Galilean.  And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest.  And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew.  And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter.  And Peter remembered the Word of the Lord, how He had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny Me thrice.  And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.  Luke, Chapter 22, verses 54-62.

When I read this Bible passage, I reflect on how I sometimes think I am very dedicated to God, but really I’m a “Luke-warm Christian!”  In my mind, I feel like God is the most important part of my life, but when a situation arises where I could share my faith with others, I avoid it.  I say to myself, “Well, this isn’t the right timing for me to discuss Jesus and all He’s done for me.  Another time would be more beneficial and the person would probably be more open to it then.” 
Baloney!!!  Who am I trying to fool?  I guess the only one I’m trying to fool is myself, because God knows when I avoid situations where I could have shared my relationship with Him.  Although I don’t deny God openly as Simon Peter did, I’m denying Him in my heart through my choice not to share my love for Jesus with others.  Sometimes, the truth hurts!


Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage.


This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Difficult for Me to Comprehend Such a Truly Selfless Love for Others

But, behold, the hand of him that betrayeth Me is with Me on the table.  And truly the Son of Man goeth, as it was determined: but woe unto that man by whom He is betrayed!  Luke, Chapter 22, verses 21-22.

I remember times in high school when I thought people were talking about me when they looked in my general direction.  They might not have been doing anything at all.  I was just very self-conscious, as are many teenagers at that age.  I had a difficult time associating with those people that I thought were disloyal to me, whether it was real or just perceived.  It amazes me how Jesus didn’t just think someone was going to betray Him, He knew it!  He didn’t avoid the whole situation, as I would have.  He continued to associate with the person that was going to betray Him.
What love He had to have for us to bear these interactions, even when He knew the very people He loved were going to be disloyal to Him.  It’s difficult for me to comprehend such a truly selfless love for others.  I’m so very fortunate Jesus is my Lord and Savior!


Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage.


This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Forgiven Though I Get Self-Righteous at Times and Puff Up My Ego

And when the hour was come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him.  And He said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.  And He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.  And He took Bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is My Body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of Me.  Likewise also the Cup after supper, saying, This Cup is the New Testament in My Blood which is shed for you.  Luke, Chapter 22, verses 14-20.

These words are very significant to me each time I prepare to have Communion.  They remind me of how Jesus knew what was going to happen to Him and He still went through it anyway…for me.  He gave His life for me, even though I get self-righteous at times and puff up my ego…For me, even though I can get cranky with my family, especially when my blood sugar is low…For me, even though I look at the angles to see how I can keep more of the money I think I deserve rather than giving it to Uncle Sam…For me, even though I have a difficult time giving up control and trusting God to take care of me…For me, even though I have some hateful, jealous thoughts in my mind, at times.  I could go on, but you get the picture.  I’m a very sinful human being and Jesus gave His life for me…and He gave it for you, too!

Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage.


This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Those With No Remorse for Evicting Widows

Then in the audience of all the people He said unto His disciples, Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts; Which devour widows’ houses, and for a show make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation.  Luke, Chapter 20, verses 45-47.

This reminds me of old westerns I used to watch on TV.  It would show the banker (not to imply this is the way bankers are or this behavior is limited only to bankers.)  He would appear nice enough, saying hi to the husband, tip his hat to the wife and did “coochie coos” to her baby.  This banker is a good upstanding churchgoer.  He appears to be the pillar of society, a role model to others.
Then as the plot thickens, the banker and his cohorts try to squeeze the farmer and his family off their land.  He secretly knows there is a lot of profit to be gained by that particular piece of property.  The husband dies in a freak accident which is highly suspicious.  Then the banker comes to give the grieving wife his condolences and tell her how sorry he is about her loss.  He says that out of the goodness of his heart, he will give the wife an extra month’s extension on paying what is owed on the property before he forecloses on their mortgage.
The rest of the movie is dedicated to showing how the banker and his cohorts try to make it difficult for her, and those that befriend her, to pay the money owed.  Of course, in the movie, good wins out over evil and the lady and her baby get to stay in their home.  But, in real life; that doesn’t always happen. 
There are some who are very cunning and would have no remorse for evicting the widow and her child from their home, because they are within their rights as far as the law goes.  These people would continue to go to church without a guilty conscience, because they have rationalized their actions.  The thing is…God knows what they do and no amount of rationalization is going to cut it with God for those who take advantage of widows and orphans!
Here is a related passage:
*Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.  Matthew, Chapter 23, verse 14.


