Sunday, November 28, 2010

God's Law is Supreme

Think about the economy and how countries measure whether or not their dollar is strong. Before the 30s and the Great Depression they used the Gold Standard. After the Depression they used the American dollar to measure dollar worth and that is still how they measure the strength of currency. This definitely correlates with our understanding of anything. The reason they use one base in measuring the strength of dollars is so no one is confused or lost and that they get their full worth when trading. In Proverbs it says to trust the Lord and not to lean on your own understanding. Previous to that verse they spoke on understand and how to obtain it and all. The truth is God’s word and in order to speak truth we have to gain knowledge from the Bible and live by it, even in our relationships. Again, we were created in His image. Also notice that man’s understanding is faulty because in light of the Great Depression they had to switch it up. But with God, in any and every situation, the base never changes. God’s law is supreme.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thou Shalt Deny Me Thrice

Jesus told Peter that He knew that he'd betray Him. Peter denied it. When they were in the city and people began to recognize Peter as one who had followed Jesus, he denied it three times as Jesus had said he would. The first time he just shrugged it off. The second time he was a bit worried but still insisted he was not with Jesus. The third time someone said to him "you were with him,your speech say so." Then this is where Peter went delirious and began shouting and cursing like a wild man that he did not know Jesus Christ. The cock crew and Peter immediately remembered the words that Jesus had said unto him and he went away and cried bitterly.

We cannot hide, alter or deny our true identity. Although Peter denied Jesus, the people still knew who he was. No matter how much he tried to get away, the people kept coming to him and telling him that he was definitely one of the followers. Peter became so overwhelmed from the people's conviction that he became enraged. He wasn't mad at them but at himself. The thoughts that engulfed his mind were probably the time he had spent with Jesus and all that he was taught. Then Jesus' word came to mind.

Peter had it all wrong. The reason we learn Jesus' word and worship and praise and all of the sort is to help us rise in times of hardship. He remembered Jesus' word after the fact when he should have remembered before. He went out of his mind when he should have prayed for stability. I am not judging Peter because this had to be done to fulfill the Word that was spoken of God but I can learn from his mistakes.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Compassion Toward Me

God is compassionate, forgiving, loyal and all the above. As I read the book of Matthew, the word compassion is used a lot. Jesus always had compassion toward the multitude or to individuals who went after Him. Compassion means to feel sympathy for other's misfortune and the desire to alleviate that suffering. Forgiving means to remit, or cancel a claim on an account. Loyal means allegiance. All of those words only begin to describe what our God is like. He showed compassion on the people by forgiving sinner's sins and casting out demons. He was loyal to us by going to the cross for our sins. He is awesome!

He did all of this as an example to us. We should be like Christ.But we cannot be like Him unless we have those characteristics. The pride and the egos must be put aside in order to be like Christ; humility.

To keep a clean house and everything in order, you must tidy up as you go. If you are doing the laundry you wash everything. And those things that wouldn't come clean you wash again. And if it still doesn't come clean it goes in the trash. You don't kick trash under the bed because it will bring unwanted guests. You wash the dishes as soon as you use them, you dust and so on and so forth. That is the same in our spiritual life. You don't clean it every so often, you clean it all the time. It is a continuous routine. When you see something out order in your house you fix it and your Temple should be held to the same standard, if not more strict.

It takes a humble person to admit that their spiritual house is not clean. Dust is growing, trash is building up etc. As I read more and more about Christ it makes me sit back and think of my ways. I have unforgiveness in my heart but I know I must let it go. The reason I hold on to that is because of fear. Fear to get hurt, fear that I won't be as accepted. But God does not give us a spirit of fear. So to pick away at that which does not belong on my heart I do what I normally wouldn't have done. I say hi, I ask questions and try to involve myself more.

This is a humbling experience because although crazy thoughts run through my head on why I shouldn't open up the lovelier thoughts of God overpower and pushes "me" to the side. God is love and love is all that we should show.

Tithes, Offering & First Fruits

Last Sunday's sermon was about tithes, offering and first fruits and it was pow-er-fulllllll. She said that tithes will break the curse of poverty. The reason for tithes is to keep the House of God running. It's like rent and it has to be paid on time. So if you give to God's house He won't take your finances away. Offering is the blessing. If you give a dollar then you will get a dollar blessing. People get so aggravated when asked to give an offering but aside from the bills, there are leisure activities. Just as women like to get their nails done and guys like to buy splurge so does the church. Churches need money for the activities that you, your children and the other folk at the church like to participate in. The first fruit is the first of what you get. So if you are blessed with a new job and give your first fruits to the House, then you will receive blessing for all to come after.

She stressed the fact that all three were all distinct from one another and you cannot substitute one for the other. We want blessings from God but we don't want to bless Him. How odd!

I haven't always given what I was supposed to and I'd always feel guilty for not doing so. I'd always tell myself, "well He'll understand because I have to pay this bill." That also was an insult because of my lack of faith. God can and will return to you if you give to His Kingdom.I've gotten better and I don't look at it as less money in my pocket but as more money in His Kingdom.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Different Types of Worships

I invited some friends to come to Christian Fellowship with me but they declined. They didn't decline because something about the group bothered or conflicted with their faith but because of the type of people there. Every where we go we will always encounter people who are a different shade than our own or who worships differently than us. But in the end, we are still God's people.

The first time I ever worshipped with people who were different than me was the beginning of this year. At first I thought it was weird. Everything sounded so funny to me. But once I started to look passed than and really put myself in the discussions and what not it really didn't matter. They were just as hungry for God as my Sunday morning congregation at home. So I carried that experience with me to Christian Fellowship.

Worshipping with people who are different than you should not be a reason to NOT worship at all.

Luke 15 Parables

Last night in Christian Fellowship we looked at Luke chapter 15. In that chapter, Jesus told the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son. These parables pretty much mirror each other and although the first two are very short, they have a lot of power.

Jesus started telling the parables in response to the Pharisees thoughts of it being wrong for Jesus to "welcome" and "eat" sinners. In the parables Jesus made the point that even though the sheep wandered off, the coin was lost and the son did so many foolish things, they were all valuable enough for the owner/father to find them. And that is how God is toward us.

In the parable of the lost son, the father welcomed his son back with open arms. He knew what type of life his son was living and that he had blown all the fortune that he gave to him, but he didn't care. From the younger son's point of view, he realized he did wrong and was ready to apologize and as he started to beg for forgiveness the father cut him off and welcomed him with nothing but the finer things. The younger son was filthy because he had been working with pigs but the father still clothed him with the best and hugged and kissed him.

The older son who had stayed with his father wasn't pleased with his reaction to the younger son coming home because he felt as if he should have been celebrated because he stayed home and worked in the fields. The father explained that his youngest was dead because he was out living a lavish life. But is now alive because he recognized his wrong and was home to get things straight. And that was something to celebrate for.

Most of us act like the older son. We think that if we stay in the church then we should receive all of the rewards but in actuality it is the sinner who dedicates/rededicates his life to the Lord who should be praised. In an earlier chapter in Matthew, Jesus explained that He is here on earth to save the sinner. What good would it be for Jesus to save the already saved? That does not add to the kingdom.

(You should read Luke 15. There is so much more detail and awe moments than what I wrote.)