If you love me you must accept me as I am…


Not so fast.

Mk 17 (GW) As Jesus was coming out to the road, a man came running to him and knelt in front of him. He asked Jesus, “Good Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?”
18 Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.
19 You know the commandments: Never murder. Never commit adultery. Never steal. Never give false testimony. Never cheat. Honor your father and mother.”
20 The man replied, “Teacher, I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was a boy.”
21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. He told him, “You’re still missing one thing. Sell everything you have. Give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then follow me!”
22 When the man heard that, he looked unhappy and went away sad, because he owned a lot of property. Mark 10:17-22

Love ? I love love love you.

Love ? I love love love you. (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

The most important thing that jumped out at me with this passages are the words: Jesus looked at him and loved him.

If I have heard it once I have heard it a thousand times God is love and we must love others. So what is love and how does it relate to dealing with others? This passage is a perfect example of what love actually is and what love expects.

JESUS LOVED this man who came to him wanting to gain salvation. Liken this to the person who comes to church asking what they must do to gain eternal life. For the most part these people present themselves as law-abiding citizens and are living a decent and good life. To the average person this man who came to Jesus was an upstanding citizen, an accomplished man, a leader among his peers, successful by the worlds standards and most likely a person any organization would happily employ. This person is not living a visible sinful lifestyle. He would appear to the natural man that he had it all together.

And Jesus LOVED HIM. He loved him enough to tell him his shortcomings. He loved him enough to not let him continue living the life that he was living. He loved him enough to tell him the truth. As compared to what a GODLY life actually entailed this man had missed the mark completely. This man had put his trust in his personal accomplishments. He had acquired a great deal of success and prominence in this world, his resume was impressive, but failed to gain entrance into God’s kingdom.

Jesus loved him. And told him that he needed one thing. To sell everything he had and humble himself to take up the cross and follow Jesus. Interesting enough that is the same message Jesus gave to all his disciples. If any man wished to follow Christ and be his disciple he must take up his cross and follow him. Mt 16:24Mk 8:34Lk 9:23.

This is not a new concept and Jesus was not singling out this person and asking him to do anything less than what he had expected of all his disciples.

Why then is it that today’s church does not require the same of their disciples? Why is it that for the most part everyone who comes to the church is offered entrance without any requirements of self-sacrifice and cross bearing? Why do those who come to the church wish to be treated special? They do not wish to be required to give up anything in their life. They want to continue to live exactly like they have before coming to the church. They feel like this man did, they had achieved everything they needed to be acceptable in society and as such should be offered entrance into heaven simply because of their ‘good works‘ or ‘good living’.

God saved you through faith as an act of kindness. You had nothing to do with it. Being saved is a gift from God. It’s not the result of anything you’ve done, so no one can brag about it. Ephesians 2:8-9 (GW) 

You see then all those things that this man thought he had accomplished did not earn him entrance into God’s kingdom because they were done apart from the will of God. They were not done by God’s Spirit. You see to gain entrance into the kingdom of God we must trust in God to lead us there, we can not lead ourselves there nor earn our way in. Prior to coming to Christ all our accomplishments are not acceptable.

Sell all you have accomplished, give it away, give it to the poor, and take up your cross, deny yourself, and follow Jesus wherever it is he leads you. Then you shall gain entrance into the kingdom of God. Your plans and accomplishments are not what is important. Everything you thought you wanted to do does not matter. It is not YOUR way that is going to get it done. It is HIS way and only HIS way.

Jesus answered him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one goes to the Father except through me. John 14:6 (GW) 

No one who enters the kingdom of God will ever say they did it their way. And our way is not going to get us there either.

You see folks God is under absolutely no obligation to honor you for your accomplishments, nor is he obligated to honor you because of your ‘good living’. He is God and as such needs to be honored as God and only those who do his will are acceptable into his kingdom.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the person who does what my Father in heaven wants. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name? Didn’t we force out demons and do many miracles by the power and authority of your name?’ Then I will tell them publicly, ‘I’ve never known you. Get away from me, you evil people.’ Matthew 7:21-23 (GW) 

Do not be deceived into believing that just because things have gone well for you, and you have accomplished great things in this world, that you have a guarantee entrance into God’s kingdom. There is only one way to get in and that is to deny thyself, and take up the cross and follow Jesus. You can not come to Christ and continue to live like He doesn’t matter.

