I was pondering things at church-- I sort go get off on my own little rabbit trails based on the scriptures that I hear. It's hard to hear some of the more popular ones over and over-- but I always assume they are brought up again for a reason. This morning was no different. We started off in Matthew chapter 6, the Lord's prayer chapter which goes on to say things like, "do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself," and some other stuff about food and clothing. I have read and taught on this chapter many times over the years. I don't travel in anxiety as much as frustration, so there are other passages that are more meaningful to me personally.
So, what was different this morning? I was thinking that these verses have been very useful to me, especially in the early years of beginning to trust God with my life, my finances and just about everything else. I went to some crazy word-of-faith meetings and gave recklessly-- all of which God honored. I traveled to Brazil and spent every penny I had while I was there-- never giving a thought to some sort of emergency. It was only when I realized that I barely had enough money to to pay the $3 parking for my ride home from the airport, that I gave it much thought.
There have to be many verses that we read and think, "I am not ready for that." "I can't do that." Or "that isn't important." James cautions us against that sort of thinking.
James 1:22-25 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
It is hard to read a verse that very obviously requires faith we may not have, however; we aren't off the hook that easily. We need to see circumstances in our lives as opportunities to please God and grow. Can we get past that part where we say, "this stinks, and I can't seem to find God in it? He is not lost, we are.
Here are some versus that came to mind as I was thinking about this blog:
Matthew 5:37 Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' be 'No.
Hebrews 10:25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another.
1 Corinthians 14:1 Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.
Ephesians 5:19 Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.
1 Corinthians 1:10 I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.
Colossians 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.
Hebrews 3:13 But encourage one another daily.
James 4:11 Brothers, do not slander one another.
1 Peter 5:5 Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another
1 John 1:7 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.
1 John 4:11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
In order to be a saints, we need to be followers of Christ and doers of the word. If we are followers, we don't get to say, I ain't doing that.
John 14:23 Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.