Thursday, June 28, 2012

Do Not Be Lazy!

            Do you agree with me that our world is becoming more and more lazy everyday? We have stuff done for us. We hire maids to clean our houses for us and workers to wash our vehicles for us while we sit around and watch. I even saw a news report on TV where a bed makes itself automatically so we don’t have to.  Many kids are out for summer vacation now. They become lazy and just sit around, not being productive, and this can sometimes get them in trouble. People nowadays are selfish, only wanting to do things for themselves. Proverbs 12:24 says, “Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in slave labor.” The Holy Bible clearly addresses the issue of laziness many times.
            For example, in Matthew 25:14-30, it tells a parable including three servants. It begins when a master has to go away so he leaves his land with three of his trusted servants. He gave the 1st servant five talents of money, the 2nd servant two talents of money, and the 3rd servant one talent of money.  The 1st servant went away immediately and put his money to work and gained five more. The 2nd servant did the same and gained two more. The 3rd servant, with only one talent, went and dug a hole, hiding his master’s money. When the master returned, the 1st servant showed what he had gained and his master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” He repeated the same to the 2nd servant. When asked, the 3rd servant told how he had hidden the money. The master replied, “You wicked, lazy servant! “ and continued, “Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
            Does Matthew 25:14-30 describe a lazy person? Yes! The 3rd servant caused trouble in the end because he was lazy. What you do now does impact your future, as proven in the parable. Which servant are you like?
            Most importantly, laziness keeps us from doing God’s will. He has a plan for us but will not force us to do so. The Great Commission in Matthew 28: 19-20 says:
Therefore go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

            Some people might be thinking oh no… Does that mean we have to actually do work? Does that mean I have to give up my electronics? Does that mean I have to wake up earlier? Does that mean I have to give more of my money to God? We can’t be selfish or lazy and sometimes we have to make sacrifices for the Lord. Lastly, we need to warn lazy and idle Christians. 1 Thessalonians 5:14 says, “And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.” Believe it or not, there are many inactive Christians around us everyday, especially at church. This is scary because when we are idle, Satan can attack us easier! We have to tell our fellow sisters and brothers in Christ, and stay active! Do not be lazy!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

     I just wanted to take a quick moment to tell all my blog readers Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone had a great day and God bless you all!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Spiritual Growth

   A key in your relationship with Jesus Christ is spiritual growth.  This never comes easy. It is most likely compared to physical growing pains. Spiritual pains can be like tribulations God has set for us to go through. We benefit from them, don't we? In this way we grow from them! So what are the stages of our spiritual growth?

  •    The first stage of growth is an infant. Infants need love from God, their parents, and friends. They need protection from Satan, self doubts, and discouragement.  They also need nurturing such as attention and feeding. Infants are like "new" christians. They need help and encouragement along the road. 
  •    The second stage of growth is a child. They need discipline, guidance, and role models. They need someone to look up to. My two role models are my parents. All children need someone to look up to. Remind you of any christians you know right now?
  •    The third stage of growth is a teenager. As a teenager, they begin to develop a closer walk with God, self discipline, and spiritual gifts. Teenagers are still lacking some things. They are the lingering step between childhood and adulthood.
  • The fourth and final step of growth is an adult. An adult, by now, has developed a closer walk with God, self discipline, and earned spiritual gifts. They have been through pain and tribulations but they have grown from them! 
   1 Peter 2:2 says, " Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation." Also, Colossians 2:6-7 mentions, "So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." So from all we have discussed in this passage... What spiritual stage of growth are you in right now?

    Friday, September 30, 2011

    Brotherly Love

       Hebrews 13:1 says, "Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters." Three important things are revealed to the reader through this scripture. First, the practice of brotherly love had been happening before and was ongoing. Second, we see the desire of the author that brotherly love should continue. Third, this verse can show us how important brotherly love is to the Christian life! If we want to follow God's command shown in this verse, we must know what brotherly love is and what it looks like (basically examples).
       What is brotherly love? It is most simply put, love for others. It is made found with kind affection, honor, deference, and preferring one another. Romans 12:10 says, "Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves." In Romans 13:8-10, it says, "Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law." We should lay down our lives for our brethren and provide to one in need. 1 John 3:11-18 says, "For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him. This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
       What does brotherly love look like? Jonathan and David showed brotherly love in 1 Samuel 20:4 which says, "Jonathan said to David, “Whatever you want me to do, I’ll do for you.” Throughout the bible many great examples of brotherly love are seen but perhaps the greatest example was that of Jesus Christ. John 15:13 says, "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends." Jesus lay down his life for you and me! Who can ever show greater love than that of Jesus Christ throughout the New Testament?
       In close, 1 Peter 1:22 says, "Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart." Are you showing brotherly love to others in your life?

