Sunday, March 31, 2013

     As christians we are called to speak out against sin, to call a sin, a sin, to call evil, evil. We should not sugar coat it, or hide it. We should not say it is OK, but we all need to remember that we have all sinned and fall short of God's glory. I pray to God everyday that I never talk about someone's sin in a judgmental way. When someone has crossed the line and sinned we should not look at them with a judmental spirit, there should be no finger ponting going on. We should look at it and handle it with gentleness and love.
     Let's look at James 4:11, it says, “Do not say evil against one another, my brothers. He who says evil against his brother or makes himself his brother’s judge, says evil against the law and is judging the law." We are part of the same family, we are brothers, relatives, we have the same Father. Our Father who art in Heaven. We have the same Savior, Jesus Christ, "our Lord". We have the same Holy Spirit living inside of us. We have been saved by the same blood, the blood of Christ. It is the Devil's job to speak against God and his family. When we look at someone, or speak of someone in a judgmental way, we are doing the Devil's work. It is unchristian to judge others, that is not what we are supposed to be doing.

     Do you remeber what Jesus says the greatest commandment is? It is found in Mathew 22: 37-39.
It says, ’YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ "This is the greatest and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ’YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ When we judge someone we are breaking God's commandment. James tells us that when we speak evil of one another we are breaking God’s law and disobeying His commandment. By speaking evil against them - we are not loving our brothers and sisters in Christ. We have become their judge – not their friend. To judge one another is unloving and unchristian.

     God is merciful. He gives forgiveness where there should be condemnation. Shouldn’t we act the same way? Do you know the story that Jesus told in Mathew 18? It goes a little like this. A man owed $50,000 to his boss. His boss was kind enough to forgive him of the debt. The man then went out and found a guy who owed him $5. He strangled the guy because he wouldn’t pay up. When the boss heard the news – He went to man who had owed him $50,000 and said, “Who do you think you are? I forgave you a huge amount. This other fellow only owed you a little bit – yet you would not forgive him. What’s up with that? Is that how you play the game? Don’t give out what you so richly have received? Remember you will be forgiven in the same manner you forgive.”  God has shown us mercy. God has shown us love. God has shown us forgiveness. How should we treat those around us? How should we behave?

   Remember what 1 Corintians 13 says, If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.  Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;  it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. ( 1 Corinthians 13:1-7)

     I will leave you with this, Mathew 7:1-5. “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 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? 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? 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.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Mathew 14:25-33,
25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

     So I have been to a few rehearsals now, and I think that the Story of Jesus walking on the water, and showing the disciples that through faith you can conquer your fears can be applied to what I am doing with this play, trusting that God is with you always, no matter where you are He is right there with you.
     The first couple of times I went out and tried to act in front of people I was very nervous, I couldn't get my lines out, I couldn't act. One night one of my Stephan Minister friends was talking about Peter and how he always doubted, and needed proof, and didn't have faith that Jesus could help him walk on water no matter what the conditions. That got me thinking, I had never even thought that God would want to help me over come my fear of talking in front of people. Remember, God wants us to step out of our comfort zones, tells us to step out of our comfort zones. If He wants us to do this, then why would He not be there to help us. Now I add that to my daily prayers, as well as saying a little prayer before I go on stage to say my lines. I still get a little nervous, but knowing that God is there helps. Always remember that no matter what you are going through in life, God is there with you. Having some faith can be very powerful.