Many of us like this rich man are imprisoned to our own wants, needs and desires, and as such we are not fit for God’s kingdom. Until we are willing to lay it all down and take up our cross to follow Jesus, we will never inherit the kingdom of God.

What is love then? Love dares to speak the truth. And the truth is NO ONE shall enter the kingdom of God without taking up their own personal cross. Regardless of their standing in the world.

This is hard for believers to handle because even Christ’s own disciples took exception to how Jesus handled the rich man. They were shocked that he turned the man away. Actually the man turned himself away because he refused to do what Jesus had asked him to do. Remember Jesus asked him to give all his money away because he LOVED HIM.

Mk 23 (GW) Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it will be for rich people to enter the kingdom of God!”
24 The disciples were stunned by his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!
25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”
26 This amazed his disciples more than ever. They asked each other, “Who, then, can be saved?”
27 Jesus looked at them and said, “It’s impossible for people {to save themselves}, but it’s not impossible for God to save them. Everything is possible for God.” Mark 10:23-27

You see guys and gals, it is impossible to save ourselves. It is impossible no matter how hard we try nor how well we live to enter into the kingdom of God apart from the cross. The cross is the entrance gate into God’s kingdom. That is how it works. There is no other way. You can not avoid the cross. You can not buy your way in. You can not earn entrance. It is a gift of God and as such can only be bestowed upon man by God through Jesus via the Holy Spirit.

In other words you must be born again. Jn 3:1 No flesh can inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Cor 15:50

eagle_feather_icon.gifThis is a view from the nest. What say you?

But those who are waiting for the Lord will have new strength; they will get wings like eagles: running, they will not be tired, and walking, they will have no weariness. Isaiah 40:31 (BBE)

 

Along for the journey

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This has been A View from the Nest. The statements, comments, or opinions expressed are solely that of the author and do not represent the views or opinions of the host of this site or any affiliates thereof. Any questions or comments should be directed to myself and not to the host or hosts of this site.
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There Will Always Be Rulers Who Will Suppress the Truth


I am not sure where I first read this but I thought it was worthwhile to be passed on to my readers so I did. Unless we come to an Epiphany of God through Jesus, unless we realize that God is with us in the form of man the God-man Jesus, then we have not had a true encounter with the living Christ. Wise men were seeking the King of the Jews. What they found was a 2-year-old boy. What they knew was a star had guided them to the very place the King of the Jews could be found. Having met the one spoken of by the prophets of old, they were warned in a dream to leave a different way because Herod had desired to kill this child king.
The three Magi before Herod, France, early 15t...

The three Magi before Herod, France, early 15th century. Stained glass: colored glass, grisaille; lead. Restored by F. Pivet, 1999. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Epiphanies are “aha” moments, times when we come to realize something that should have been as plain as the noses on our faces. This Day of Epiphany starts a chain-reaction of aha moments as the human family begins to recognize that Jesus the Messiah has come. The epiphany of which we speak is an increasing revelation that began with the shepherds and the Wise Men, extended to Simeon and Anna at Jesus’ presentation as an infant, then to John the Baptist and those who saw Jesus’ baptism, further to the servants of the wedding at Cana, and on to worshipers at his hometown synagogue in Nazareth. By the time this year’s season has come to its end at the Transfiguration, we will be reminded that God, who is greater than Moses or Elijah, is with us!

What we know of Herod we know primarily from a historian (Josephus) who did not like him, as well as from this testimony in Matthew. Herod was, by their testimony, insecure, paranoid, easily threatened, and ready to act violently if he thought someone might be in his way.
But in Matthew’s story, our Christian story, Herod is not just a maniacal historical figure. He is also stand-in for the powers of the world. These powers keep others from accessing truth they do not want to be accessed, and then try to control the outcome of any truth discovered.

