Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Relying On God to Get Me Through the Tough Times

Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.  Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. 
2 Corinthians, Chapter 1, verses 2-4.

There were times in my life when things were not as smooth as they are now.  I was fortunate that I had family members and friends to comfort me and to remind me that God would get me through them…and He did!

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, August 26, 2013

Holding One of My Grandmother's Hands As She Passed Away...

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, my beloved brethren be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.  1 Corinthians, Chapter 15, verse 55-58.

I remember when my father and I were in the hospital with each of us -holding one of my grandmother’s hands as she passed away.  She didn’t fight it and she seemed to be at peace with the idea of joining God in heaven.
Here is a related passage:
*Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.  Matthew, Chapter 11, verses 28-30.

(This portion isn't in the book: Bible Passages That Can Influence Your Life. I was holding my grandmother's hand to be a comfort to her and to my father who was holding her other hand as his mother passed away. When she joined God, her hand became relaxed and at peace. She no longer was suffering. She no longer had pain. She was in the comfort of her Heavenly Father.)

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. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Not What We Look Like On the Outside to Others...

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.  Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself; is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the Truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.  Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.  1 Corinthians, Chapter 13, verses 1-9. 
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.  1 Corinthians, Chapter 13, verse 13.

I love this passage.  It tells me that I can profess to be a good Christian and do all kinds of things that look generous to others.  Unless I live the life of a Christian by being genuinely charitable in my actions, loving my neighbors, my enemies or those that believe differently than I do, then I’m all talk.
There was a song we learned in Vacation Bible School years ago called If You’re a Christian and You Know It.  Well, it says that if you were a Christian then your face would really show it, clap your hands.  I think it should say instead that if you were a Christian, then your life will really show it.  That’s the true indicator of being a Christian, not what we look like on the outside to others.

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, August 19, 2013

Some Humbling Time to Think About All My Shortcomings...

For as often as ye eat this Bread, and drink this Cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till He comes.  Wherefore whosoever shall eat this Bread, and drink this Cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the Body and Blood of the Lord.  But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that Bread, and drink of that Cup.  For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s Body.  For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.  For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.  But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.  1 Corinthians, Chapter 11, verses 26-32.

God wants me to do some self-reflection before I have communion.  It’s important, especially for “Self-righteous Christians” like me, to have some humbling time to think about all my shortcomings.  It doesn’t only mean the major vices.  Some of us get big heads because we don’t think we have those obvious vices that others might have.  We often need to be taken down a notch because we are just as sinful.
We aren’t to think our sins aren’t as great as someone else’s and feel that we are more worthy than they are.  We are just as sinful by the subtle things we allow to creep into our lives.  These keep us from being the Christian that God wants us to be.  Times when we were less than patient and loving with our families, the times we yelled at someone on the freeway, the times we were gossiping with others, etc.
God is saying it is better for us to have periodic reflective time now, judging ourselves rather than continuing to live our sinful, self-righteous lives.  That is preferable to finding out later from God on the Last Day that we didn’t make the “final cut.”  That’s one eye opener I don’t want, so I need to start by making changes in my life today!

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, August 15, 2013

Not Judging People Who Have Gifts I Don't Understand...

There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.  There are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.  And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.  But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal: For to one is given by the Spirit the Word of wisdom; to another Word of knowledge by the same Spirit.  To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:  But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will.  For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.  For by One Spirit are we all baptized into One Body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into One Spirit.  For the Body is not one member, but many.  1 Corinthians, Chapter 12, verses 4-14.

God wants us to know that He gives everyone particular talents in which to glorify Him.  He doesn’t want us to become big headed thinking we are better than someone who doesn’t have our particular talent.  God tells us that we are all working together as one unit on His behalf.  Similarly, there are many different body parts that work together for the good of the whole, just as each member of the body has a different function.  No particular body member is greater than another.
This particular passage talks about speaking in tongues as being one of the gifts.  I don’t really know enough about this to really address it.  What I do know is this passage tells me that although God may have given me particular talents to glorify Him, I should not be judging people who have talents that I don’t understand.  Just because their talents are different, doesn’t make them wrong.  Christians should be supportive of one another, regardless.

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, August 12, 2013

Rather Than Getting Ahead in the World...

