Monday, September 28, 2015

Not Just a "Holiday Christian", Living Life in the Fast Lane, and Are We Fishers? Posts

Since Bible Passages That Can Influence Your Life, is now on line through individual posts, I am now putting several links together for each post. I found groupings of three posts worked well for anyone interested in using these for a Bible study group.  Debbie Seiling


And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger: because there was no room for them in the inn.  Luke, Chapter 2, verse 7.

Royalty usually are shown living in castles or expensive mansions.  I think it’s difficult for today’s royalty to move around without lots of Paparazzi following them everywhere.  It’s to the point that they can’t even go for a walk without people snapping their picture.  Customers buy up these magazines, because they are in awe of royalty or celebrities, of one kind or another.
Jesus came into this world in very humble surroundings.  There was no fanfare or notoriety, unless you figure an angel notifying the shepherds and a star guiding the wise men, fits into this category.  Jesus lived a humble life.  He didn’t live in a castle with great wealth and servants even though He could have chosen to.  In fact, He didn’t even own property. 
And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man hath not where to lay His head.  Matthew, Chapter 8, verse 20.
He could have chosen to lead the good life, but chose poverty and persecution for me.  Do I deserve it?  No way!  Nothing I ever do will be anything close to earning all that Jesus went though on my behalf.  The only thing I can do is make sure that I’m not just a “Holiday Christian,” only focusing on God or only attending church on religious holidays.  The only way I can thank Him is by trying to live my life as an example, so others can come to know Him as I do.
Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.  For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.  Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at , or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.  And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.  Mark 13, verses 33-37.  There is a similar passage in Luke, Chapter 12, verses 42-47.

This passage helps me realize that I’m supposed to live the life God wants, all the time.  I could have a more self-involved attitude where I wanted to be worldly now, focusing my time and attention on earning the most I could, attending all-night parties, living life in the fast lane, with heavy drinking and recreational drugs, thinking I could focus my attention on my faith later on in life.
I might not ever get a second chance to do that.  I could be in an accident five minutes from now or the world could end.  Who knows?  Only God does and I may never get another chance to turn my life around.
Do you think the owner will continue to employ the servant who fell asleep while he was supposed to guard the owner’s home?  I doubt it.  Well, God wants us to live the life of a Christian all the time, not sometime later, when we feel like settling down a little more.  That time may never come.
This is in no way meant to imply people who have lived their lives in the fast lane can’t go to heaven.  The operative word is “lived.”  This means the person has made a choice to change their life around because of their faith in Jesus and start living the life of a Christian.  None of us knows when God is going to come for us, so we can’t put off these choices indefinitely.  We need to put a lot of prayerful thought into whether we think God would be pleased with the life we are leading? Click on the Post title to read some related Bible passages.
And He entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s and prayed Him that He would thrust out a little from the land.  And He sat down and taught the people out of the ship.  Now when He had left speaking, He said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.  And Simon answering said unto Him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at Thy Word I will let down the net.  And when they had this done, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.  And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them.  And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.  When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.  For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon.  And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. Luke, Chapter 5, verses 3-10.

Jesus impressed me when He turned the work of these three gentlemen from being fishers, who supply man’s human needs, to being fishers of men, who supply man’s spiritual needs.  I think Jesus wants us to be fishers of men, too.  We need to each listen to the instincts that He gives us about this so we can do His will.

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.

These are other blogs I felt led to create:

This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 
Please click on comments below to share your suggestions. Thanks! Debbie

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Just When It's Convenient Christians, So Others Think We're Righteous, and Not Willing to Leave Things for the Needy Posts

Since Bible Passages That Can Influence Your Life, is now on line through individual posts, I am now putting several links together for each post. I found groupings of three posts worked well for anyone interested in using these for a Bible study group.  Debbie Seiling


And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, Which is the first Commandment of all?  And Jesus answered him, The first of all the Commandments is: Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God, is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first Commandment.  And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.  There is none other Commandment greater than these.  Mark, Chapter 12, verses 28-31.