Because this an example of how I’ve applied these Bible passages to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passages.

This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Trying to Give Caeser a Little Less of What Seems Mine

And they watched Him, and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of His Words, that so they might deliver Him unto the power and authority of the governor.  And they asked Him, saying, Master, we know that Thou sayest and teachest rightly, neither acceptest thou the person of any, but teachest the way of God truly: Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar, or no?  But He perceived their craftiness, and said unto them, Why tempt ye Me?  Show Me a penny.  Whose image and superscription hath it?  And He said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s.  And they could not take hold of His Words before the people: and they marvelled at His answer, and held their peace.  Luke, Chapter 20, verses 20-26.

I keep having problems with this one.  I’ve sold several different products in side-line businesses for the sole purpose of trying to give Caesar a little less of what seems mine.  (Now there is nothing wrong with having a side-line business or selling things to gain a profit.  My goal was distinctly motivated toward being able to legally keep more of my money, although I did everything in my power to do it legally.)
Writing this book has made me more aware of my motives.  I have given up the side-line businesses, since my motives weren’t in-line with what God would want me to do.  I keep letting worldly things sneak in and put a wedge in my relationship with God.
I guess I have two options when God makes me aware of these things.  I can try to ignore them and pretend that I have blinders on and don’t really understand what He is showing me, or I can make the changes necessary to be in-line with what God wants.  In order to do that, I am donating the profits I get from this book to a non-profit organization or a charitable cause.  Money wasn’t the reason I wrote this.  I felt strongly led to share these insights with you, with the desire that you would better understand the positive influence the Bible can have in your daily life.


Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage. Debbie


This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections

Monday, December 3, 2012

Salvation Given to Anyone Who Believes That Jesus is Their Savior

Then began He to speak to the people this parable: A certain man planted a vineyard, and let it forth to husbandmen, and went into a far country for a long time.  And at the season he sent a servant to the husbandmen, that they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard: but the husbandmen beat him, and sent him away empty.  And again he sent another servant; and they beat him also, and entreated him shamefully, and sent him away empty.  And again he sent a third: and they wounded him also, and cast him out.  Then said the lord of the vineyard, What shall I do? I will send my beloved son: it may be they will reverence him when they see him.  But when the husbandmen saw him they reasoned among themselves, saying, This is the heir: come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.  So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him.  What therefore shall the lord of the vineyard do unto them?  He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others.  And when they heard it, they said, God forbid.  Luke, Chapter 20, verses 9-16.

After reading the parable, this is my opinion of what God might say.  “I protected My people and promised them a Savior (Jesus).  Then I sent them prophets to tell of Jesus’ coming and they ignored them.  I thought that they just didn’t understand that I’m trying to help them turn their lives around so that they can have Salvation with Me.  So, I decided to send John the Baptist and they ignored and killed him.  I figured surely they will acknowledge My only begotten Son, Jesus, so I sent Jesus to them.
“They totally ignored the fact that Jesus is the Son of God, and then they had the audacity to kill Him.  That way they didn’t have to feel guilty anymore for living their worldly lives not focused on My teachings.  They didn’t have any idea about who they were dealing with, because Jesus arose from the grave on the third day to fulfill the Scriptures.  He conquered death so that all who truly believe in Him will have eternal life in heaven.
“You are ungrateful people!  You killed My only begotten Son and don’t deserve the gift of Salvation that Jesus has provided for you.  I’m going to give that gift to anyone who believes that Jesus is their Savior, because you aren’t worthy of it!”


Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage. Debbie

This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Showing Off My New Clothes at Church

And as they heard these things, He added and spake a parable, because He was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.  He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.  And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.  But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, we will not have this man to reign over us.  And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.  Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.  And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.  And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds.  And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.  And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou did not sow.  And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant.  Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: Wherefore then gavest not thou my money unto the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?  And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds.  (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.)  For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.  But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.  Luke, Chapter 19, verses 11-27.

Jesus may say on the Last Day, “You were all given the same task to be examples of how I work in your lives and to share your love of Me with others.  Did you do it?  When you had problems you turned to Me but when I solved those problems for you, you didn’t even take the time to thank Me.  You just turned back to your life like I didn’t exist until the next problem or religious holiday came around.  Then, you were so focused on showing off your new clothes at church that you didn’t even pay attention to Me and the real reason for the season.  Sorry, Charlie, you’re not making it to heaven!”


Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage. Debbie

This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections

Monday, November 26, 2012

An Opportunity to Befriend the Undesirable

And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.  And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.  And he sought to see Jesus who He was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.  And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him: for He was to pass that way.  And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy house.  And he made haste, and came down, and received Him joyfully.  And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That He was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.  And Zacchaeus stood and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.  And Jesus said unto him, This day is Salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.  For the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.  Luke, Chapter 19, verses 1-10.

I remember hearing about a church group talking among themselves saying something about not associating with sinners.  That rushed through my mind when I saw a display outside a church that said, “Sinners Welcome!”  Jesus didn’t give His life to save those who are perfect.  (That would mean He had given His life to save Himself since Jesus is the only perfect person.  Now that doesn’t even make sense!)
Jesus died and rose to save sinners like you and me.  He gave His life for those people who were judgmental of others and the people they thought were unworthy of their association.  If Jesus can turn the life of Zacchaeus around who was a self-serving tax collector, then who is to say that He can’t turn around the lives of those people deemed unfit?
If no one invites or welcomes these people into church, how will they be saved?  Do you want it on your shoulders that you had the opportunity to befriend one of these “undesirable” people by being an example of how God works in your life, but you ignored that responsibility because you decided that those people didn’t deserve it?  Something I wouldn’t want to have to explain to God on Judgment Day!
Here is a related passage:
*And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto His disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?  But when Jesus heard that, He said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.  But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.  Matthew, Chapter 9, verses 11-13.


Because this an example of how I’ve applied these Bible passages to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passages. Debbie


This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Jesus Takes the Time to be there for Me

And it came to pass, that as He was come nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging: and hearing the multitude pass by, he asked what it meant.  And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.  And he cried, saying, Jesus, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.  And they which went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried so much the more, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.  And Jesus stood, and commanded him to be brought unto Him: and when he was come near, He asked him, Saying, What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee?  And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight.  And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee.  And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God: and all the people when they saw it, gave praise unto God.  Luke, Chapter 18, verses 35-43.

Jesus is on His way to His crucifixion knowing full well what terrible things are going to happen to Him, but Jesus still takes time out to heal this blind man despite all He is about to go through.  It reinforces how Jesus takes time to be there for me and my very trivial concerns.  I’m so fortunate to have Jesus as my Savior!!!


Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage. Debbie




This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections

Monday, November 19, 2012

Jesus Was Willing to be Humilitated to Save Us

Then He took unto Him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man shall be accomplished.  For He shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: And they shall scourge Him, and put Him to death: and the third day He shall rise again.  Luke, Chapter 18, verses 31-33.

This passage is soooooo amazing!  Jesus knows how terribly they are going to treat Him, how they are going to mock Him, spit on Him and crucify Him.  Yet Jesus is still willing to go through all that utter humiliation to save us from our sins.  Now a parent might possibly be willing to go through all of that to save the life of their child, but would they be willing to go through all of that for complete strangers, for people who are hateful and rude to them?  No way!!!  Jesus gave His life for us knowing in advance how terribly humiliating it would be, because He loves us that much!
Jesus told the disciples about what was going to happen to Him in advance.  He wanted them to remember what He had told them as another proof that Jesus is the One True Savior of all.  It’s sad that Jesus can be willing to give His life for us, and we need ALL this proof first before we are willing to believe in Him.


Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage. Debbie


This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I Need to be an "Uncorrupted Christian"

And they brought unto Him also infants, that He would touch them: but when His disciples saw it, they rebuked them.  But Jesus called them unto Him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.  Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.  Luke, Chapter 18, verses 15-17.

As an elementary school teacher, it never ceases to amaze me how sweet, trusting and honest little children are.  It seems some get corrupted as they grow up and become cynical by the ways of the world, media and life, in general. 
In the early grades the children would play with almost any other person that was willing to play with them.  They generally got along well with everyone except for little squabbles, regardless of ethnicity or any other factor.  Nearing the intermediate grades, these same groups of children would no longer associate with some of the children that they used to consider their best friends.  They seemed to group themselves by ethnicity and other factors like income.  I think Jesus wants us to be “Uncorrupted Christians” who generally get along well with others, regardless of ethnicity or any other factor.
Here is a related passage:
*Then were there brought unto Him little children, that He should put His hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them, But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto Me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.  And He laid His hands on them and departed thence.  Matthew, Chapter 19, verses 13-15.

Because this an example of how I’ve applied these Bible passages to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passages. Debbie 


This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections

Monday, November 12, 2012

I Get Caught Up in the Egotistical Part

And He spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.  The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.  I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.  And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.  Luke, Chapter 18, verses 9-14.

This passage is kind of like Biblical irony.  The Pharisee with the higher status, self-righteous attitude and brags about all the wonderful things he has done for others, isn’t justified.  The humble man with the low status, who states how unworthy he is, is justified.
It really opens my eyes.  Sometimes I become very self-righteous like the Pharisee, boasting to myself about all the good things I’ve done.  (Actually it wasn’t me doing them in the first place.  God gave me the instincts to do those things, but I was taking credit for them while boasting.)  I need to be much more humble and not get so caught up in the egotistical part.  That’s how Satan sneaks in and leads Christians astray!


Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage. Debbie


This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Not Wasting My Time Arguing Over How and When I'm Going to Heaven

Luke, Chapter 17, verses 34-37, is very controversial.  I have heard many different opinions from supposed authorities on these passages.  I decided years ago that it’s more important for me to continue to focus on my relationship with God.  Spending my time arguing over how and when I am going to heaven is time wasted, in my opinion, when I could have spent the time being a better example of Jesus’ influence on my life. 
I don’t have to spend years trying to figure out whose interpretation of this Bible passage is correct.  My Salvation is guaranteed through Jesus’ death and Resurrection as long as I continue to love Him as my Lord and Savior and try to lead a life that reflects my faith in Him.  If I do these, I will have Salvation at the time and in the manner that God deems is best.  I think God has other things He would like me to focus on, like reading the Bible rather than worrying about the details of how and when this is all going to happen.

Because this an example of how I’ve applied these Bible passages to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passages. Debbie

This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections

Monday, November 5, 2012

Putting Jesus on the Back Shelf Until Needed

And it came to pass, as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.  And as He entered into a certain village, there met Him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.  And when He saw them, He said unto them, Go show yourselves unto the priests.  And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.  And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.  And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed?  but where are the nine?  There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.  And He said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.  Luke, Chapter 17, verses 11-19.

I pray to God about things that concern me in my everyday life.  Do I stop and thank Him for resolving all these issues?  Not for the most part!  My life runs smoothly because the problem has been resolved and I go on with my life, putting Jesus back on the shelf until I need him again.
After I read this passage, I thought about how ungrateful the nine healed lepers were.  Isn’t that exactly what I’m doing when I don’t take the time to thank God for resolving the issues in my life?

Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage. Debbie


This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections

Thursday, November 1, 2012

I'm a "Focused on Other Things Christian"

And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.  And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.  Luke, Chapter 17, verses 5-6.