All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.  Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth.  1 Corinthians, Chapter 10, verses 23-24.

I think God says that “Balance in All Things” is good.  Having money, a house and a car are alright to own, but too much focus on any of these can lead us astray.
In addition to that, focusing on worldly goods makes us poor examples of how God works in our lives.  We are supposed to focus on helping others rather than “Getting Ahead in the World.”

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, August 8, 2013

Temptations That Satan Dangles in Front of Me...

Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.  Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.  1 Corinthians, Chapter 10, verses 11-13.

As Christians, we will have our share of temptations.  Do you really think Satan just sits back and says, “Oh, they’re Christians.  I’ll leave them alone.  Well, God’s got one up on me.”  That isn’t my impression of Satan.  I feel he tries to lead Christians astray in a wide variety of ways.  Sometimes they are really obvious ways like: money, drinking, drugs, gambling, infidelity, etc.
Sometimes, Satan works in very subtle ways like: eating, control issues, gossiping, etc.  God is telling us that although He knows we are going to be tempted, we will never be tempted beyond our capabilities as long as we focus on Him.  He will never leave us, but we are in control of the choices we make.  I pray that I always choose God rather than the temptations that Satan dangles in front of me.

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, August 5, 2013

Is a Person a Christian Just Because They Say They Are?

And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.  For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.  But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart.  A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.  For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man whether thou shalt save thy wife?  1 Corinthians, Chapter 7, verses 13-16.

God gives His approval for staying in a good marriage with a non-Christian spouse, because you might be able to lead your spouse to Christianity through your relationship with God.  On the other hand, I think it says that if you’re in an unhealthy relationship, whether the person does or doesn’t profess to be a Christian, God absolves us from our marital commitment.
Now, some may think this passage doesn’t apply to them because God only absolves them if their partner is a non-Christian.  Do you really think a person is a Christian just because they say they are?  Don’t you think they are supposed to be a “Put Their Money Where Their Mouth Is Christian,” by really living a life that reflects their belief in Jesus?
So, if a spouse drinks up all the money in the house and there’s no money to pay for food or clothes for the children, do you really think God considers this person a Christian?  If a spouse is so involved in drugs or other vices and causes constant turmoil in the family, do you really think God considers this person a Christian?  If a spouse has a hard day at work and hits the kids or you, do you really think God considers this person a Christian just because they profess to be one?
I think that God is saying the “till death do you part” portion of your marriage vow doesn’t apply because God said, A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases.”  Sure, God would like all marriages to work out and doesn’t want people to leave just because they feel they may have missed out on all the fun that they think their single friends are having.  That isn’t what this is discussing.
God loves the non-Christian, the alcoholic, the drug addict and the abusive person, all of which can turn their lives around and become Christian.  This would have to be more than just saying they are a Christian.  They would have to really live their lives as a Christian.
Sometimes we just aren’t the ones who can bring these people to God.  Male or female, we have to be able to assess whether we are in a healthy environment for ourselves and our children.  If we aren’t, we are absolved from the “till death do you part” commitment, because being in an unhealthy or life-threatening environment isn’t what God would want for any of us.

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, August 1, 2013

Although You May Have the Best of Intenetions...

I wrote to you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.  But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.  For what have I to do to judge them also that are without?  Do not ye judge them that are within?  But them that are without God judgeth.  Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.  1 Corinthians, Chapter 5:9-13. 

I think God talks to us through Paul like a parent talks to their teenager about people who might be poor influences on them.  A parent might say something like, “I think it’s very important for you to be cautious about what type of people you hang around with at school.  Now, I want you to be polite to everyone, because we aren’t to be judgmental of others, but we are supposed to be aware of the lifestyle choices others make.
“Although you may have the best of intentions, sometimes other people’s bad habits rub off on us even without our being aware of it.  So, it’s important that you don’t hang with kids that you think do drugs, drink, and party or are rude and crude.  I know it’s hard because some of the kids who make poor choices are the ones who seem the most popular.  I hope you know that I’m only telling you this because I love you.  I just don’t want to see you get involved with the wrong type of people.”  Well, I think God often guides us like a loving parent, as well.
Here is a related passage:
*Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath Light with darkness?  And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?  2 Corinthians, Chapter 6:14-15.

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. 

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