The Magi are free agents initially drawn into Herod’s scheme as pawns. The angels in dreams send them home by another way; and in the verses following, send the Holy Family into exile in Egypt, also as free agents. Herod lashes out with extreme violence, ordering the execution of every Jewish male under age two unless he may have missed someone.

 God’s consistent activity in this story was Epiphany! God acted in surprising, transforming ways to subvert the powers that be and all they would attempt to stop God’s reign from being made known (Epiphany!) through Jesus. In nature, God arranged the alignment of planets viewed by the astrologers. Through the astrologers going to Jerusalem, the wrong people are asked and Herod’s suspicions are raised. Through Herod, the Magi discover where they need to go to find the king they seek. Through a series of dreams, God leads the astrologers and the Holy Family to safety in the face of what were very serious death threats from Herod. It is subversion after subversion, God never once using the “right channels” to spread the word of the newborn king and God’s kingdom surely coming to all the world. Not once. God always acted by Epiphany!

Not Knowing.

Have you ever thought of the things that the wise men did not know? Like Abraham, they set out on a journey, not knowing where it would take them (Hebrews 11:8). They did not know how long the trip would take when they decided to follow the star that appeared in the East. Then, they did not know how they would be received in the faraway foreign land. They did not know what the king would look like; nor did they know when or if they would return home. Yet they, like Abraham, chose to make the journey.

Following the light of God is a similar journey requiring faith. We often feel that we don’t know where our journey will lead us, and we certainly never know what we will find along the way. We do, however, know that God goes before us, and with us, and that the journey is not in vain.
 Notice the prominence of images of light in the Epiphany readings. So many people are looking for a light at the end of the tunnel — something to signal an end to the present madness. Their concerns and fears wear a dozen faces: loneliness, depression, economics, bullying, terrorism, disease, marital discord — the list goes on. Epiphany’s reminder of the unchanging love of God for us is as refreshing as a glimpse of light at the end of a dark tunnel.
God is still at work today to thwart the schemes and plans of the enemy of truth. His will, will be done on earth as it is in heaven. There is no greater power in heaven or earth that can outwit, outlast, out maneuver God. All the plans of evil men to suppress the truth will come to naught. God’s ways will flourish and all those who are willing to accept His guidance shall be delivered from evil.

This is the true meaning of the word Epiphany! Eureka I found it. I found the truth. I found life and purpose. I found the one who was foretold by the prophets of old. I found Jesus! So can you if you are willing to seek Him with your entire being. You must be willing to face opposition and overcome those who are more than happy to keep you ignorant of the truth. There will be many who will try to suppress the truth by their actions. They like Herod of old will do everything within their power to keep you from finding the truth and to hinder the truth from being found out.

You are being lied to my friends and I am here to tell you that you can get victory over Herod’s lies. His reign of destruction will not continue and will be brought to an end. But the Kingdom of God shall remain forever. Now that is something to shout EUREKA about.

eagle_feather_icon.gifThis is a view from the nest. What say you?

But those who are waiting for the Lord will have new strength; they will get wings like eagles: running, they will not be tired, and walking, they will have no weariness.

Isaiah 40:31 (BBE)

Along for the journey

tj201009292334-3.jpg

This has been A View from the Nest. The statements, comments, or opinions expressed are solely that of the author and do not represent the views or opinions of the host of this site or any affiliates thereof. Any questions or comments should be directed to myself and not to the host or hosts of this site.

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It’s The End of the World As We Know It


 

Well not so much.  For it is written:

“No one knows when that day or hour will come. Even the angels in heaven and the Son don’t know. Only the Father knows. “When the Son of Man comes again, it will be exactly like the days of Noah. In the days before the flood, people were eating, drinking, and getting married until the day that Noah went into the ship. They were not aware of what was happening until the flood came and swept all of them away. That is how it will be when the Son of Man comes again. Matthew 24:36-39 (GW)

According to the Mayan calendar December 21st 2012 is supposed to be the end of the world. This is not the first time the end of the world was predicted. All the earlier predictions were wrong and I am certain this prediction will be wrong as well. Had the Mayans had some sort of special knowledge of what was going to happen in the future they would not have suffered the loss of their own kingdom.

