Quick thought

When we suffer,  as Christians,  for being a Christian.. Example:locked for praying,  wearing Christian shirts,  beaten up for our faith or arrested or threatened with death,  etc.. All for Christ.. We should find it joy.. And not retaliate.  Just like Jesus did not retaliate.  He bore it all.  Taking the beating etc.

For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.1Peter 2:20-23

So, we are not to respond.  But,  show compassion,  mercy,  love,  and forgiveness towards those who “persecute” us for our faith in Christ.

But…..

We are NOT to stay silent when it comes to sin.

I think Christians get confused about this.

They think we are to stay silent and out of the way of the world.  When it comes to sin and ungodly things.. We are to speak up .

  • Ezekiel 3:17-18
  • Matthew 18:15
  • Galatians 6:1
  • 1Timothy 5:20

Here are just a few verses to check out about calling out sin.  We should.. But.. Only by being led by His spirit , so we do not come across as “holier than thou”

Every action should be led by his Spirit.

As Christians,  should we remain silent when our nation is sinning?

Should we speak up ?

Of course we should pray!  There is no question.  But.. These are things we have to think about.. Not everyone is bold to speak up against sin.. Publically. And I understand that.

But, Some can.  And we should! In my opinion.

So I leave you with this thought and this verse…


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Thoughts about Daniel (pt 1)

Daniel is one of my favorite books of the Bible. There is so much in it. Plus it contains one of my favorite stories(chapter 3).

So, I thought I would try to put together short blogs (“short” haha) about some of the chapters in Daniel. I may or may not go into great detail about the chapter. But, I want to share some things I have grabbed from it…insights, idea, questions, etc from my study of this book. Please leave comments questions insight as well!

Daniel Chapter 1

Something that I never really noticed before is that the Hebrews that we learn about in Chapter one, were from nobility.

“3 Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring into the king’s service some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility 4young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians”

These boys(men) were not just any Israelite, they were someone of importance. Also we see here that these Israelites were to be,… well…perfect. Such high standards there by the King. SO, what we know about Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, is they were of nobility, handsome, learned, and “without blemish”. They seemed to “have it all” until they got captured. Interesting thing to think about.

Brings up other questions like: why did the king pick them to learn Babylonian thing? What kind of Enemey King would teach his “slaves” or captives literature and things of his kingdom? I just find it interesting after reading this story a few dozen times and that never sunk in. There must be more to this then what we are seeing. Were these four acting prideful so God allowed them to be humbled, by getting captured. Well, we do read on that they obeyed Gods ways.

“8But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. Now God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel, 10 but the official told Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your[c] food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.”

11 Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” 14 So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.”

They, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, CHOOSE not to eat the things that would defile their bodies. Things they knew God had told them not to partake in. They obeyed. They stood up for their beliefs. They were honored. And God gave them favor and blessed them with being healthier then all the others.

What can we take from this?

No matter who you are things can be taken away so easily. But who will you serve when/if it does? Will you trust in God through it all. Will you still obey what he asks of you? Even in dire situations?

This was just a first test that these men would go through. And though the “world” around them pressured them to “fit in” they stood their ground and obeyed God.

 

 

 

Doubt: Increase my faith!

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John 20:24-29

Jesus and Thomas

“24 Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin,[a] was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”

26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, Peace be with you. 27 Then he said to Thomas, Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe. 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.

We read this passage and we understand how Thomas felt. Why do we always ask for a sign? Why can’t we just believe? We want something  that we can touch as if that will be enough. I remember reading in scripture that

“When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them. 37Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him, 38so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:

“Lord, who has believed what he heard from us,
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”

39Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said,

40“He has blinded their eyes
and hardened their heart,
lest they see with their eyes,
and understand with their heart, and turn,
and I would heal them.”

John 12:36-40

Even when Jesus was right there performing these miraculous signs people did not believe. So even when we are given a sign..we still doubt? Whats wrong with us?!

If you read my previous blog (Healed!) you will see verses that say “if you just believe”. God is asking us to just believe in God. Believe what He is doing. Trust Him. Why do we struggle so much with that?

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We all have a bit of a “doubting Thomas” in us. I suppose because we do not have the right relationship with the Lord as we should. Yet, we read this..

29Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen, and yet have believed..” John 20:29

“Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with an inexpressible and glorious joy..” 1 Peter 1:8

We can serve the Lord today, without seeing Him like the disciples did. Yet, sometimes in our prayers we ask for signs? Truly, I do believe, we doubt because sin has crept in. He ask for a sign because we are not having the faith that we once had.

So, that makes one wonder…was Thomas doubting because he was in sin? We do not know the answer for sure about that. But, we do know he doubted. He lacked faith.He forgot that Jesus said He would rise again. He forgotten all the things the Lord had done right before his very own eyes.

We do that too. Don’t we? We forget where the Lord has brought us from. We forget what the Lord has done in our lives and the lives of others. Then when trials come we get easily distracted and start doubting what the Creator of the universe can do! Shame on us! Shame on me!

“Remembering what God has done in the past

is vital for living by faith in the future”

Pastor David Schrock (Don’t Forget What God Has Done For You)

Easy conclusion, if we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, stay on that narrow path, stay connected with the Lord…we will not doubt. We will trust what God is doing. We will have the faith to move mountains or mulberry trees. (Matthew 21:18-21)

How can my faith increase?

  1. Keep a record of all the things the Lord has done.  Write down every time the Lord works in you life or in the lives of others. Financial, healings, protection, provisions..answering any kind of prayers. Moses did (Deuteronomy 5:15, 8:2, 9:7 also check Hebrews 11)
  2. Be around those who have great faith. Stay connected with like minded people…Christians who are serving God. they will encourage you.(1 Thessalonians 5:11)
  3. Pray. In Luke 17:5 the disciples asked the Lord to “increase our faith!” We to can ask the Lord to do this in our lives. We “decrease that the Lord may increase” (John 3:30)

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I want to believe without seeing! I want my faith to increase so that, anything that comes my way will be nothing of alarm. I want to be so full of faith that I can say:

“Whatever happens I know the Lord has me.

Not my will but His.

Because God said it I WILL believe it!”