I’m reminded that I can’t be a “Just When It’s Convenient Christian.”  I’m to make my faith a priority.  God wants me to treat others nicely, even if…Even if they are rude to me…Even if they get the job I wanted…Even if they have more money than I do and didn’t deserve it…Even if they take advantage of me…Even if they are hateful…Even if they talk down to me…Even if they make really poor lifestyle choices…Even if they cut in front of me on the freeway…Even if they don’t believe the way I do…Even if they are a telemarketer and don’t let me off the phone when I want to get off.  (I really have to work on this one!)  If I get caught up in being resentful, rude or hateful, I’m not being the example that God wants me to be of how He works in my life.Click on the Post title to read a related Bible passage.

And He said unto them in His Doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces, And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts: Which devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation.  Mark, Chapter 12, verses 38-40.

This reinforces that God wants us to live our faith.  We are to be good examples of this faith in all that we do, not just at church by doing showy things so others think we are righteous.  Our faith in God should be something that is an integral part of our daily lives, tempered with discreetness and humility. Click on the Post title to read a related Bible passage.


 And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.  And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.  and He called unto Him His disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in out of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.  Mark, Chapter 12, verses 41-44.

I get very self-righteous thinking about how I do nice things for people and donate to the needy.  I was on a work mission with our church’s youth group in JuarezMexico.  Someone in the group told us how they were going to leave behind their clothes to donate to the people of that community.  I thought about it awhile and decided it was a nice thing to do.  So, I looked at things I didn’t mind donating.  Basically, they were the things more worn and less desirable.  Then this passage flashed back in my mind, and I realized I was only giving to others out of my excess where it still felt comfortable.  I was not giving to others out of my need.  It took me a long time and a lot of prayer with God as I agonized over this-mostly because my favorite nightgown was in my suitcase.
If I had just left a few things to donate to the people of the community, no one would have been the wiser.  If I had donated everything I owned except my favorite nightgown, no one would have even known, but God and I knew.  The thing that bothered me the most was how long it took before I was finally willing to leave all my things for the needy.  It showed me how worldly I had become.  That certain possessions mattered to me, appalled me, because I had always prided myself in being a “Good Christian.”
Obviously, we can fool ourselves.  I’m so thankful that God provided this opportunity for personal growth.  I still find it easier to give to others out of the excesses of my time, money and possessions.  I have to be reminded that I’m not truly giving until I give out of my need, or at least closer to it. Click on the Post title to read related Bible passages.

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.

These are other blogs I felt led to create:

This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 
Please click on comments below to share your suggestions. Thanks! Debbie

Monday, September 21, 2015

I Shouldn't Have a 'Plan B' Ready, I've Been a "Hold Grudges Against Others Christian", As the Angels Which Are in Heaven Posts

Since Bible Passages That Can Influence Your Life, is now on line through individual posts, I am now putting several links together for each post. I found groupings of three posts worked well for anyone interested in using these for a Bible study group.  Debbie Seiling


And Jesus, answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.  For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.  Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.  Mark, Chapter 11, verses 22-24.

This reminds me of how I ask God to take care of me, but I’m really establishing a plan in my mind of how to handle the situation or I’m continuing to worry about it.  It’s like I’m saying, “God, I want You to handle this situation but just in case You don’t take care of me, I will have a ‘Plan B’ ready or worry until it’s resolved.”  It’s just like telling God I don’t really trust Him to take care of me.  I need to be much more aware of displaying total trust in God to take care of my needs, concerns and my family. Click on the Post title to read some related Bible passages.

And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have aught against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive your trespasses.  But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.  Mark, Chapter 11, verses 25-26.