But be certain of this, that if the master of the house had knowledge of the time when the thief was coming, he would have been watching, and would not have let his house be broken into. Luke 12:39 (BBE)

If the Mayan’s were unable to predict their own end how could it be said that they possessed a certain knowledge of things to come concerning the end of the world? Like others who have predicted the end of the world before, this too will be proven to be a false prophecy.

The problem with these false prophecies of doom is that they embolden the skeptics to mock and ridicule God and his holy people. There is coming a doomsday that has been prophesied by Holy Scripture, but with all these phony prophesies coming forth every few decades or so it makes it easy for unbelievers to become skeptics, which is exactly what will happen before the real doomsday prophesied by scripture takes place.

First, you must understand this: In the last days people who follow their own desires will appear. These disrespectful people will ridicule {God’s promise} by saying, “What’s happened to his promise to return? Ever since our ancestors died, everything continues as it did from the beginning of the world.”

They are deliberately ignoring one fact: Because of God’s word, heaven and earth existed a long time ago. The earth {appeared} out of water and was kept alive by water.

Water also flooded and destroyed that world. By God’s word, the present heaven and earth are designated to be burned. They are being kept until the day ungodly people will be judged and destroyed.

Dear friends, don’t ignore this fact: One day with the Lord is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. The Lord isn’t slow to do what he promised, as some people think. Rather, he is patient for your sake. He doesn’t want to destroy anyone but wants all people to have an opportunity to turn to him and change the way they think and act.

The day of the Lord will come like a thief. On that day heaven will pass away with a roaring sound. Everything that makes up the universe will burn and be destroyed. The earth and everything that people have done on it will be exposed. 2 Peter 3:3-10 (GW)

And remember Jesus said that no man knows the day or the hour of his coming. This is information that God himself retains. Only God knows when He has had enough of our sinfulness.

Like I said before had the Mayan’s had some sort of insight into future events they would have not suffered the destruction of their own kingdom.

Most of us do not even know when our last day on earth is going to be, and yet we seem to fall for these end of the world prophesies over and over again. Do not be alarmed nor distracted by all this talk about the end of the world. Heed what Jesus said to his disciples about those days.

but give attention to yourselves, for fear that your hearts become over-full of the pleasures of food and wine, and the cares of this life, and that day may come on you suddenly, and take you as in a net: For so it will come on all those who are living on the face of all the earth. But keep watch at all times with prayer, that you may be strong enough to come through all these things and take your place before the Son of man. Luke 21:34-36 (BBE)

So what will you be doing tomorrow? Will you be found enjoying the pleasures of this world? Will you be doing last-minute Christmas shopping? Will you be wining and dining at a holiday party or two? Or will you be seeking Christ in the midst of all this Christmas glitter and end of the world clamor? Will you be found searching His word for answers to life’s problems? Are you watching for and expecting the eventual return of our Lord and Savior?

So whether you fell for the end of the world prophesy of the Mayan calendar or not, know this; tomorrow we will be one day closer to the real return of the Lord Jesus, and the eventual end of the world as we know it.

Until then Carpe Diem.

eagle_feather_icon.gif

This is a view from the nest. What say you?

But those who are waiting for the Lord will have new strength; they will get wings like eagles: running, they will not be tired, and walking, they will have no weariness. Isaiah 40:31 (BBE)

Along for the journey

tj201009292334-3.jpg

This has been A View from the Nest. The statements, comments, or opinions expressed are solely that of the author and do not represent the views or opinions of the host of this site or any affiliates thereof. Any questions or comments should be directed to myself and not to the host or hosts of this site.

 

 

 

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Powerless


 

 

 

Psalm 27:14 Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!

Transmission lines in Romania Of which the nea...

