Thursday, November 19, 2015

All Too Often I'm a "Luke-Warm Christian", I've Said There's No Way I'll Slip into Temptation, and God Is There Loving Me When I Find it Difficult to Love Myself 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 the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.  And he said unto Him, Lord, I am ready to go with Thee, both into prison, and to death.  And He said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest Me.  Luke, Chapter 22, verses 31-34.
(I’ve skipped some verses.) 
Then took they Him, and led Him, and brought Him into the high priest’s house.  And Peter followed afar off.  And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and were set down together, Peter sat down among them.  But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and earnestly looked upon him, and said, This man was also with Him.  And he denied Him, saying, Woman, I know Him not.  And after a little while another saw him, and said, Thou art also of them.  And Peter said, Man, I am not.  And about the space of one hour after another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow also was with Him, for he is a Galilean.  And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest.  And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew.  And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter.  And Peter remembered the Word of the Lord, how He had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny Me thrice.  And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.  Luke, Chapter 22, verses 54-62.

When I read this Bible passage, I reflect on how I sometimes think I am very dedicated to God, but really I’m a “Luke-warm Christian!”  In my mind, I feel like God is the most important part of my life, but when a situation arises where I could share my faith with others, I avoid it.  I say to myself, “Well, this isn’t the right timing for me to discuss Jesus and all He’s done for me.  Another time would be more beneficial and the person would probably be more open to it then.” 
Baloney!!!  Who am I trying to fool?  I guess the only one I’m trying to fool is myself, because God knows when I avoid situations where I could have shared my relationship with Him.  Although I don’t deny God openly as Simon Peter did, I’m denying Him in my heart through my choice not to share my love for Jesus with others.  Sometimes, the truth hurts!

And He came out, and went, as He was wont, to the mount of Olives: and His disciples also followed Him.  And when He was at the place, He said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.  And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from Me: nevertheless not My will, but Thine, be done.  And there appeared an angel unto Him from heaven, strengthening Him.  And being in an agony He prayed more earnestly: and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.  And when He rose up from prayer, and was come to His disciples, He found them sleeping for sorrow.  And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.  Luke, Chapter 22, verses 39-46.

As a Christian, it’s easy for me to say, “Oh, no problem.  I love You so much, Jesus; that there’s no way I will slip into temptation.”  Well, if the disciples who loved Jesus very much could slip into temptation, then we need to learn from their actions and realize the importance of praying for God to keep us from temptation.
I recognize that sometimes when I say the Lord’s Prayer each night, I tend to ramble through it even though I know I shouldn’t.  I’m not sure that God acknowledges prayers when we just ramble through them in a repetitive manner.  When I say my prayers in the morning, I ask God to take care of all sorts of things: my family, the world, and me; but I don’t ask Him to protect us from temptation.  This has made me extremely aware of my need to add that to my daily prayers and to slow down and focus on what I’m praying. Click on this post's title to read a related Bible passage.

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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