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

Monday, October 15, 2012

Getting My Christian Nose Out of Joint

And He said, A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me.  And he divided unto them his living.  And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.  And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.  And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine, And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.  And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.  And he arose, and came to his father.  But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.  And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.  But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: and bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.  And they began to be merry.  Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing.  And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.  And he said unto him, thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.  And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and entreated him.  And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy Commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.  And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.  It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again, and was lost, and is found.  Luke, Chapter 15, verses 11-32.

I could get my Christian nose out of joint from this passage, but I do the same thing in the classroom.  I love teaching kids, but where I get the most personal reward isn’t from the gifted kids who could be successful on their own; it’s from helping students who thought they weren’t competent.  I try to help them find out how capable they really are.  I guess God likes seeing people turn their lives and their focus around, in somewhat a similar manner.


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 11, 2012

The Stuff in My Life Becomes Too Important

So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple.  Luke, Chapter 14, verse 33.

I spent all day yesterday packing up my classroom.  My husband has taken a job in a state that we had previously lived in.  I thought it would only take a few hours to finish packing, but it was 7:00 p.m. when my husband and I finally pulled away from the school.
I was amazed because I had given so many teaching resources away during the year and still had so much stuff.  One of the teachers came by and made a comment about how I should get rid of all the stuff.  I was appalled with the idea.  I couldn’t get rid of all my stuff.  It was important to me!
The stuff in my life becomes too important and gets in the way of my relationship with God.  I would hate for Jesus to tell me that I couldn’t come to heaven to be with Him because my stuff had become more important than He was.
I had to come back and add this to what I had written this morning.  My husband came home and I was preparing to paint the bathroom before we put our house on the market.  I said something about taking all my paint to our new house so I can try my hand at sponge painting the next house we buy.  He said it would take too much room and we can get more paint after we move.  I got upset with him for even thinking of getting rid of it.  Then I realized that I hadn’t learned very much from writing about this earlier.  I was still having a hard time letting go of stuff!
God had perfect timing by having me deal with this particular passage right now.  It wasn’t one week earlier or a month later.  It was the exact same day that I am having stuff withdrawal issues.  Isn’t it wonderful that God could time this so precisely?  He knows as well as I do, I really need to continue to work on this one!!!!!
Here are some related passages:
*In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back.  Remember Lot’s wife.  Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.  Luke, Chapter 17, verses 31-33.
*Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.  Matthew, Chapter 24, verses 17-18.


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. 
Thanks for putting your cursor on comments below to share. Debbie

Not to Gain Personal Recognition

Then said He also to him that bade Him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbors; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompense be made thee.  But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.  Luke, Chapter 14, verses 12-14.

This passage lets me know that when I do nice things for others I need to make sure that I’m doing them for people who really need it and not to do it to gain some sort of personal recognition for my actions.
It’s sometimes a hard one to live by because it makes me look at my motives for doing favors.  Yes, I have found there have been times when I was choosing to do things for someone to draw attention to myself.  Now, I’m trying to be more discreet in my favors to avoid this self-focus.

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, October 8, 2012

Being So Big Headed That I Lose My Humility

For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.  Luke, Chapter 14, verse 11.

In the previous three verses in the Bible, Jesus was talking about a wedding to teach us to have humility.  Rather than go to a wedding and sit in a seat of honor, only to be embarrassed when asked to sit in a position of lower status, it was better to be humble and sit in the lower status seats. and then, to be asked to sit in the position of honor.  I think He was trying to convey that He doesn’t want us getting so self-righteous and big-headed that we lose our focus and humility.
Here are some related passages:
*But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.  Matthew, Chapter 19, verse 30.
*But Jesus called them unto Him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.  But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;  And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.  Matthew, Chapter 20, verses 25-28.
*And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest.  And He said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.  But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.  For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? Is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as He that serveth.  Luke, Chapter 22, verses 24-27.


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

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Wandering Off- Losing Our Focus

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!  Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see Me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord.  Luke, Chapter 13, verses 34-35.

When I was reading my Bible this morning, I was thinking about how God uses picturesque language throughout the Bible to give us a mental picture of what He is trying to convey to us.  This passage is a good example of that.
I can picture a mother hen spreading her wings trying to focus her children to go in the correct direction, just as Jesus does for us.  Do we listen?  No, just like kids we say we want to do things our own way and tend to wander off, losing our focus.  Now, when something traumatic happens in our lives or the lives of our loved ones, BAM, we are right back on target, asking God to help with this situation.
On Judgment Day, do you think Jesus will have pity on us who decide at that moment that we are finally ready to become Christian when our lives haven’t reflected that dedication all along????
Here is a related passage:
*O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!  Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.  For I say unto you, Ye shall not see Me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord.  Matthew, Chapter 23, verses 37-39.

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, October 1, 2012

A Bird in the Hand Christian

Then said one unto Him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And He said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.  When once the Master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and He shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.  But He shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.  Luke, Chapter 13, verses 23-27.

This reminds me of when I was heavy and there were people that weren’t really friendly to me.  When I lost the weight, all of a sudden these same people were much friendlier.  I didn’t really want to be close friends with them at that point.  They had an opportunity to be friendly with me before when I was heavy, and they hadn’t chosen to.
Jesus may be telling us something very similar about putting off our decision to become active Christians.  If we don’t acknowledge Him when He calls us, maybe He won’t remember us when we get around to asking Him for help.
Something unexpected like an accident might happen where we don’t ever get another chance.  If I’m a “Bird in the Hand Christian,” I need to develop my relationship with God now, while I have the chance.
Here is a related passage:
*Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto Life, and few there be that find it.  Matthew, Chapter 7, 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. Debbie


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

Translate

Zoe Ministry.org

Zoe Ministry.org
Empower Orphans to Raise Their Siblings

AmeriCares.org

AmeriCares.org
Saving Lives World Wide

Heifer International.org

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

Link