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2016/05/02

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Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Reading for the Day: Mathew 1-3

So I finally did some daily reading today while on my lunch break, and i got to say it was EXTREMELY refreshing. The way the word of God washes over all situations and discomforts in life is amazing and if you have never experienced it I recommend that you open your hearts and your minds and give it a shot!

I read 3 chapters in Mathew today, I realized that I have never read through all of the 4 gospels (Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John) so I decided to start back at the beginning of them (again...).

Mathew 1:

Mathew 1 is a chapter I feel many would just skip through...I know this....because I have. It is so easy to gloss over this chapter because the majority of it goes through Jesus's genealogy. If your anything like me you read the first few names...stop...ask yourself "Did i pronounce that right?"...and then skip to the bottom.

The person I want to focus on in this chapter is Joseph. Let us assume he as been with Mary for sometime now, I get this from the verse:

19 And her [promised] husband Joseph, being a 
just and upright man and not willing to expose 
her publicly and to shame and disgrace her, 
decided to repudiate and dismiss (divorce) 
her quietly and secretly.

This verse tells us that Joseph and Mary were somewhat familiar with each other before she became pregnant with our savior Jesus. To me that is what makes this more powerful. Joseph having been promised to Mary as her husband discovered one day that she was pregnant. The things Joseph could have done would have ruined Mary's life, but he didn't. Even while trying to leave her he wanted to do it quietly so that none would know, he was trying to protect her. This man who thought his soon to be wife was cheating on him was still more concerned for her then getting "right" that he was doing things with the utmost care.

This speaks volumes to me because how many men today would take the opportunity to shame, disgrace, and hang the dirty laundry out for all to see when their wife-to-be or wife would do something wrong? To often we see men who instead of protecting and leading their families, look to create distractions from their own wrongdoings.

As men we are called to lead and guide those in our households to a closer relationship with Jesus. We do this by example. Any "man" can memorize bible verses and recite them to their family when they do wrong, but how many men will take those verses and then apply them to their lives. Follow me to chapter 2.

Mathew 2:

I'm going to focus on Joseph again in this chapter. Here we have the King Herod constantly trying to kill Jesus the Messiah, though always unsuccessful.

We see examples of the 3 wise men coming to Jesus and delivering gifts, afterwards running away from Herod as to protect Jesus. So then where does Joseph come in? 2 times in this chapter we see examples where God spoke to Joseph and gave him specific instructions on what to do to protect his family. He had to listen to God.

13 Now after they had gone, behold, an angel of the 
Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, Get up! 
[Tenderly] take unto you the young Child and His mother 
and flee to Egypt; and remain there till I tell you [otherwise], 
for Herod intends to search for the Child in order to destroy him.

I like this because it shows the trust Joseph had in the Lord. The verse does not say the Lord told Joseph what was happening or why he had to do what He was saying. The Lord spoke, Joseph obeyed, it was that easy. Joseph knew that the Lord knew best and in order to protect his family he trusted in what He said. 

I feel so many times these days we are so focused on seeing everything that we miss what is important. At any time if Joseph focused on what was not being said by the Lord he would have missed the importance of what was said.

I was going to go into chapter 3 but I may have to save that for another day, as I am out of time.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Why?

"Why? Why should I follow Christ?"

How many times have we heard that? Here is the real question, why are people asking this question?
1 Corinthians 1:9
"God is faithful (reliable, trustworthy, and therefore ever true to 
His promise, and He can be depended on); by Him you were called into 
companionship and participation with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord."

People don't like being told what they "should" do. We live in a world where people try to live by their own rules, and if you don't agree with them your immediately ignored, blocked out, and labeled. You will find that the reason people don't want to come to Christ is because they are already doing something wrong in their life and trying to escape the feelings of conviction.

What is conviction you ask?

"The word convict is a translation of the Greek word elencho, which means “to convince someone of the truth; to reprove; to accuse, refute, or cross-examine a witness.” The Holy Spirit acts as a prosecuting attorney who exposes evil, reproves evildoers, and convinces people that they need a Savior." (http://www.gotquestions.org/conviction-of-sin.html)

We are each perfectly designed and created by God and because of that it is easy for us to recognize His word and His truth. When someone encounters the truth of God and actively living in sin they immediately start to see things in their life that contradict with the Word.

Psalm 5:4
"For You are not a God Who takes pleasure in wickedness;
neither will the evil [man] so much as dwell 
[temporarily] with you."

The problem is when most people feel the conviction of sin they try to run away from the conviction and thus doing so they are running away from God. Does he come to condemn, to express complete disapproval of us? NO. Our God loves us exactly for who we are and only wants to show us the error of our worldly ways so that we may grow closer to Him and have a better relationship with Him. God in no way wants to sentence us to death or punishment, that's not what He's about, but He does want us to see and be aware that the things we are doing are driving a wedge between us and Him.

So then why do people want to run from Him? To be honest, because we (and by 'we' i mean the church) have not demonstrated the true freedom that comes with following God. There is a misconception out there that to follow the Lord you have to live your life with shackles on, when in reality by following the world you are sentencing yourself to death. 

John 8:31-32
"31 So Jesus said to those Jews who had believed in Him,
If you abide in My word [hold fast to My teachings and 
live in accordance with them], you are truly My disciples.
32 And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.

The "Truth" in this verse is the Word of God and the Word of God is health and life to us as well:

Proverbs 4:20-23
"20 My son, attend to my words; consent and submit to my sayings, 21 Let them 
not depart from your sight; keep them in the center of your heart. 22 For they 
are life to those who find them , healing and health to all their flesh. 23 Keep 
and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, 
for out of it flow the springs of life."

Not only does God's Word set us free it also brings health and life to us. It allows us to be a source of health and life and good tidings to those around us by making "springs of life" flow out from us. One of my favorite verses is John 10:10 "The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)." and when it overflows it flows into the life of those around us.

So why do people ask the question "Why?". Many of you are probably thinking "Because they are scared of conviction and don't want to give up the things of the world.", and you may be right but honestly if you were to ask me its because of what I said earlier. The Church has failed to show the love of Jesus to those around them. We, Christians, need to start showing the world of the love of Christ, and not show them hate and disapproval. 

God is the only one that knows the heart of men, so then why do we try to judge them?