This passage makes me think I’m a “Hold Grudges Against Others Christian,” because I remember insensitive or hurtful things people have done to me.  God doesn’t want me to hold onto these feelings.  I’m sure I have done my share of insensitive and hurtful things to others in my life.  I sure don’t want to be judged by God with the same harsh standards that I impose on others.


Master, Moses wrote unto us, If a man’s brother die, and leave his wife behind him, and leave no children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.  Now there were seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and dying left no seed.  And the second took her, and died, neither left he any seed: and the third likewise.  And the seven had her, and left no seed: last of all the woman died also.  In the resurrection therefore, when they shall rise, whose wife shall she be of them?  for the seven had her to wife.  And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the Scriptures, neither the power of God?  For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.  Mark, Chapter 12, verses 19-25.
This was really interesting to me, especially because I have remarried and my first husband was not a very nice person.  This is a relief, because now I know we won’t be in heaven joined with our past or present spouses. Click on the Post title to read a related Bible passage.

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.

These are other blogs I felt led to create:

This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 
Please click on comments below to share your suggestions. Thanks! Debbie

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Starting Out Well-Intentioned, Too Quick to Fret and Worry, and Enough is Enough! Posts

Since Bible Passages That Can Influence Your Life, is now on line through individual posts, I am now putting several links together for each post. I found groupings of three posts worked well for anyone interested in using these for a Bible study group.  Debbie Seiling


Then He taught them many things by parables, and said to them in His doctrine: Hearken: Behold, there went out a sower to sow.  And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.  And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:  But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.  And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.  And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.  And He said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.  Mark Chapter 4, verses 2- 9. 
And He said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?  The sower soweth the Word.  And these are they by the way side, where the Word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the Word that was sown in their hearts.  And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who when they have heard the Word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the Word’s sake immediately they are offended.  And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the Word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the Word, and it becometh unfruitful.  And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the Word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.  And He said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick?  For there is nothing hid which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad.  If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.  Mark, Chapter 4, verses 13-23.

Since many who hear the message of Salvation, start out well-intentioned but are led astray, it’s important for me to not take my faith for granted.  It’s something that needs to be an integral part of my everyday life.  I should live my faith outwardly and develop it further so I don’t become vulnerable to the influences of others and the world. Click on the Post title to read a related Bible passage.


He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat.  And they say unto Him, Shall we go and buy two hundred penny worth of bread, and give them to eat?  He saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? Go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes.  And He commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass.  And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties.  And when He had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, He looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to His disciples to set before them: and the two fishes divided He among them all.  And they did all eat, and were filled.  And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes.  And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men.  Mark, Chapter 6, verses 37-44.
I had always enjoyed reading about this miracle that Jesus did, but I was really surprised when I was reading the Bible and found there was another time Jesus fed the multitudes.  At first, I thought it was a different disciple telling about the loaves and fishes and was just off on some of the basic facts a little.  Then after reading the Bible many times, I realized it was Mark who told about the first feeding of the five thousand and he was the same one who told about the feeding of four thousand.  These were two different, but similar miracles that Jesus did.
In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called His disciples unto Him, and saith unto them, I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with Me three days, and have nothing to eat: And if I send them away fasting to their own houses, they will faint by the way: for divers of them came from far.  And His disciples answered Him, From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness? And He asked them, How many loaves have ye?  And they said, Seven.  And He commanded the people to sit down on the ground: and He took the seven loaves, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave to His disciples to set before them; and they did set them before the people.  And they had a few small fishes and He blessed, and commanded to set them also before them.  So they did eat, and were filled, and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets.  And they that had eaten were about four thousand: and He sent them away.  Mark, Chapter 8, verses 1-9.
This amazed me, but I still figured I must be mistaken.  This next passage, also written by Mark, puts the whole thing together.
And He left them, and entering into the ship again departed to the other side.  Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, neither had they in the ship with them more than one loaf.  And He charged them saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.  And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have no bread.  And when Jesus knew it. He saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread?  Perceive ye not yet, neither understand? Have ye your heart yet hardened?  Having eyes, see ye not? And having ears, hear ye not? And do ye not remember?  When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up?  They say unto Him, Twelve.  And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up?  And they say Seven.  And He said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?  Mark, Chapter 8, verses 13-21.
I know, I know! This may not be the most profound religious experience you have ever had.  I just thought it was interesting to know that there were two totally different times that Jesus provided food for the multitudes and Mark told about both of them.  It influenced me to start reading more in-depth to not miss the details.  Then, Jesus refers to both miracles when He asks His Disciples why they were so worried about having enough food; didn’t they remember the two recent miracles He had done in their midst?
I guess the lesson I would get out of all of this is to remember that God does so much for me.  He provides for my every need.  He gets me through all types of situations.  Now, do I remember these things when I’m faced with uncertainty?  Nope!  Just like the disciples, I’m too quick to fret and worry about things, forgetting God will provide for all my needs and take care of me, if I let Him. Click on the Post title to read related Bible passages.