The resulting power outage caused by Hurricane Sandy caused teenagers for the first time in their lifetime to live without any electricity, and (can you even imagine) – without a cell phone! For the first time in their lives they enjoyed the privilege of experiencing what life was like decades ago. Forced to slow down, unable to text or “Facebook”, everyone who lost power entered a “moment” of technological communication silence, and they waited anxiously for the powers that be to restore their normal life patterns. How many actually enjoyed this, or found a relief from the tyranny of communication technology, I wonder? How many actually took any time out to “wait on the Lord”? I have to wonder if the Almighty had much more company than He was used to during this time.

How much, really, do we depend on earthly power? And how much on the power of God?

 

The past election was another power outage that affected the loosing party in particular. After their lose the excuses started to pile up one on top of another. Every possible reason for their political power being shut-off was addressed with one glaring exception. There was no mention of lawlessness, or rebellion against God.

 

It would seem even from the electorate that there is no longer any interest in Godliness, but rather we are attempting to work out our own salvation. We are attempting to work in our own limited strength and not tapping into the source of all power-God. This is idolatry at its worst. To think that we mere humans are capable of addressing life’s storms apart from God is foolhardy. Trying to power-up our own lives while separated from the true ‘power grid‘ is about as useful as the teens toys during the Hurricane Sandy power outage. No amount of complaining or arguing is going to restore this lost power until the power lines are reconnected.

 

Perhaps there are those who have generators as back-up power sources and there maybe others who have the ability to recharge batteries using solar power. But in every case there must be a source of power to generate power.

 

For the East Coast effected by Hurricane Sandy the restoration of electrical power rests in the hands of  the power company‘s ability to repair service lines and restore damaged generating stations. For inner strength and the power to overcome defeats and set-backs there is a different source of power. That source is the Lord! If we truly want to gain power in this world then we need to get access to the greatest power source in the entire universe.

It is far better to be working with God rather than against Him don’t you think?

 

Wait I say on the Lord!

This is a view from the nest. What say you?

But those who are waiting for the Lord will have new strength; they will get wings like eagles: running, they will not be tired, and walking, they will have no weariness. Isaiah 40:31 (BBE)

Along for the journey

 

This has been A View from the Nest. The statements, comments, or opinions expressed are solely that of the author and do not represent the views or opinions of the host of this site or any affiliates thereof. Any questions or comments should be directed to myself and not to the host or hosts of this site.

 

 

 

 

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Life Isn’t Fair: So Grow Up!


 

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, thought like a child, and reasoned like a child. When I became an adult, I no longer used childish ways. 1 Corinthians 13:11

 

Really is that so? Are we behaving like adults or more like a child? Why are so many lamenting that life just isn’t fair? Isn’t that a bit childish?

 

English: An unfair administrator barnstarI got news for you friends life isn’t fair, and anyone who is honest will attest to the number of times they felt that they were being cheated or denied something they thought they deserved. A promotion, a job offer, a word of appreciation, an award, a gift, fame, fortune, opportunity, or any number of life’s perceived blessings. Yes it is just not fair.

 

No life isn’t fair but neither is death since death plays no favorites, does not reward nobility nor recognize wealth or fortunes. Death does not over-look ones standing nor spare the well-connected.

 

Nope my friends, death comes to us all, some sooner than later, but death is the end of life, and it does not play fair. The wicked and the saint each are buried side-by-side. Not fair but that is the way it is. And since neither life not death is fair why do we so often cry aloud like a child: “its not fair?”

 

Annie Glasel, today’s quest author, addresses this idea of fairness in her article titled: “God is Not Fair.” Enjoy!

 

God is not fair, no He’s not. He’s righteous and loving. He’s compassionate and merciful. He’s just and wise. He’s miraculous and trustworthy. God is not fair because if He was, we’d all be condemned.

Fairness implies standards. Fairness assumes morality. Fairness demands a measurement. Unfortunately, when a human speaks of “fairness,” it always means that he or she is using a standard, a morality system and a measurement that befits his or her ideals. Sadly, humanity is flawed. It is likely that any system we devise would also be flawed.