    Monday, September 12, 2011

    Why makes YOU special?

       Criticism takes its toll on people today. As a middle school senior, I know that teenagers worry about how they look and words can hurt you more than anything else, even if they are not true! Reality is that most people have a very poor image of themselves and do not have a lot of self confidence. They wonder what use they are in the world. "How could God love me?" they may ask. We have all been there. You may be asking why or how but you are special no matter what! 
       First, you were made in the image of God himself! Genesis 1:26-27 says, "Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them." 1 Corinthians 11:7 also says, "...since he is the image and glory of God..." You have the stamp of God's image on you! 
       Second, He died for you! 1 Peter 3:18 states, "For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit." Jesus Christ did not lose his life. He gave his life! John 15:13 says, "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends." Romans 5:6-8 also says, "You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Jesus paid a BIG price for us by giving his life! You are that special!
       So, what can we conclude here? You are special! You were made in the image of God, and he died for you! No matter what this world may tell you, never forget these things that God has said and promised. You are special!

    Tuesday, August 30, 2011

    Cleaning Out Your Temple For God

       Today, we will look at the verses of John 2:12-25.  John 2:12-25 says, "After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples. There they stayed for a few days. When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money.  So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.  To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.” The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”
     Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”
     They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” But the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.
     Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person."
       As we can see, Jesus was very angry at the merchants and sellers in this passage. They had turned the church into a market place. Jesus knew that God's house was a place for worship and focus upon the Lord God our Savior. The people were full of greed and love for the "world." If ungodly people set up sales stands outside of your church, taking the attention away from the church wouldn't you be angry? So what can we as christians learn from John 2:12-25? We should keep God's temple clean! When the bible speaks of a temple, it can mean a building for God's place of worship or our own souls! 1 Corinthians 3:16 says, "Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?" So we must keep both of these clean! Is your temple filled with hate, lust, sexual morality, lies, anger, greed, or other sins? God wants you to clean it out! (Aren't your grateful that our God is a forgiving God?) If we want God to be with us and live in our temple, we must clean out or hearts and ask for forgiveness of sins.
       If you met with Jesus today, would he see your heart forgiven and pure? Or would he see sin that you have tried to cover up and have not yet asked for forgiveness? Do you have your heart right with God???

    Tuesday, August 16, 2011

    The Race Set Before Us

       Today's post will be based on the verses of Hebrews 12:1-3 which states, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
       In this particular verse, we as christians are compared to runners. Why would God have chosen for this certain comparison to be part of His word? Let's state some facts. Runners lose as much weight as they can before they run a race. They don't carry around a heavy book bag as they are running. They also wear light clothing. Too much weight and/or extra clothing can be the difference between win or lose. You might be asking, "What does this have to do with christians?" Well, God was very wise to lead the author of Hebrews to write this. God is wanting us to run the race of faith for him. To do this right, we need to lay aside some things. We need to ask Him for forgiveness (This is essential!) and let go of things like love of the world, forgiven sin that we still worry about (GUILT), and any other distractions. This verse tells us to fix our eyes on Jesus. How are we to focus on him if we have things distracting us constantly? It is important to give full focus to him because as soon as the devil knows you are only "half" focused on Jesus, he will manipulate you and tempt you so you will become even more distracted. Soon enough, you will be running the opposite direction! Most people have heard the story of Peter and Jesus walking on water. (If not, you can read the story at Matthew 14:22-33) As soon as Peter took his eyes off of Jesus and lost focus he began to sink. And what did Jesus say? He said, "You of little faith. Why did you doubt?" Jesus made our salvation possible! We owe all our focus to him. In the race of faith, endurance is essential! This is a marathon not a sprint! You need more than just one burst of energy. This ties back into one of my recent blog posts about just being a "Sunday Morning Christian." Stay on fire for God and don't let it die down! 
       Having trouble running your race of faith? Spend time in the bible. It is important because through it we learn many things. We may learn things like what we need to lay aside and we can learn about Jesus, what he did for us, and what a great example his race of faith can be for us! Lay worldly things aside, keep your endurance, and most of all focus on Jesus!