And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple.  And He taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.  Mark, Chapter 11, verses 15-17.

I think this passage shows a time where even Jesus says through His actions, “Enough Is Enough!”  It really got me thinking.  Generally, I hide behind my Christian faith to justify my passive interactions.  In this instance, Jesus didn’t handle the situation in a passive manner.  It leads me to believe there are times that stronger actions are needed to get the point across!  Anything less, would be condoning the inappropriate behavior or situation.
This reminds me of a Cultural Diversity training my husband arranged for co-workers.  They were talking about being in a situation where someone is putting down others whether for racial, gender, sexual reasons or otherwise.  They said to just stand there and not say anything is the same as participating in the put-downs, because our lack of action condones that behavior.  They said people should actually take a stand and tell the ones making the rude comments that we find them objectionable and would prefer that they discontinue them immediately.
Now, the passive side of me that doesn’t want to stand out in a crowd has to come to terms with this one.  Not only am I drawing attention to myself, I am also risking the possibility that someone may get angry with me or disapprove of my opinion.  Jesus took an active stand on an important issue and I think that I need to work on being able to confront people who are belittling others, despite my insecurities.  Jesus didn’t stop and think, “Now, if I tell them to quit selling all their wares in the church, they may be angry with Me.  Maybe I shouldn’t risk this because they might not like Me anymore.”  He took action because He knew it was wrong!  I need to take action because I know belittling others is wrong! Click on the post title to read other related Bible passages.

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.

These are other blogs I felt led to create:

This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 
Please click on comments below to share your suggestions. Thanks! Debbie

Monday, September 14, 2015

God Doesn't Want Us to Be Taken In, I Don't Want to Be With the Goats, and Wonderful News!!! Posts

Since Bible Passages That Can Influence Your Life, is now on line through individual posts, I am now putting several links together for each post. I found groupings of three posts worked well for anyone interested in using these for a Bible study group.  Debbie Seiling


And many false prophets shall rise, and deceive many.  And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.  And this Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.  Matthew, Chapter 24, verses 11-14.

Many will try to entice us to believe things that won’t lead us to Salvation.  They will encourage us to belong to churches that sound like they follow God’s Will, but really misconstrue what is said in the Bible.  God doesn’t want us to be taken in by these people, but wants us to continue to share His Word with others. Click on the Post title link to read other related Bible passages.

