If God only gave us 10 times during our life to lose our cool and then we would die, I wonder how many of us would still be here?
God, wanting us to do the right thing, knew that by giving us intellect that we would figure out what the right thing to do would be. He also, in his infinite wisdom, knew that we would need something to fuel our bodies to action for the right thing. We not only need to understand the right thing to do but he gave us something to energize that effort. He gave us anger.
Anger belongs to us. It is supposed to be the fuel that makes us move NOW. Consider this: We know the bible teaches us to be angry, but sin not. And to not allow the sun to go down on our wrath. Then the Apostle Paul gives the example of when Peter was to be blamed he withstood him to his face and he didn’t let an hour go by before doing it. We were never taught to allow wrongdoing, but to challenge it with truth.
Now, in our society we love to waste time talking about things and saying what we’re going to do without doing a thing. We love to share our stories with others to gain support and we love to make empty promises about what we’re going to do in retaliation — and it’s all talk for the most part.
This foolish effort runs on anger. God expects us to own our anger and let it be the fuel for resolution. Anger was supposed to compel us to do the right thing immediately. To respond to things that make us uncomfortable we need a little anger. Anger is not bad. Doing the wrong thing with anger is bad.
So the lesson here is easy: When something angers you, speak to it immediately. You owe your brothers and sisters that right in Christ. So don’t punk out! Own your anger and speak the truth in love.
In 1 John we are told that if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ his son cleanses us from all sin. This is easier said than done.
So to help with this principle God created fellowship. For cleansing of the blood we need fellowship with Christ, but to stay in covenant relationship with Christ we need the fellowship of the saints.
Surrounding ourselves with like minded people who are striving for the same thing and are of the same mind and judgment, is crucial to our souls staying saved.
Sadly, we take for granted this privilege and forsake our coming together. We begin to judge the people coming together as if we have no sin and we try to make a buffet of the people — choosing to be around some and not others. We fail to hold up our end of the fellowship bargain by our bias.
Jesus died that we might try to keep the unity. He wanted us to prefer another over ourselves and he expected us to be known by the love we have one for another.
It is to the point that today saved members of the Lord’s church are starving for the true fellowship of the brotherhood. Saints are searching for a fellowship with real unconditional love instead of conditional clicks. We yearn for a deeper fellowship of believers who are looking to help one another and not hinder. We want a fellowship that encourages and does not discourage. We are hopeful to find this fellowship before Jesus returns.
Is this true fellowship found at your congregation??
The abstract has much more depth than the concrete. Yet the only reason that we covet the concrete is because we can see it.
What we see will be destroyed. So why do we covet what we see? We even take beautiful abstract concepts and ruin them by making their focus on the object of the abstract. Let me make this simpler: Some people will love a person and make the thrust or emphasis of their love on the person, instead of the concept of love. So then when the relationship ends or the person being loved does not measure up to the expectations of the one loving, the relationship ends and the person loving says I’m not going to love anymore. Or say two people are madly in love and one dies. The one still alive chooses not to get involved in a love relationship anymore because it’s too painful.
You see, love is not the source of the pain or anger in either case. Failed expectations and grief respectively are the culprits in those cases, but love was blamed. Love never changed in either case. Love can still be developed and should still be resolute. It should be locked and loaded for the next episode. Not tossed aside like a smoking gun that killed the relationship.
So what if we kept this in perspective. Love is for the mature anyway. Most teens and young adults are not mature enough to even use the word properly let alone be in what they would describe as a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship.
We should keep love pure. It was never meant to be conditional. It was never meant for profit and it should never be associated with negative acts. Love is an everlasting stream of God in you. It will never do you any harm and will save you from a lot of hurt. So love freely, love often and love everybody unconditionally — it’s the God in you!
I understand psychologically that I can not see myself, all I see is a reflection. All of these images I see of myself need help from the people that actually see me. Therefore it is the images I see in conjunction with what is said that allows me to come close to seeing my actual self.
With this in mind, the people who I surround myself with become extremely important. I need for the people I allow in my inner circle to be beneficial to me. I want them to feel that I am beneficial to them, but they have to be able to add value to my life.
If we spend the majority of a 24 hour day sleeping, working, eating and traveling, then that means there is not much time left to make a positive impact.
This means coming home has to be in question. Is my house for me or against me? Am I really replenished while being at home or is my household just adding to my stress?
