Monday, April 30, 2012

Not Giving Up Easily

Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.  But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.  And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.  Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.  Matthew, Chapter 18, verses 15-18.

God doesn’t want us to give up on people easily, but we are to follow a progression from approaching them privately to publicly, if necessary.  First, we are to have a confidential talk with the person who is going down the wrong path.  If that doesn’t work, we are to get others to help.  It reminds me of something that I’ve seen on TV where loved ones gather together for an “Intervention” to tell a drug user that they need to go through drug rehab for their sake and all those who care about them.  If that doesn’t work, we are to turn to the church for support to confront this person.  If nothing works, we have to cut our losses, disassociating ourselves from that person so that we don’t inadvertently get caught up in their lifestyle.

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, April 26, 2012

Have We Become Desensitized?

And Jesus called a little child unto Him, and set him in the midst of them.  And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.  Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  And whoso shall receive one such little child in My Name receiveth Me.  But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in Me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.  Woe unto the world because of offences!  for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!  Matthew, Chapter 18, verses 2-7. 
Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of My Father which is in heaven.  Matthew, Chapter 18, verse 10.
Usually, I interpret this passage to mean that we should have the faith of a little child in order to go to heaven.  This time, this passage was saying to me that the people who abuse children physically, sexually and emotionally better beware because God doesn’t want anyone hurting children under any circumstances.  I noticed that there are exclamation marks used in this passage a couple of times and I don’t see them used much in the Bible.  I take it to mean that Jesus is emphatically telling people to beware not to harm children.
It’s so sad.  The court systems are full of children who have been neglected and abused in one form or another.  What’s even worse is that some of these children have been abused by their own family members who are supposed to love them and protect them from harm.
What can we do as Christians?  We can make an effort to not become so desensitized to the needs of abused children because we see it so frequently in the news.  We can support legislators to enact laws to make it more difficult for the court system to let out pedophiles, rapists and aggressive criminals.  We can mentor a child who appears to need a little extra attention.  Going to read or play games with children in the Women’s Shelters can be beneficial, because these children need someone in their corner. 
We can encourage our children to include others who appear to be loners.  This helps not only the isolated child, but it teaches our children to be sensitive to the needs of others instead of being “I”, “Me” focused.  The list of things we could do is endless.
Here is a related passage:
*Then said He unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!  It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.  Luke, Chapter 17, verses 1-2.

Because this example of how I’ve applied these Bible passages to my life only focused on a portion of the passages, 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. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

I've Been a Back Seat Driver Christian

While He yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a Voice out of the cloud, which said, This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased: hear ye Him.  And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.  Matthew 17, verses 5-6.
You know how famous football players and movie stars are on commercials endorsing particular products they like, so others will come to know how good they are?  Well, this is an endorsement from God so the disciples of Jesus would know how good He is.  His is an endorsement that defies all explanation.
It makes me wonder what God’s endorsement of me would be.  “This is one of my supposed followers, Debbie.  She is a ‘Back Seat Driver Christian,’ telling others how they should live their lives as Christians, unwilling to do the same.  It would have been nice to count her as one of My flock, but she backed away from opportunities that I have given her to share her faith-so sad!”

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, April 19, 2012

Letting Go of the Big Clothes

This Bible passage is when Jesus walked on the water to meet the boat with the disciples on it.
 
But straight way Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.  And Peter answered Him and said, Lord, if it be Thou, bid me come unto Thee on the water.  And He said, Come.  And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.  But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.  And immediately Jesus stretched forth His hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?  And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.  Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped Him, saying Of a Truth Thou art the Son of God.  Matthew, Chapter 14, verses 27-33.
After God allowed me to experience the miracle of losing 80+ pounds of excess weight, my church was having a garage sale.  I looked at my big clothes and thought I probably should keep them in case I gained all the weight back.  The thought was in my head that I didn’t trust God to take care of me.  I was virtually saying, “God I’m going to keep these big clothes just in case you don’t continue to take care of my weight problem.”  This realization made a major difference in my life.  I decided to get rid of the big clothes immediately.  I definitely don’t want to start sinking like Peter did when He wasn’t trusting Jesus to take care of him.
Here is a related passage:
*And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove, and nothing shall be impossible to you.  Matthew, Chapter 17, verse 20.

Because this example of how I’ve applied these Bible passages to my life only focused on a portion of the passages, 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. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Our Influence on Others

Another parable spake He unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.  Matthew, Chapter 13, verse 33.
I’m not really sure what this means but will explain what it makes me think of.  It reminds me of an office that I worked in for the government, some years ago.  When I first started working there, the group of ladies I had break with, spent a lot of time complaining and harping about unproductive issues.  After I felt more comfortable and mentioned my faith in Jesus, I found that some of those ladies opened up about their faith, as well, and the tone of our breaks seemed to change.  They seemed kinder to each other and our discussions weren’t focused around unproductive issues and griping.
I think Christians have the ability to be a positive influence through their example, even though it may seem insignificant at the time.  This may set the foundation for spiritual growth in someone, similar to how the flour grew from a little bit of yeast.

