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

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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

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