Thursday, November 28, 2013

Resentful that We Don't Have the Newest and the Best of Worldly Items...

Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long suffering; Forbearing one another and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.  And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.  And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.  Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and Spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.  And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the Name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.  Colossians, Chapter 3, verses 12-17.

Actually, Christians are really fortunate, these days.  You don’t commonly hear of them throwing Christians to the lions anymore.  I think it’s more about us being willing to live as God wants us to by being examples of how He works in our lives, regardless of what other people think or say.
Are we resentful when we are presented with an opportunity to make a donation to a worthy cause or are we giving to others and thankful for what we have?  Do we get caught up in reading the latest fad or do we find time to grow in our faith as we read the Bible and learn more about God?  Do we get caught up in listening to music with a worldly theme or do we sing Spiritual songs and hymns?  Do we respond hatefully to cashiers who seem less than sensitive to our concerns or do we remember all our actions and words reflect our faith in God?  Are we resentful that we don’t have the newest and the best of worldly items like others or are we thankful for all God provides for us?  Food for thought!

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, November 25, 2013

Reflecting the Way God Has Changed My Life...

But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.  Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created Him.  Colossians, Chapter 3, verses 8-10.

They say you can’t tell a book by its cover, but this passage is kind of the reverse of that.  It tells me that people look at Christians to see if they really behave the way they think Christians should.  God reminds me now that I’m a Christian; I’m to behave as a Christian.  I’m not to be hateful, gossip, use vulgar speech or use God’s Name in vain (even though it has become so commonplace that people don’t realize that they’re even doing it.)  When people see me, my cover needs to reflect the way God has changed my life.

Here is a related passage:
*Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous.  He that committeth sin is of the devil: for the devil sinneth from the beginning.  For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.  Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for His seed remaineth in Him: and He cannot sin, because He is born of God.  In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.  1 John, Chapter 3, verses 7-10.

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, November 21, 2013

Going Off on Tangents and Getting Caught Up in Worldly Issues...

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.  Colossians, Chapter 3, verses 1-2.

I don’t know how you do it, but you should see me clean the house.  I start with one aspect of house cleaning.  I get off on a tangent when I see something that needs to be put away in another room.  When I’m in that room, I am reminded of something else that I forgot to do.  After I do that thing, I try to remember what I had originally started to do, because by that time, I've lost my focus.  Sometimes I remember and sometimes I don’t!  This passage reminds me that I am to continue to focus on God and His will for me instead of going off on tangents and getting caught up in worldly issues which can pull my focus away from 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.


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

Monday, November 18, 2013

Getting Caught Up in Counterproductive Philosophical Discussions...

As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him: Rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.  Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.  Colossians, Chapter 2: 6-8.

I’m not to get caught up in counterproductive philosophical discussions with other people regarding my faith.  There have been times when I have done this and I began to doubt my own faith or became uncertain about particular issues.
I have found that when I read the Bible, so many things are clarified for me in a way that no person was able to do.  I know these answers come from God and are not some person or group’s philosophical interpretation of the Bible.  My faith becomes vulnerable when I let other people tell me what I should and shouldn't believe and how I should do it.
It’s kind of like a painting.  You spend hours creating a painting and it’s just right for you.  You show it to some friends and they tell you that you should change the painting in a particular way.  You show the painting to an artist and he tells you that you should really change these other aspects of the painting.  Lastly, you show the painting to an art teacher.  He tells you that the painting really should be altered in some totally new way.  By the time you ask all of these different people’s advice, you can’t remember why you painted the painting in that particular fashion and what your original goals for the painting were.  Your mind is so muddled by all these interpretations of the right way to paint that the painting doesn’t seem like the same painting you felt excited about in the beginning.

As an artist, I have found it’s much better when I don’t ask for other people’s opinions and I paint for my own pleasure.  As a Christian, I have found I can’t get involved in other people’s philosophical discussions of how they think religion is supposed to be.  There are millions of different people with millions of different interpretations.  If I get caught up in listening to other people’s opinions, I can get confused and possibly lose my focus on God.  I find it much better to bow out of philosophical discussions and read the Bible on my own and to trust the instincts that God gives 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.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

God's Guidelines for Parents...

Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.  Honour thy father and mother; which is the first Commandment with promise;  That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.  And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.  Ephesians, Chapter 6, verses 1-4.

