Thursday, November 17, 2016

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

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