When the Son of Man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory: And before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a Shepherd divideth His sheep from the goats: And He shall set the sheep on His right Hand, but the goats on the left.  Then shall the King say unto them on His right Hand, Come ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungered, and ye gave Me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took Me in: Naked, and ye clothed Me: I was sick, and ye visited Me: I was in prison, and ye came unto Me.  Then shall the righteous answer Him, saying, Lord, when saw we Thee an hungered, and fed Thee? or thirsty, and gave Thee drink?  When saw we Thee a stranger, and took, Thee in?  or naked, and clothed Thee?  Or when saw we Thee sick, or in prison, and came unto Thee?  And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.  Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was hungered, and ye gave Me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took Me not in: naked, and ye clothed Me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited Me not.  Then shall they also answer Him, saying, Lord when saw we Thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto Thee?  Then shall He answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to Me.  And these shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal.  Matthew, Chapter 25, verses 31-46.
We aren’t just supposed to say, “I am a Christian so I will have Salvation regardless of my actions.”  There is a passage in Romans that talks about whether we are saved by our works alone, which is definitely not going to happen.
Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin: but yield yourselves unto God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the Law, but under grace.  What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the Law, but under grace?  God forbid!  Romans, Chapter 6, verses 13-15.
We are to be examples of how God works in our lives, not just to those we consider worthy of our attention.  We are to include those who are down and out and those that society deems as unworthy.
And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.  He is not here: for He is risen, as He said.  Come see the place where the Lord lay.  And go quickly, and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead; and, behold, He goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see Him: lo, I have told you.  And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring His disciples word.  Matthew, Chapter 28, verses 5-8.

A little bit ago, I was reading the part of the Bible that makes me the saddest, where they spit on Jesus and mock Him when He’s preparing to give His life for our sins…even for those that treated Him so terribly.  Now, I’m reading this part which makes me exceedingly happy.  I get goose bumps thinking of how amazing it must have been to be there when Jesus had arisen just as He had told them, such wonderful news that defies all explanation!

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.

These are other blogs I felt led to create:

This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 
Please click on comments below to share your suggestions. Thanks! Debbie

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Freeloader Christians, Highest Regard, and Are We Different Outside the Church? Posts

Since Bible Passages That Can Influence Your Life, is now on line through individual posts, I am now putting several links together for each post. I found groupings of three posts worked well for anyone interested in using these for a Bible study group.  Debbie Seiling


And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.  Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.  But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.  But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.  Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.  Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.  So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.  And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment?  And he was speechless.  Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into the outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  For many are called, but few are chosen.  Matthew, Chapter 22, verses 1-14.
I guess I’m on a party theme.  This passage is about a wedding, but when I went to explain this, the thought in my mind is to compare it to a surprise birthday party for your boss.
This is a black tie affair and you’ve sent out invitations to all your co-workers, asking them to R.S.V.P.  It’s several days before the party, but only a few people have called to say they are coming.  You have reserved this big banquet hall and have paid for the caterers.  Getting nervous, you call the people who haven’t responded.  Well, you get one lame excuse after another.  You overhear a couple of co-workers in the restroom saying that they are going to a golf tournament that day, but they told you they had a sick family member.  You decide very quickly that you can do without friends like that, but your boss will be embarrassed if the banquet hall is almost empty.  You don’t want him to be humiliated, so you think of a plan, fast!
You decide to go invite the people who work in the stock room and the mail room.  They hardly ever interact with your boss, but it’s better than having an empty banquet hall.  You give them the invitations, with directions to the banquet hall and busy yourself with all the last minute preparations. Now you can relax, because you know the banquet hall will be full of people.  You start to realize that these lower status people are more dependable and more deserving than your so-called friends who gave you lame excuses.
On the day of the surprise party you welcome all the loyal stock room and mail room workers.  You thank them for coming and tell them where to hide to surprise the boss.  Just then, some guy comes in dressed in khaki shorts and a Polo shirt.  You ask him what he could have been thinking about when he decided to come dressed like that.  You tell him to leave, because he’s not welcome at this black tie affair.  Those who put some effort in and did what they were supposed to were welcome regardless of their financial or social standing.  You don’t want a freeloader who doesn’t even put the effort into properly getting ready for the party.
Well, sometimes I’m a “Freeloader Christian,” too.  Jesus asks all of us to put some effort into being one of His chosen few.  He even gave His own life for us, so we could be invited to His party in heaven on the Last Day.  Otherwise, we wouldn’t have qualified for an invitation of that magnitude.  Some of us will do our part, although we can never truly earn admission to such a swanky affair.  Jesus did that for us.  We have a free ride on His coat tails, provided we aren’t being an ungrateful freeloader.
Well, Jesus calls each and every one of us, but how many of us come up with reasons why we can’t go to church, why we are too busy to pray or too embarrassed to let others know that we are Christian?  Well, if we don’t respond when He calls us, He will invite others to take our place in Heaven with Him.  That’s not what I want! Click on the Post title to read a related Bible passage.