This passage also goes both ways.  Children are to be respectful of their parents and to obey their rules.  I think all too many parents only focus on this part of the passage.  They forget that they aren’t supposed to provoke their children to wrath; instead they are to nurture them.  This DOES mean that parents are to be supportive of their children, which does NOT mean that they are to raise their children by telling them how stupid they are and how they can’t do anything right.
This DOES mean that parents are to appropriately discipline their children, which does NOT mean that they are to take all their frustrations out on their children, yelling at them, hitting them or sexually abusing them.  This DOES mean that parents are to provide for their children’s physical and emotional needs and well-being, which does NOT mean that they are supposed to ignore their child’s basic needs.  This DOES mean that parents are to nurture their children, which does NOT mean overindulging them with their every wish.  This DOES mean that parents are to set clear and appropriate rules, which does NOT mean being harshly strict with them or being too lenient either.  This DOES mean that it’s reasonable for parents to expect children to do chores as a member of the household, but it does NOT mean that they are to expect their children to do all the household chores, or that the parents do everything for the child so the child never develops a sense of responsibility.
The child, under the appropriate conditions set forth in the Bible, is supposed to obey their parents, but the parent isn't to provoke them to anger and is to nurture them.  In other words, the parents and the children are to work together in mutual respect of one another and of God.

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, November 11, 2013

It Undermines the Marriage...

Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God: Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and He is the Saviour of the Body.  Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it: That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word.  That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be Holy and without blemish.  So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies.  He that loveth his wife loveth himself.  For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of His Body, of His Flesh, and of His Bones.  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.  This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.  Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.  Ephesians, Chapter 5, verses 20-33.

Ease up, now!  I realize that this appears to be a passage that sets the Women’s Movement back 100 years, but it’s not!  This passage isn't about women having the right to vote.  It’s not about women having equal pay for equal jobs.  This passage is about a husband and wife being respectful of each other’s needs and treating each other with the same courtesy and respect that they want.  God put man and woman together to support each other as a UNIT.  The marriage wasn't meant for two totally separate entities to be fighting to maintain their ability to be in control of the other.
When God says that the man is the head of the household doesn’t mean that the man is supposed to arbitrarily make all the decisions regardless of his wife’s opinions, or vice versa.  If the husband and the wife are to be a UNIT, it should involve discussions on decisions, being respectful of each person’s opinion.
If the man is to treat the woman as he would treat his own body and the woman is to do the same, then that means they should be respectful of each other in all matters.  A husband or a wife wouldn’t beat up their own body, so they should not beat up their spouse.  A husband or a wife wouldn’t be calling themselves names or saying put-downs about themselves, so they shouldn’t do it to their spouse-even if it’s funny.  It undermines the marriage.
A husband or a wife wouldn’t be yelling at themselves, so they shouldn’t do it to their spouse.  A husband or a wife wouldn’t deprive themselves of their basic needs, so they shouldn’t do it to their spouse.  A husband or a wife wouldn’t want their spouse to be unfaithful to them, so they shouldn’t do it to their spouse.  A husband or a wife wouldn’t be hateful and unforgiving to themselves and their own faults, so they shouldn’t do it to their spouse.  This passage has nothing to do with the Women’s Movement.  It has only to do with the husband and the wife treating each other with the same respect and support that they would want to get within the marriage.
Here is a related passage:
*And He answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?  Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh.  What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.  Matthew, Chapter 19, verses 4-6.

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, November 7, 2013

Singing is One More Form of Praying...

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and Spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.  Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Ephesians, Chapter 5, verses 19-20.

I know that over the years I have heard people comment on music, thinking a wide variety of things.  Some of these comments were less than supportive of music.  While this passage isn't speaking to all types of music for pleasure, it does sound like God likes us to be singing hymns and songs that focus on Him and our love for Him.
I love to sing old familiar hymns from time to time or make up songs which are prayers in my mind when I’m driving somewhere.  There are some songs that are supposed to be religious songs but come from a wide variety of religious beliefs, some of which aren't compatible with my belief in God.  So, I try to be careful, checking out the music I listen to, especially through the media.  I wouldn't want to find myself singing along with some song on the radio only to find out the person who wrote that song believes in Buddha.  That would mean I’m unknowingly singing along with a song about Buddha instead of God.  It pays to check things out.
One of the things to remember is that when we sing to God, it’s one more form of praying.  It’s another one of the many ways that we can glorify God and thank Him for all He’s done.

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, November 4, 2013

Getting Caught Up in Repetitive Social Drinking...

And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.  Ephesians 5: 18.

I know a lot of churches are against drinking.  I’m not especially fond of it myself and I’m very concerned for those who have family members who drink to excess.  I do toast the bride and groom at weddings, but I really just don’t like the taste of alcohol.  Based on this passage and several others in the Bible, I don’t think that having a drink every now and then is against God’s principles.  I think it’s that some people don’t just have one drink every now and then…or their every now and then becomes an all too regular pattern.  I think God doesn't want anyone to drink to excess or, for that matter, to do anything to excess.
I’m not including this verse to support “those who drink a little too regularly”.  That’s not what this is about.  I feel that it’s my privilege in writing this book to be able to convey things, to the best of my ability, that have influenced my life.  Knowing God gave me permission to have an occasional drink but not to do it to excess, has helped be a guide for my life.  I don’t think I have hardly ever had a second drink or a third.  I just don’t see any point in trying to find out just how many drinks it takes to lead to drinking in excess.  Getting caught up in repetitive social drinking would not make me a very good example of how God works 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.

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

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