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, April 12, 2012

Making Popcorn

Another parable put He forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares [weeds] among the wheat, and went his way.  But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared tares also.  So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?  He said unto them, An enemy hath done this.  The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?  But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares ye root up also the wheat with them.  Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.  Matthew, Chapter 13, verses 24-30. 
Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and His disciples came unto Him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.  He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of Man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.  As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.  The Son of Man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.  Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.  Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.  Matthew, Chapter 13, verses 36-43.
This is also like when you make popcorn.  Pretend all the fully popped kernels are those who believe Jesus is their Savior and try to lead their lives accordingly.  The unpopped kernels or “Old Maids” are those who have fallen prey to Satan’s enticements to live a worldly life.  After you pop the popcorn, you debate whether to pick out all the “Old Maids,” since there are quite a few, or to leave them in.
Some of the popcorn kernels are partially popped, but you decide to count them as “Old Maids,” because they really aren’t the same as fully popped popcorn.  This is similar to people who know Jesus is our Savior, but don’t put any effort into praying or leading a life that reflects their love for Him.  You think about it and decide to dump all the popcorn into a paper bag to eat rather than pulling the “Old Maids” out.  That symbolizes both Christians and non-Christians living together on earth.
The fully popped popcorn is chosen and is removed from the bag, representing the Christians who will be chosen and will have Salvation in heaven.  All the “Old Maids” and partial “Old Maids” will be discarded when you throw the paper bag into the garbage can.  This represents those with a worldly focus who will be going to hell.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t want be discarded like an “Old Maid Christian,” so I need to live my life accordingly.
Here is a related passage:
*Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.  So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.  Matthew, Chapter 13, verses 47-50.

Because this example of how I’ve applied these Bible passages to my life only focused on a portion of the passages, 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. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Covering Our Ears

Therefore speak I to them in parables; because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.  And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.  But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.  For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.  Matthew, Chapter 13, verses 13-17.
I’ve walked up to a child who was upset.  I had planned to distract them from their anger by telling them the class was going to do something fun like cook or do a craft, but they were so angry that they couldn't hear what I was going to tell them.  When they saw me approaching, they covered their ears and started making sounds to block out anything I might say.  I usually walk away thinking that it’s their loss, because they miss out on the fun activity that I was going to tell them about.
It’s a shame that there are still some who aren’t open to hearing that Jesus is our Savior.  They are the ones who will miss out on the opportunity for Salvation, which is sad.  It’s difficult to get through to people when they have deliberately closed their minds, eyes and ears to what we have to share.

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. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Have I Become Apathetic?

And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull. They gave Him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when He had tasted thereof, He would not drink. And they crucified Him, and parted His garments, casting lots that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted My garments among them, and upon My vesture did they cast lots. Matthew 27, verses 33-35.

I realize that I have stated on the Bible-Passages Blog that I was posting on Monday and Thursday mornings. I would be remiss as a Christian Author and Blogger if I didn't make note of this special occasion. Am I speaking of the hunting of eggs with baskets? Of course not.

After walking all that way with His cross, whether He was carrying it or had help, He had to be exhausted, but Jesus denied the drink they offered Him. I had never really thought much about this particular passage before, but Jesus didn't do anything that would have made His suffering easier. He was dedicated to giving His life for us and our sins, not minimizing the experience, no matter how painful and gut-wrenching it may be. Jesus knew in advance what was going to befall Him, yet He chose to do it anyway.

The thing I have to ask, "Do I show the same dedication for Him?" I am saddened to say, "No." I was sitting during the Good Friday service which was very moving, thinking of a purchase I want to make. I would bring myself back to focus on what Christ has done for me, only to be drawn back to the thought that maybe I could buy this thing at a local thrift shop.

I had originally planned to stop by the thrift shop after the noon church service in order to see if they had the object I wanted. I decided not to, because I had let something worldly get in between my relationship with God. I decided to go home, read the part of Matthew that related to Christ's crucifixion in order to better focus on this meaninfgul event.

As I read, instead of being moved as I normally am, I was just reading words. I don't want to become apathetic, feeling indifference when I'm reading how Christ gave His life for me. I want to focus on how He chose to give His life knowing that friends would betray Him, He would be spit upon, hit, taunted, and disrespected. They even cast lots for His clothing. He sacraficed His life, even for someone like me who let something worldly get in the way of embracing the gift He so freely gave me and chose to do nothing to minimize the true experience of providing for my salvation.

