Saturday, November 11, 2006

Why do I care so much?

Mark 2:13 - 17 (New Living Translation)

13. Then Jesus went out to the lakeshore again and taught the crowds that were coming to him.
14. As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Levi got up and followed him.
15. Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. (There were many people of this kind among Jesus’ followers.)
16. But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with such scum?”
17. When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”

***Wow, what a response! Isn’t it funny at times just when we think we have arrived to greatness we tend to look down on those who lack. I like how Jesus put it “I have come to call not those who THINK they are righteous, but those who KNOW they are sinners.” You see, if we arrive to a high place, be it position, educational level or money, God allowed it all. Further more, only God knows our tomorrows! God hardly ever use those who THINK they got it all together; they want give Him glory.
Why do I care so much? Because God cares; if Jesus was here right now He would be in the homeless shelters, fellowshipping with the prostitute, out where many of us wouldn’t dare be found. I said all that to say, it’s not every Christian’s ministry to go to these places, but we can assist those who do.

***I submit to you the Word of God…

Matthew 25:31 - 46 (New Living Translation)

31 “But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne.
32. All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
33. He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.
34. “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world.
35. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home.
36. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
37. “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink?
38. Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing?
39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
40. “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’
41. “Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons.
42 For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink.
43. I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’
44. “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’
45. “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’
46. “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”

***The Word clearly states when we help those in need we are actually giving to God Himself. I have found when we help others our needs are met as well. Ladies and gentlemen, if you don’t get anything else get this...

“Matthew 5:46 (NLT) If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much.”

***I challenge all to select someone this Thanksgiving that is struggling greatly, buy them some food, invite them over to your house, go and assist at a shelter or children home; you would be amazed at the love God will return. Let’s just start to show love to those who are forgotten. Blessings to all!

Four basic principles to live by

1. Walk in Faith not fear:

Matthew 9:22 (New Living Translation)

Jesus turned around, and when he saw her he said, “Daughter, be encouraged! Your faith has made you well.” And the woman was healed at that moment.
Hebrews 11:6 (New Living Translation)
And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

***When your world start to cave in and nothing seems to work, find your way to Jesus, He is the answer! The Bible is clear, we must first believe. If you don’t believe, don’t ask for anything. ***

2. Practice Unconditional love:

1 John 4:7-21 (New Living Translation)

7. Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.
8. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
9. God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.
10. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
11. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.
12. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.
13. And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us.
14. Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.
15. All who confess that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God.
16. We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.
17. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the Day of Judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.
18. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.
19. We love each other because he loved us first.
20. If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see?
21. And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their Christian brothers and sisters.

***This passage said it all! Love is the key; if we love God it should show in our actions with each other. If you can’t stand your brother or sister, don’t worry about asking God for anything, it’s not going to happen. Fix your attitude; God will fix your problem. ***

3. Be a giver:

Luke 6:30-31, 38 (New Living Translation)

30. Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back.
31. Do to others as you would like them to do to you.
38. Give and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.

***Check this out! The Word said give to anyone who asks; we don’t necessarily give what they ask, but give if they ask, it could be sound advice, food, and yes sometimes money. The Bible goes on to say “The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” If you give a broken down car to someone, expect the same in return. If you give someone another chance, expect the same in return. If you give time pouring in someone’s live restoring them, expect the same in return. I believe you can see how important sharing is? ***

4. Always side with Mercy, Compassion, and forgiveness:

Luke 10:30-37 (New Living Translation)

30. Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling on a trip from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road.
31. “By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by.
32. A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side.
33. “Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him.
34. Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him.
35. The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins,[e] telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’
36. “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked.
37 The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.” Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”

***Wow, this one really gets me! Jesus told of a story of a man who was attacked by bandits, a priest, and a temple assistant (Levite) which was the high man of God both passed by this man in need. But, the despised Samaritan (the worldly man) had compassion on this man. Not only did he stop to assist, but placed the man on his donkey, took him to the inn, where he took care of him. Now just think about that for a moment! We are no different today, we walk pass many people in need, all because we are in a hurry, don’t really want to get involved, don’t want to get our hands dirty. But when we fall on hard times, the first thing out of our mouths is “Lord help (Mercy) me.” Want God’s help then help someone! ***

Blessing to all!

If all you have to offer is sex you are in big trouble

At first I was reluctant to write about such a topic as this, but as you can read, I finally gave it a shot. Please understand that I am no sex expert nor do I claim to be. Just read this entry, think about it, and by all means make comments. Let’s get started…

Sex is everywhere: on television, on the Internet, even on the magazine racks in the grocery stores. In my opinion, this is a great problem! Sex is such a problem today until television rating go down if they don’t show the stuff. We have become blind to what is taking shape as a result of what’s displayed. Now let’s shift to the relationship portion of sex…

Many of us present everything right up front; we hop right into sexual activities without sometimes knowing each other’s names. This is sad but true! In addition, we fail to realize that if we both engaged in this type of behavior, mostly bad things could surface.

Sex in relationships; if you don’t remember anything else, remember this, “If all you have to offer is sex you are in big trouble.” Don’t get me wrong, sex is ok in its proper place, its part of life. Believe it or not if sex in a relationship is the bulk of your motivation, you will be forever disappointed. It’s much more important to find the one who will love you for you first, and then the sex will really take shape. Some of you may say that’s not me, I would say that’s the painted picture. You see if sex isn’t the motivation, why when the significant other run around and see other people, they are still received as if nothing happened? They must be doing something right. I viewed something today that just confirmed what I’m saying – a case with a girl dating a guy who also has two other girls, the both of them know of each other, and this girl, they were ok with it. To top it all off, two of the three girls had children by this guy. What bothered me about that entire process were the women, and their knowledge of this person’s activity. To sum it up, all of them were ok with it! Ladies listen to me for a moment, you have the power, and it’s just that you’re unaware of how to use it. In addition to that, your teacher didn’t know how to use it. Don’t share any man, he’s not worth it, and your children are watching how this work, and will follow in your foot steps. So, remember the lives you’re impacting. Don’t get me wrong, all of us arrive in bad relationships, it’s about what are we learning after the fact. Let me speak to the men for a moment…

Our sons and daughters are the recipients of our actions, why can’t we stop just for a moment and realize the impact of what we doing. I happened to be eating in a fast food restaurant where two young ladies were talking about dating; one young lady stated that her father who apparently didn’t currently stay with them indicated that he didn’t want her to date a certain guy – her response was he is a big w@#$e himself, and he want to tell me. My point is proven! Men, if we even care or desire to win our children and shown them how it’s done, we need to start making a commitment to our lady (not ladies).

To bring this to a close, can we all see that this sex thing is causing major problems? It’s like placing one round in the chamber of a pistol, spinning the holder, and pulling the trigger; its just a matter of time before it take a life. In addition, when a life is taken, many lives are impacted as a result of it. Let me know if I’m wrong or just put me in my place.

Proverbs 1 (New Living Translation)

20. Wisdom shouts in the streets. She cries out in the public square.
21. She calls to the crowds along the main street, to those gathered in front of the city gate:
22. “How long, you simpletons, will you insist on being simpleminded? How long will you mockers relish your mocking? How long will you fools hate knowledge?
23. Come and listen to my counsel. I’ll share my heart with you and make you wise.
24. “I called you so often, but you wouldn’t come. I reached out to you, but you paid no attention.
25. You ignored my advice and rejected the correction I offered.

Blessings to all!