Is the time I spend traveling during the day beneficial? The type of music I listen to, the people I talk to on the phone and even the ride to work now matter in regard to my well being.
Sleep is one of the most important things you can give to your body. Am I getting enough uninterrupted sleep?
I also need to be concerned about the things I eat and drink. This has a huge effect on my wellness. I need to seek whole food without man-made additives. It’s hard to do in the US but not impossible.
This message is about how we handle this gift called life and the body God put it in. If you understand that the life you have is only because of Christ, then how are you treating this beautiful gift he gave you?
To my Father in heaven,
It is with love and gratitude that I write this blog in dedication of your devotion to me. You have gone far above the call of duty in being my God. I am in awe of you.
I make horrible decisions at times. Some of my infractions are purposed and I still struggle with negotiating right and wrong. There are people who I have such an issue with that they consume my thoughts. There are people I need to forgive.
And in spite of my stupidity you do amazing things in my life. You make me want to be a better person. You make me want to seek after the higher parts of me. I want to do the right thing, Father, but I am weak.
What I really want to say to you Father is thank you. Thank you for loving me when I didn’t want to love myself. Thank you for showing me the way to the light when I was lost in darkness. Thank you for forgiving me when I am weak. Father, thank you for your grace and mercy. Thank you for saving my soul and for being long suffering with me.
Thank you for another day to praise your name. Thank you that I’m healthy and in my right mind. Thank you most of all for Jesus who made me a partaker of his cleansing power.
I actually don’t want to ask you for anything. I just wanted to express my love for you and say thanks.
Sincerely your servant,
I don’t know about you, but I keep running into people who say that they are not “religious”, but instead they are spiritual. That really doesn’t make much sense.
Normally the statement is made to justify why the person who said it doesn’t attend bible study or worship often. They have been hurt by some religious nut trying to control them under the authority of religion. They may have even been given a list of do’s and don’ts to follow.
I want to try and set the record straight.
Everyone was created by God. That means Genesis 2:7 would apply to all of us: God formed man from the dust and breathed his spirit into that dust and created a living soul.
So we all have his spirit in a connected or disconnected way (depending on if you believe) and religion should be the manifestation of our spirit. What I mean is that it shows how well we understand God and apply his teaching.
Religion can be summed up in four concepts: Love, unity, fellowship and reconciliation. If your religion is doing anymore than that, you’re doing too much.
Nothing else matters after these four things. Your practice of these four elements show your application of what God has done in your life.
Because I have been reconciled I seek to reconcile others to God. Because I enjoy a fellowship with Christ I seek to build a similar fellowship with my fellow brothers and sisters. Because Christ has unified me I seek to unify others to him and oh what wondrous love I see! I want to love like Jesus. And when I do these things, I make my religion pure.
Children are so easy to please. As my children progress into their late teens I reflect back on how easy it has been to care for them. All things considered, I’ve been able to provide their needs and most of their wants. I can say to them do not worry about this or that because I would take care of whatever they feared. They live under the safe covering of dad. There are things and situations that they could not even imagine having to experience. In fact many of the horrors are locked away forever in the make believe section of their minds because they would swear today that it could not happen to them in “real life”.
I know and have counseled kids who came home from school and all of their favorite things were laying in the yard being picked over by their neighbors. I have listened to children lament about being caught in the middle of a boxing match between their parents and me trying to explain fear away from them because they witnessed such anger. A daughter now believing her father is capable of such rage that if he could beat her mom unconscious, it’s only a matter of time before she has her turn.
From jail to drugs to violence and sex, kids of all ages have had to deal with this things far too soon. As men we have the responsibility when raising a family to make sure certain evils are kept out of the house and God’s goodness is freely flowing within. There is a sacred trust we hold as dads to be the guarantor of good things.
This role should not be taken lightly because you see when we do it correctly we imitate a character of God that the rest of the family will believe and trust in for the rest of their lives. If I am the guarantor of good things for my family, and they know and understand that the source of my guarantee is the Almighty himself, then when it is time to turn them over to our father in heaven, that task is simple. They will already have a love and fondness for the heavenly father because they are very comfortable with the works of the earthly father.
God among other things is my guarantor. All of his promises are backed by his personal guarantee that nothing is too difficult, too powerful or too challenging for him. And God loves spending time demonstrating this fact to his followers. As feeble little children we reach up to the father with all of our fears and anxiety and he reaches down smiling and picks us up.
Praises be to our God and father who is also the guarantor for all of his children!