But be not ye called Rabbi: for One is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.  And call no man your father upon the earth: for One is your Father, which is in heaven.  Neither be ye called masters: for One is your Master, even Christ.  Matthew, Chapter 23, verses 8-10.

God wants us to hold Him in highest regard and no other.

(I read this before I posted it and wondered if I should add more than the one sentence I have in the book. I think that, sometimes, God wants things simple to make a point.)


Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Matthew, Chapter 23, verse 23.
Of course we don’t give spices when they pass the offering plate around at church.  This passage reminds me of some who put large sums of money in as an indicator of their faith in God, yet their daily actions show quite the opposite.  Outside of church, they may be critical and judgmental of others, not generous to those less fortunate or unforgiving of others.  The thing that matters to God is how we live our lives as examples of His positive influence on us, not how much we put in the offering plate. Click on the Post title to read some related Bible passages.

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.

These are other blogs I felt led to create:

This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 
Please click on comments below to share your suggestions. Thanks! Debbie

Monday, September 7, 2015

Holding on to Petty Grudges, Are People on Welfare Rich?, and Dragging Your Feet Christians Posts

Since Bible Passages That Can Influence Your Life, is now on line through individual posts, I am now putting several links together for each post. I found groupings of three posts worked well for anyone interested in using these for a Bible study group.  Debbie Seiling


Then came Peter to Him, and said, Lord how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?  till seven times?  Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.  Therefore is the Kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.  And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.  But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.  The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.  Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him and forgave him the debt.  But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.  And his fellowservant fell down at this feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.  And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.  So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.  Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desirest me.  Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?  And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.  So likewise shall My heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother his trespasses.  Matthew, Chapter 18, verses 21-35.

God forgave us all our sins by sending His son, Jesus, to die for us and to arise again.  Just think of all the humiliation Jesus had to go through for us.  After all of that torment, Jesus asked God to forgive everyone involved in His crucifixion.  I have a lot of nerve holding onto petty grudges against other people.  It makes me feel like I am the first servant who is forgiven his large debt (all my sins) and I’m not showing the same forgiveness to others who have done so much less.  This reminds me that I need to be more forgiving and tolerant of others because I don’t want to be delivered unto the tormentors on The Last Day. Click on the Post title to read a related Bible passage.
And, behold, one came and said unto Him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?  and He said unto him.  Why callest thou Me good?  There is none good but One, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the Commandments.  He saith unto Him, Which?  Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  The young man saith unto Him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?  Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow Me.  But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.  Then said Jesus unto His disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.  And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.  When His disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?  But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.  Matthew, Chapter 19, verses 16-26.
Now, it can be easy to ignore this passage and think that this just doesn’t pertain to me because I’m not rich.  Being rich is a relative thing.  (I wanted to say some corny thing about all your relatives coming around if you were rich.  Forgive me, but I couldn’t resist!)  Don’t you think those from a Third World Country would think that American’s on welfare are rich?  We have so much, but don’t realize it when we compare ourselves to others who seem to have so much more.
I think it’s about how all our stuff and the desire for more stuff, money or wealth interfere with our total focus on God.  Everything we couldn’t bear to put in a Salvation Army, Goodwill or other charitable bin has some control on us.  Its importance has worked a very subtle wedge in our relationship with God.
I was trying to think about which things might be excluded from this.  First, I thought about my toothbrush, because it seems like an essential item.  Then I thought that the disciples didn’t have toothbrushes when they followed Jesus.  If Jesus told me I needed to follow Him and be willing to give up my toothbrush I would need to, no questions asked.
Next, I thought about my shoes, because I thought they were essential.  I realize having 27-35 pairs of shoes in my closet right now for casual, work or dress wear throughout the year is highly questionable.  Well, I looked in the Bible and found this passage:
And the people asked Him, saying, What shall we do then?  He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.  Luke, Chapter 3, verses 10-11.
I think this is a good rule of thumb.  I don’t know much about the philosophy of those who write books about simplifying your life by giving up things, but it seems this passage would support the general principal of how things become too important to us.  There is no way I want the extra pairs of shoes I own to become a wedge in my relationship with God.
I was just thinking that if I could get my shoes down to one pair of tennis shoes instead of five different types, a pair of dress shoes, etc. and give the rest to a charitable organization, I would be more in-tune with what God wants for me. Click on the Post title to read related Bible passages.

