Monday, March 28, 2016

It's Not Who We Know that Gets You to Heaven, Should We Focus on Angels, Finding Quality Time for God and Our Family 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

That being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.  This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works.  These things are good and profitable unto men. But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the Law; for they are unprofitable and vain.  Titus, Chapter 3, verses 7-9.

I remember hearing that some people seem to feel that they deserve a certain amount of prestige because they have followed their family roots all the way back to those who landed on Plymouth Rock.  I know following your family tree can be interesting, but I think God is saying that even if we checked our genealogy and found we were related to the Apostle Paul himself, we would be wasting our time.  It’s not who you know that gets you into heaven, it’s our love for Jesus and trying to lead the life He wants for us.  That’s what makes the difference!

God Who hath at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets.  Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed Heir of all things, by Whom also He made the worlds; Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the Word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on High; Being made so much better than the angels, as He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent Name than they.  For unto which of the angels said He at any time, thou art My son, this day have I begotten thee?  And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to Me a son? And again, when He bringeth in the First Begotten into the world, He saith, And let all the angels of God worship Him.  And of the angels He saith, Who maketh His angels spirits, and His ministers a flame of fire.  But unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of Thy kingdom.  Hebrews, Chapter 1, verses 1-8.

This passage reinforces my concern that people might get led astray by focusing on angels rather than focusing on God.  Angels have become popular in the last few years.  There are some shows focused on angels and some catalogs and stores filled primarily with angels.  The thing is, God doesn’t want us worshipping angels or giving them undue attention.  I think some people get confused and think they are really focusing on God when they pay so much attention to angels.  Some people even pray to their guardian angel rather than praying to God, thinking it’s one and the same thing, but it isn't.
If the angel in Revelation forbade John to bow down to him (last asterisk), then I would think we should pay attention to this.  We are to focus on God and not the angels even though they are God’s ministering spirits.  Our focus is to always be on God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit; none other.
Here are some related passages:
*But to which of the angels said He at any time, Sit on My right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool: Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of Salvation?  Hebrews, Chapter 1, verses 13-14.
*And Manoah said unto the angel of the LORD, I pray thee, let us detain thee, until we shall have made ready a kid for thee.  And the angel of the LORD said unto Manoah.  Though thou detain me, I will not eat of thy bread: and if thou wilt offer a burnt offering, thou must offer it unto the LORD.  For Manoah knew not that he was an angel of the LORD.  Judges, Chapter 13, verse 15-16.
*And I John saw these things, and heard them, And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which showed me these things.  Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.  Revelation, Chapter 22, verses 8-9.

For He spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, and God did rest the seventh day from all His works.  Hebrews, Chapter 4, verse 4.

I like the way that God looks out for my family in spite of our weaknesses.  He knows that I work intensely all week and I spend all weekend either caught up in doing the things I took home from work or I get involved in other projects.  If I spend all my spare time focused on work and projects, then I’m not spending my time focused on God and my family.
I have an aunt and an uncle who don’t work on the day that they go to church.  I always thought it was admirable, but I would come up with twenty billion reasons why I needed to do these projects instead.  When I read the Bible, I realized that God says over and over again (mostly in the Old Testament) that we aren’t supposed to work on the Sabbath and are to have a day of rest, focusing on God and our family.
I got to thinking about this.  If He went out of His way to make sure that this was in the Bible so many times, there must be a good reason for it.  The more I thought about it, I realized that if we are doing things from work or other projects all week, we will rarely find quality time for God and our family.  God wants us to have priorities in our lives.  After God who is our first priority, our families should come next and then our work.  Think of how many children rarely get to spend time with their parents because they are too busy working late or they are involved in work related projects at home.  
God also gives us added benefits for not working on the Sabbath.  Taking this day to focus on God and our families allows us to be refreshed for the new week.  When we stay busy all weekend after a hectic week, we are more apt to become impatient with our family members over the little things that arise.  Additionally, when we get caught up in our work and projects, we are more apt to find excuses for not going to church with our family.
The worst part is that we are poor examples to our children.  If we stay busy working all the time, they won’t grow up learning how to pace themselves either.  Everyone needs to maintain a healthy balance in their lives.  If work becomes the sole focus, then our families are bound to lose out-not to mention us.
Someday our kids will be grown and out of the house.  Will they come and visit us regularly when we are older?  Did we model the importance of family time while they were growing up?  Will they be too busy doing their own projects and work that they have no time for us?  What’s worse is the possibility that they will have no time for their own families.  Are we perpetuating a cycle of super busy people who have little time to interact with others?  That’s something to think about.
As I said, God has this stated and restated throughout the Bible.  I’m going to list some of the Bible passages that support this so you can see the lengths that God went to in order to remind us to have a day of rest to focus on Him and our families.

Here are some related passages:
*Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest: that thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy handmaid, and the stranger, may be refreshed.  Exodus, Chapter 23, verse 12.
*Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily My Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.  Ye shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.  Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.  Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.  It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested, and was refreshed.  Exodus, Chapter 31, verses 13-17.
*And Moses gathered all the congregation of the children of Israel together, and said unto them, These are the Words which the Lord hath commanded, that ye should do them.  Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD, whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death.  Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the Sabbath day.  Exodus, Chapter 35, verses 1-3.
*Ye shall keep My Sabbaths, and reverence My sanctuary: I am the LORD.  Leviticus, Chapter 19, verse 30.
*Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are My feasts.  Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the Sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.  Leviticus, Chapter 23, verses 2-3.
*Ye shall keep My Sabbaths, and reverence My sanctuary. I am the LORD.  Leviticus, Chapter 26, verse 2.
*There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the Sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem.  Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the Sabbath day? Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the Sabbath.  Nehemiah, Chapter 13, verses 16-18.

*Thus saith the LORD; Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the Sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem; Neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath day, neither do ye any work, but hallow ye the Sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers.  But they obeyed not, neither inclined their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear, nor receive instruction.  And it shall come to pass, if ye diligently hearken unto Me saith the Lord, to bring in no burden through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, but hallow the Sabbath day, to do no work therein; Then shall there enter into the gates of this city kings and princes sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they, and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: and this city shall remain for ever.  And they shall come from the cities of Judah, and from the places about Jerusalem, and from the land of Benjamin, and from the plain, and from the mountains, and from the south, bringing burnt offerings, and sacrifices, and meat offerings, and incense and bringing sacrifices of praise, unto the house of the LORD.  But if ye will not hearken unto Me to hallow the Sabbath day, and not to bear a burden, even entering in at the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day; then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched.  Jeremiah, Chapter 17, verses 21-27.

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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