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The Danger in wanting stuff is that it can replace or minimize our commitment to God
Read Matthew 6:19-21
Jesus understood that what we value in life, will determine our direction in life.
Our relationship to money & material possessions reveals much about our relationship to God.
When we consider money & possessions more important than eternal values, we place ourselves in danger of our priorities & life-focus being out of line.
We begin to live for the things we possess or desire to have. How many times do young people and adults see what “everyone else” has and feel that they have to have it also? Where is the focus?
Do material possessions bring long-lasting security?
Do you think they make us successful?
Jesus was teaching a lesson that was contrary to what had been the custom. In the Old Testament, a person’s worth tended to be defined by what he possessed: land, livestock, money, children, and servants.
Jesus knew the dangers of making the accumulation of possessions a goal in one’s life. “Money Talks” is a familiar phrase. Money can set our priorities and determine our choices.
People spend a lot of energy and money investing in things that will not last. Things that will rust, age, or be stolen.
Jesus wanted us to know that our energy should be used in acts of obedience to God. These acts are to be laid up in heaven where they are eternal and cannot be destroyed.
Wealth is not a sin in itself; rather it is a person’s attitude toward his or her treasures that can become a sin.
If our treasure is on earth, our heart will be on earth also. Remember, all things belong to God and we are to use them as God directs.
Read Matthew 6:22-23
The eye brings either light or darkness into the body depending on the eye’s state of health.
In this passage, Jesus talks about the eye in relationship to the spiritual state of the individual. The eye is either good or bad. If the eye is good, it is focused on God, and will bring light into the body and illuminate every area of it.
If the eye is bad, it is focused on the things of the world, or it tries to focus on both God and the world. This can lead to blurred or distorted vision.
Read Luke 10:27
Please pray for a friend of mine while he is at old school.
I know many of you have been wondering how I’ve been doing and what’s been going on since the beginning of my new journey at SWO Old School. Well, (with a big sigh of relief) I can say it’s been going well. I got adjusted to everything very quickly and have met many friends. I have just got officially certified as a Wilderness First Responder!
It’s been a long past 8 days full of lectures and treating various fake injuries, but my classmates and I made it through. Our British instructor did make this process more interesting at least! Along side of the intense training for our WFR course, we’ve also been receiving some awesome expositional teachings from Spencer Davis, a guy who works here at Snowbird, out of the book of Ephesians. I can honestly say that the Lord is already doing great things in me and…
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Remember those little plastic capsules you played with as a child? You would drop them in hot water and watch the plastic casing melt away. A mysterious surprise emerged, slowly taking shape until you recognized some foam creature. It wouldn’t work if you refused to drop it; you had to let go of it first. You also couldn’t help it along; it would tear to pieces if you attempted to free the sopping substance from its gummy cocoon.
5 but now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. 7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.
Christ explained to His disciples that they had to let Him go. Not that He was fragile or anything would be ruined, but that God’s design required a time of transition. Earlier in John’s Gospel, Jesus had taught that like a seed, His body would be sacrificed in order to introduce new life in the spirit. Like a seed, we too must die to ourselves, shedding our flesh, to allow the spirit to produce fruit that glorifies the Father.
There is no short cut. There is no way around God’s plan. Just like Christ submitted to the will of God, so must we. Since Jesus is no longer with us on earth, His Spirit has been sent to help us in this life. We can be confident in three things as the Spirit slowly reveals the nature of God’s character (and ours).
First, we know that sinful desires must be shed, replaced by trust in Christ. His Spirit will convict us of what needs to go and what needs to grow. Second, we know that His Spirit will empower us to live by faith, reminding us of what Christ said and did. The Helper will nurture spiritual health, becoming the righteousness of Christ in us. Finally, we should feel confident knowing that God is not abandoning us, nor can evil overcome us. God is in control. He is doing a new thing and His power is more than sufficient.
After reading many posts and blogs about Caitlyn Jenner, I am absolutely disgusted by how some Christians represent Christ on this topic. I know that I am super late writing this, but I feel like someone needs to call us “Christians” out on how we are handling this.
Let me remind you: 34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35 NIV)
If we love people, we do not say that they have “crossed the line”. We love them unconditionally and show Christ to them. If Caitlyn were to walk into our Church (Journey Church Tifton, GA) on a Sunday morning, I guarantee you she would be welcomed with love and treated the way we all should treat each other. Not that we would condone the sin but provide help to the sinner.
Some Christians have absolutely made fools of themselves trying to make it look like we are hateful, non-caring, people who seek out sinners and call them out on what they are doing wrong. Instead, why don’t we show Caitlyn and the rest of the world what it looks like to be real followers of Christ? Let the light of Jesus Christ shine through us so much (and I mean so much that there is no question that we love them) that they want to investigate Jesus. They are directed straight to Jesus. Once they have an encounter with Christ, He can change them.
I’ve read other bloggers who have said, “We should love them, but where do we draw the line?”
My response to that is that it is not our place to draw that line. While I wish that we could make executive decisions like that and make everything about Jesus, there is something called America. It would be awesome if every person here in the U.S. knew Jesus and had a relationship with Him. But, our country exists to be a free country. While I agree that it would be awesome if everyone followed Jesus and His commandments, our country is a place for people to be free and be whoever they want. The land of the free.
If we require all people to follow the same rules as Christians, that would mean (since our country is free) that any religion should be followed. If Christians expect people to follow their religion then so could muslims.
My main point here is that we should show compassion and love people rather than bash them and throw a religion at them that they do not even know. Show Christ. Display Christ. Be light to this dark world.
I may not agree with Caitlyn Jenner but I do not think that pointing out her flaws is what Jesus wants me to do.
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:1-5 NIV)
“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.” (1 John 1:5-10 NIV)
“9 Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister[b] is still in the darkness. 10 Anyone who loves their brother and sister[c] lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. 11 But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.” (1 John 2:9-11)