This passage seems especially appropriate since I’m a “Focused on Other Things Christian,” thinking about selling my house, finding a job and buying another house.  If I were really paying attention to what I’m writing, I would realize my faith is weak, because I am worrying and having sleepless nights.
I need to focus on God and things will fall into place.  He works everything out so beautifully in timing, if I have the patience to let Him...and He did, because I originally wrote this a couple of years ago.
Here are some related passages:
Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?  But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.  Luke, Chapter 12, verses 6-7.
*Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing?  And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.  But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.  Matthew, Chapter 10, verses 29-31.

Because this is an example of how I’ve applied these Bible passages to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of these passagse. Debbie


This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections

Monday, October 29, 2012

Never Passing Our Quota of Times to be Forgiven

Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.  And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.  Luke, Chapter 17, verses 3-4.

I’m sitting at the computer thinking about getting a job when we move instead of focusing on this.  I said a little prayer and asked God to forgive me for being so distracted, and then it all came to me!  God forgives me ninety billion times a day.  He forgives all my distractions, angry, jealous and other human thoughts on a regular basis.  When I ask God to forgive me, He never says, “No way!  You’ve already long passed your quota of times to be forgiven.”
If God forgives me an unlimited number of times, then He wants me to be more forgiving and tolerant of others.  I shouldn’t be there with my little mental clipboard saying, “Well, you’ve done this three times and that’s it.  I will no longer forgive you or be your friend!”  If God treated me like that, I would have been “a gonner” a long time ago!


Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage.


This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Allowing Greed and Jealousy to Sneak into My Life

There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.  And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.  And he cried and said, Father Abraham have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.  But Abraham said, Son remember that thou in thy lifetime receivest thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.  Luke, Chapter 16, verses 19-25.

Do I want all the notoriety of the rich, famous and those who have climbed up the corporate ladder or would I prefer to focus on leading a lifestyle that allows me to go to heaven? 
In order to get to heaven, I have to make sure I’m focused on Jesus, living as an example of how He works in my life on a daily basis.  It’s not always easy because I’m human and let greed and jealousy sneak into my life.  I keep praying that God gives me the willingness to be the example He wants me to be, despite my very human nature.


Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage.


This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections

Monday, October 22, 2012

From Party-Hardy Lifestyles to Making God a Priority

And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided Him.  And He said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.  Luke, Chapter 16, verses 14-15.

People tend to look up to people who are rich, famous or have climbed their way up the corporate ladder.  I like to watch the channel that shows the lives of famous T.V. and movie stars, past and present.  Some, but not all of these, have been involved in lifestyles that included drugs, excessive drinking and some heavy-duty partying.
Even though people admire these stars, I think God would consider that type of lifestyle an abomination.  Fortunately, some of these stars have had the opportunity to turn their lives around as they tell how they’ve gone from their party-hardy lifestyles to making God a priority in their lives.

Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage. Debbie

This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections

Thursday, October 18, 2012

God Doesn't Get Suckered into Struggles for Attention

For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.  And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.  And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, And said unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you.  And they went their way.  Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise.  And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all day idle?  They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us.  He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.  So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.  And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.  But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more: and they likewise received every man a penny.  And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, Saying These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.  But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny?  Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee.  Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own?  Is thine eye evil, because I am good?  So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.  Matthew, Chapter 20, verses 1-16.

I’m ashamed to say that I relate all too well with the first laborers who wanted more than what was promised for their extra time and effort.  If I’m truly being honest, there have been times where I expected preferential treatment because I tried to be good and follow all the rules.  I have deliberately flaunted the good choices I have made in hopes that teachers, employers and family members would like me better than others. 
Well, it may have possibly worked since the people mentioned are human beings who could not see my ulterior motives, but God doesn’t get suckered into struggles for attention.  He loves us all the way we are.  So the prostitute, the rock star, the janitor, the prisoner, the president, the drug addict, the school teacher and anyone else who loves Jesus as their Savior can go to heaven.  There is no preferential treatment there! 

Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage. Debbie


This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections

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