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Showing posts from October 13, 2013

Living Free

How much do you think of yourself? Are you held captive to what others say about you and try to do to you? When you live this kind of life you are being bullied by others and fear resides in your heart. This fear causes you to think less of yourself and to measure your words and actions so that you are not the focus of others attention.
Jesus wanted to bring perspective to the people around him living under the hand of Rome, the hand of Scribes and Pharisees who weighed them down with rule after rule, and the hand of neighbors and family members. He said, "Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." (Luke 12:6-7)
Sparrows were caught, killed, skinned, roasted, and eaten as a delicacy. If sparrows were selling at two for a penny then four sparrows would be sold for two cents but here he is saying there is even less value …

Obedience

This is a powerful action. Complete obedience is doing exactly what you are told to do, immediately, with the right heart attitude. Look at this simple story and see this definition clearly followed.
Jesus is walking along in Jerusalem and passes by a blind man which the author indicates was "born blind." (John 9:1) He stops and stoops to spit saliva into the dirt of the ground mix it up and place it on the blind man's eyes. I'm sure that the blind man had been ridiculed by kids and others in the past and could have thought this was another cruel joke being played out at his expense.
Then Jesus told him to "Go wash in the Pool of Siloam." And guess what, "the man went and washed, and came home seeing." (John 9:7) This must have been an interesting sight, a blind man walking carefully through the streets of the crowded city with mud on his eyes to a destination he couldn't see. Wow! I wish I could have been there to see the faces of those he …

Judging Others

How easy it is to look at the outward actions and visible attitudes of others and decide what to think about them. We have a tendency to take judgment into our own hands and that is a dangerous thing.
Jesus was teaching the people when the Scribes and Pharisees paraded before him a woman caught in the very act of adultery which means she was married but being unfaithful to her vows. They said, "In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women." (John 8:5) They sought to trap Jesus on the horns of a dilemma but he saw that their judgment was falsely based. He said, "You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one." (8:15)
These men were judging on the basis of what they could see; surface judgment. This judgment produced disrespect and prejudice born out of favoritism. Jesus went on to say that "if I do judge, my decisions are right, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me." (8:16) He was saying that if he did have to judge, …

Respect

The Pharisees and Scribes took a position in Israel that was above everyone else. They were doing all things right and for that they should receive praise and position but Jesus said this was not the way of the Kingdom of God. He emphasized the importance of respecting all persons, whether they were high or low.
He said, "See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven." (Matthew 18:10) The Jews believed that every good man had a guardian angel and yet this is not what Jesus was suggesting in this passage.
Jesus is all about those who are believers treating those who are believers all the same. If you honor one who is rich then you should also honor those who are children, poor and otherwise which the world would call inferior. James said as much when he discussed favoritism in James 2:1-13. We can tie this Matthew verse with one in Hebrews 1:14 to help us where it says, "A…

Soul Value

What is the value of your soul? Can you put a "number on it" or can you "weigh it?" The answer to these questions is very important for your life.


Jesus asked and answered them by a ridiculous comparison. He said, "What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or What can a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Matthew 16:26)
The initial question has to do with a simple profit and loss balance sheet. If he "gains the whole world," all its riches, honors, power and pleasures, yet loses his own soul in the process, he has everything but has nothing. To think, as many do today, that to have everything would make life complete is to think only about physical pleasure and not to realize that it is the soul that must be satisfied and if you lose the soul there is no way to enjoy what you have.
The second question is a matter of assessing the value of the soul. What is of equal value with the soul that you could exch…