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, April 5, 2012

The Situation in a Whole Other Ballpark

Then was brought unto Him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and He healed him, insomuch that the blind and the dumb both spake and saw.  And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the Son of David?  But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This Fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.  And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?  And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out?  therefore they shall be your judges.  But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.  Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man?  and then he will spoil his house.  He that is not with Me is against Me; and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth abroad.  Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.  And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.  Matthew, Chapter 12, verses 22-32.
I found that my students had their limits.  They may have tolerated someone calling them names and teasing them, but once someone said something hateful about their Mother, it put the situation in a whole other ballpark.  Well, I think Jesus is responding in a similar fashion.  I think He’s saying something like, “O.K. I may have put up with you saying stupid things like I must be Satan, because I am able to heal the deaf and dumb.  It really doesn’t make any sense to start with.  A house divided against itself will fall, so Satan couldn’t cast himself out.
“You’re just looking for things to confuse people and discredit the miracles that I do to prove that I’m your Savior.  Well, I may have tolerated you belittling Me, but I sure won’t tolerate you belittling the Holy Ghost.  I’m warning you now; if you continue to do that, you will live to regret it because it’s intolerable!  Although you don’t know it yet, I’m here to save you from your sins, but people who say hateful things against the Holy Ghost won’t even get a second chance.  They will lose any hope for Salvation.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you!”

Because this example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life only focuses on a portion of the passage, 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, April 2, 2012

I Don't Want to be Going in Different Directions

For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath day.  And when He was departed thence, He went into their synagogue: And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered.  And they asked Him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath days? that they might accuse Him.  And He said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and it fall into a pit on the Sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out?  How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the Sabbath days.  Matthew, Chapter 12, verses 8-12.
This was of special interest to me.  I had read in several different sections in the Bible that we aren’t to do work on the Sabbath.  This isn’t something my particular church promotes, but it’s written in the Bible in so many places that I figured God wants people to pay attention to it.  I don’t really think it matters to God whether people choose Saturday or Sunday to worship Him, as long as we choose one of the days to abstain from work while focusing on Him and relaxing.  My impression is that God realized some people are workaholics and need some down time.  If people worked on the Sabbath and didn’t have a family day to relax and worship together, each family member might be likely to go off in a different direction.
I had a dilemma a few years ago that relates to this passage.  When I went to visit my elderly grandparents after church, I wanted to do household jobs that they couldn’t do but didn’t want to go against the Bible by working on the Sabbath.  This passage solved that dilemma, because Jesus said that it was alright to help someone on the Sabbath.  After realizing this, I was able to help my grandparents and not feel like I was compromising my beliefs.
Sometimes the related passages that I list below the main entry refer to the same general topic.  Other times the related passages that are below the main entry sound almost identical.  I feel it’s important for the reader to see these even though they may sound redundant.  Many of the disciples were with Jesus and got an opportunity to see and experience some of the same things.  They shared these observations from their perspective as God led them to write portions of the Bible.  Although these accounts may differ somewhat in wording, they are especially significant because they show that Jesus really did exist and is not a figment of someone’s imagination. 
Here are some related passages:
*And it came to pass also on another Sabbath, that He entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered.  And the scribes and Pharisees watched Him, whether He would heal on the Sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against Him.  But He knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst.  And he arose and stood forth.  Then said Jesus unto them.  I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the Sabbath days to do good, or to do evil?  to save life, or to destroy it?  And looking round about upon them all, He said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand.  And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other.  And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus.  And it came to pass in those days, that He went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.  And when it was day, He called Him His disciples: and of them He chose twelve, whom also He named apostles.  Luke, Chapter 6, verses 6-13.
*And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the Sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.  The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering? And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day? And when He had said these things, all His adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him.  Luke, Chapter 13, verses 14-17.
*And behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy.  And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath day?  And they held their peace.  And He took him, and healed him, and let him go; And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the Sabbath day?  And they could not answer Him again to these things.  Luke, Chapter 14, verses 2-6.
*If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on My holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour Him, not doing thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the Mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.  Isaiah, Chapter 58, verses 13-14.

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. 

How to Know Jesus Is God's Son

Christian Overeaters Past and Present Support Link

Christian Overeaters Past and Present Support Link
Read 100s of Christian Overeaters Past and Present Blog Posts and You Tube Videos

Zoe Ministry.org

Zoe Ministry.org
Empower Orphans to Raise Their Siblings

Heifer International.org

Heifer International.org
A Gift of an Animal Can Change People's Lives