Sunday, January 8, 2012

Concerned about Budgets

When you are working on your budget, it is easy to get yourself worked up. Seems like no matter how much or how little you make, a little bit more would be helpful.  Then God reminds you:

Matthew 6:25-34 NLT

“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
“And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Secret Santa

Matthew 6:1-4 NLT

“Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

At MFC they would push you hard on giving. So topics of giving can be a sore spot with me. Not to say I don't give. I just don't like hearing a sermon on it. This passage though would be the exception that proves the rule. Don't make a fuss over what you gave or how much. God and you are all that needs to know.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Think About It Overnight

Psalm 4:4-5 NLT

Don’t sin by letting anger control you.
Think about it overnight and remain silent.
Interlude Offer sacrifices in the right spirit,
and trust the LORD.

Sometimes we all need a reminder of the basics.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Ax is at the Root

So in the 1 year bible I read today matthew 3 and saw this:

Matthew 3:7-10 NIV

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not think you can say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

And Genesis 6:

Genesis 6:5-8 NIV

The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. So the Lord said, "I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them." But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.

How many times have we caused the LORD so much grief. For we have all been sinners. We have all had that time where we were evil.  And our society seems to be running from God as fast as possible.  I see 2 distinct things here. One was the large group that has turned away from God and will recieve God's wrath, but the other is God's remnant. Those who turn to God are spared.

Hopefully, God is not ready to turn away from America for our wickedness. The best that we can do is to keep our house in order like Noah, like Joshua and Caleb, like Daniel. Here in America we have a unique opportunity, historically speaking, to vote for our leaders. As a Christian we should go vote. If we do nothing, we let those who would destroy America through their wickedness win. I won't say who to vote for because that is between you and God. Just go vote. Don't stop praying, seek after God and God will spare you. Life will be very different after that day of God's judgement comes. And that doesn't mean there won't be hard times ahead.  Look at how Joshua and Caleb still had to wander the desert with the others. Daniel slept with the lions. Noah had his world totally changed. But God spared them. The signs of economic collapse are there, good people will hurt along with bad people.  Thank God that with His help that doesn't mean total destruction for us.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Leaving Los Eden

I saw today that God posted cherubim to block the entrance to Eden and a flaming sword to guard the way to the Tree of Life.

Genesis 3:22-24 NLT

Then the LORD God said, “Look, the human beings have become like us, knowing both good and evil. What if they reach out, take fruit from the tree of life, and eat it? Then they will live forever!” So the LORD God banished them from the Garden of Eden, and he sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made. After sending them out, the LORD God stationed mighty cherubim to the east of the Garden of Eden. And he placed a flaming sword that flashed back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

To the East? I always had it in my mind that they went west out of Eden towards Israel. I don't know why I thought that, just figuring on the locale of the rest of the Bible I guess.  I know that is nothing deep or spiritual just correcting the historical portion in my minds eye.

Also as a side note does the flaming sword that flashes back and forth make anyone else think of a neon sign flashing?
Eat at Joe's. Joe's not here, go away.

Also while are on the subject of Eden, they had it so good there.  When they sinned and got evicted, things seemed to go downhill pretty quick for them.  Not only did they have the curse that was placed on all mankind, Their eldest killed his younger brother. Who then gets banished and cursed even more.
It isn't like he was going off to college or just another town. There weren't a whole lot of people. I guess the moral of that story is that sin takes you in a direction that you did not want to go, further than you intended to go.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year, New Thoughts

So these last couple months I have been in a funk. Partially because of being sick and partially because of the holiday busy-ness.  But it is a new year now and I plan on starting to take things in a bit of a new direction. I want to start posting basically what I find as I am reading my Bible and praying each day. Some days may have some length but most days will probably be short posts.

So today I was reading Matthew 2, and it struck me that Herod was scared by the wise men showing up in Jerusalem. Why?

Matthew 2:1-10 NLT

Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.”
King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem. He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?”
“In Bethlehem in Judea,” they said, “for this is what the prophet wrote:
‘And you, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah,
are not least among the ruling cities of Judah,
for a ruler will come from you
who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.’” Then Herod called for a private meeting with the wise men, and he learned from them the time when the star first appeared. Then he told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him, too!”
After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy!

First off is the obvious reason of "the Messiah was born". But I was wondering if there was more to it. The wise men were magi according to the Greek.  Yes the magi that we get the word magic from. We are talking magicians, sorcerers, and witch doctor types. Coming from far away to worship the newborn king of the Jews. I can see that ruffling some feathers.  Side note here how cool is it that God was attracting the lost even at his birth. They were also astrologers. Following a star... That appeared when Jesus was born, and it moved and led these guys to Israel. What was this star? A real star or planet or comet? Or something of a supernatural origin like an angel? Could Herod see this star? Why didn't he follow it to Jesus? Was it something that only the magi saw? No way to answer that with the info we have from the Bible. But just a thought.