It seems rather comical to hear people talk about what’s fair. My 5 year-old’s concept of fairness is very simple if he gets what he wants, then it is fair. All else is not. Politicians with more years of public debate essentially are like my 5-year-old; they just have better vocabularies and are better rehearsed in their deliveries of eloquent, persuasive speeches that make simple issues sound more complicated. But the concept is the same.

This brings me to the recent revelation I had about 1 Corinthians 13 passage the part that reads “when I was a child” It seems that my prayer times are filled with childish complaints of unfairness, much like my 5 year olds.

I tell Him how unfair it was that “I should have to work when my other girlfriends are ‘enjoying’ full time motherhood.” I complained how unfair it was that “I am stuck with a car that I despise.” I complained how unfair that I should have a job that did not pay enough. I complained how unfair it was that I should have to live across the country from my family. I complained how unfair it was that I have been faithfully tithing but that I am not experiencing immeasurable wealth.

Of course, I do temper this with, “yes Lord, my life is not as bad as those struggling with loss of jobs, loved ones, divorce, financial ruins, betrayal, torture and diseases but nonetheless, I am miserable because you are not fair to me.” (Or more accurately, not giving me what I want, the things that I think will make me happier).

I think at this point, if God were fair, He would start to take away all those things that I take for granted and consider not good enough. And perhaps start to give me the things I deserve. (Um…I don’t really want to go down that road!)

Closer study of the Bible reveals that God does not give us what we want or what we deserve. Instead, He gives us peace, wisdom and grace. He gives us the desires of our heart. Which I had always thought meant He gives us the stuff/things/people/events/circumstances that our hearts desire. Actually, I think it means that He puts new desires in our hearts, His desires (which are better than our desires that tantamount to lusts of life). After all, His ways are higher than our ways, His thoughts higher. I think He exchanges our childish desires for Godly desires.

In doing so, we would stop speaking childish things and start to speak in the language of love. We would be following the instructions to pray ceaselessly and bring all of our supplication with thanksgiving. That sounds like the perfect antidote to turn complaining time back to prayer time.

So, I thank you God that I have a job, a home, a loving husband and child who greet me every day after work. I thank you that I have a car with air conditioning. I thank you that my pay meets all of my needs after tithe and still have left over to not have to cook every night. I thank you that I have families and they are healthy, alive and well. I thank you that I live in an age where I can call them by phone or video phone (while riding in my car). And that it only takes a plane ride to see them. And I thank you Lord that you don’t give me more money than I can manage properly.

And most of all, I thank you God for not being fair and not giving me what I deserve. I thank you for giving me the immeasurable wealth I don’t deserve in Christ Jesus, including but not limited to salvation, kindness, mercy, justice, forgiveness, love, miracles, wisdom, grace, the power of His name and the ever-present Holy Spirit.

I’ve written to ease my pain; I’ve written to hear my voice; I’ve written for vanity; I’ve written for sanity; I’ve written for fun; I’ve written for laughs; I’ve written for me; I’ve written for money. But until I write for God, this talent is for naught.

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.comCHRISTIAN WRITERMAKE A WEBSITE

 

Thank you Annie for your thoughtful words. No life is not fair it cost an innocent man his life to save the guilty from death. The good news is everyone can be treated fairly who call upon the name of the Lord because he will save them from the unfairness of this life and keep them from the death that is to come in the life here-after.

 

No He does not promise you a bed full of roses, nor does he promise that life will treat you right, in fact he says the world will hate you because the world hated him first. But in the end that is when you will receive your reward, the gift of eternal life with Christ.

 

Some may not think that is such a grand thing since they are looking for rewards in the here and now. Well my friends get used to it. Life is just not fair!

 

And that is the way I see it. What say you?

 

This has been A View from the Nest. The statements, comments, or opinions expressed are solely that of the author and do not represent the views or opinions of the host of this site or any affiliates thereof. Any questions or comments should be directed to myself and not to the host or hosts of this site.

 

 

 

 

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