This is the reply of Jesus to the chief priests who were asking Him questions, trying to trick Him.
But what think ye?  A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son go work today in my vineyard.  He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.  And he came to the second, and said likewise.  And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not.  Whether of them twain did the will of his father?  They say unto Him, the first, Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.  For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him:; and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.  Matthew, Chapter 21, verses 28-32.
Jesus makes a pretty bold statement here, saying that the commonly despised tax collectors (publicans) and the prostitutes will go to heaven, because they believed in Jesus when John the Baptist told them.  I’m glad God is no respecter of status, but I’m concerned about the second brother who is a “Dragging Your Feet Christian.”
When his father asks him, he spouts off (paraphrased), “Sure, I’ll help you, Dad,” but he never did what he promised to do.  Actually, that seems worse than being honest and saying, “I’m sorry, I can’t do it right now,” because at least people can plan accordingly and not depend on that person to accomplish the task.  I do this when I read how we’re supposed to share our love for Jesus with those who might not know Him.  I say, “Sure I will, God.  I really love You and I want to do whatever it is that You want.”  Do I do it?  Nope.  I just plan to share my faith with others, but I’m still dragging my feet.
Well, the father in this parable forgave the son who said he wouldn’t do it but changed his mind and did it after all, but that wasn’t the case for the other son.  I don’t want God saying, “Debbie said she’d share her faith, but did she?  Yeah, she wrote this book, but she never went out of her comfort zone and really took any risks.  What would have happened if Jesus never took the risks to be humiliated, crucified and rise from the grave?  He went through all of that for her and she thinks she can fool Me.  She says that she’s only too glad to help out, but doesn’t do a single thing.  I’ve got her number!”

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.

These are other blogs I felt led to create:

This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 
Please click on comments below to share your suggestions. Thanks! Debbie

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Not Giving Up Easily, The More the Merrier, Hiding Behind My Fear of What Others Will Think of Me Posts

Since Bible Passages That Can Influence Your Life, is now on line through individual posts, I am now putting several links together for each post. I found groupings of three posts worked well for anyone interested in using these for a Bible study group.  Debbie Seiling


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.
Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of My Father which is in heaven.  For where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them.  Matthew, Chapter 18, verses 19-20.
This reminds me of the saying: Two heads are better than one.  Well, in this passage two people praying are better than one and it’s a situation of: the more the merrier.  So when I’m concerned about someone’s health, I call my church’s prayer chain and raise my hand during the Joys and Concerns portion of the church service.

Of course, God answers prayers in whatever way He determines is best.  Sometimes it isn’t always the way we had hoped things would turn out.  Although it may be difficult to understand, I ultimately need to have faith in God’s decisions and timing for everything.


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.

These are other blogs I felt led to create:

This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 
Please click on comments below to share your suggestions. Thanks! Debbie

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