Archive for June, 2012

Christ creates division

JESUS SPEAKING

                “I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!  But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished!  Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth?  I tell you, not at all, but rather division.  For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three.  Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law” (Luke 12: 49-53.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

                Jesus corrected the commonly held belief that he came to bring peace to the earth; his real purpose was to give everyone the opportunity to choose their eternal destinations for themselves.  The baptism Jesus underwent on the cross divided the world in two; some have accepted his sacrifice and followed his teachings; still others believe he was just a man, and the cross has no meaning in their lives.  On this earth the strongest of all bonds exist within the family unit.  Loyalty among siblings is paramount; as is the fidelity between children and their parents; yet not even these sacred relationships can withstand the new order Christ’s sacrifice has produced; the believer’s new supreme allegiance belongs to the Son of God, and those who share this allegiance make-up, ‘The Body of Christ.’

                In the book of Luke, Jesus presented a man with the gospel, saying, “Follow me;” the man responded, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”  Jesus then replied, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you, go and preach the kingdom.”  Then another man came to him and said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.”  Jesus responded saying, “No one, having put his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God.”  In both cases Jesus caused turmoil and division.  Both men were given the opportunity to choose allegiance to family, or allegiance to Jesus Christ.  Two choices; two sides; two paths; the choices presented to them are the same choices we face today.

                Jesus Christ is the prince of peace; however, he is also a sword that cuts the world in two.  He came to create unity amongst followers and division between those followers and everyone else.  If we are at peace with the world, then we are in opposition to God.  Persecution is a very real part of a genuine faith.  We will suffer; we will be divided from many loved ones, but we will never be alone.  We must be strong for each other; as one body, we can endure, and we can overcome the world through the power of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.

                “Lord Heavenly Father we ask that You give us the strength to step out in faith.  We desire to be Your followers; may we be filled with love, and may we never be ashamed of the truth.  May our allegiance to You and to Your Son be supreme; may we never put anyone ahead of You Lord.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

Don’t let the passion fade

JESUS SPEAKING

                “To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, ‘These things says he who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands:  I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil.  And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored and have not become weary.  Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.  Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent” (Revelation 2: 1-5.)          

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

                Eleven of the twelve disciples were martyred for their faith; the apostle John however, lived to be an old man.  In his final days, he received a revelation from God; in this revelation, he recorded a message from Jesus Christ to the seven churches that had been established around the Mediterranean. In his address to the Church at Ephesus, the Lord had many good things to say.  He commended the congregation for questioning those who had come to them claiming to be prophets.  He praised them for their continued patience; and he honored them for loving righteousness and despising evil.  Even still, Christ did find among them one grievous sin; they had left their first love.  The Ephesians, like most Christians, had initially been zealous for the things of God; as new converts they were more than eager to spread the gospel and to obey the teachings of Christ.  Over time however, they had grown cold and apathetic.  In turn, Jesus commanded them to repent and to once again accomplish the works of God.

                Dating and marriage are essential parts of the human condition.  When a man courts a woman he is filled with enthusiasm and excitement.  He spends large amounts of money taking the woman out; he buys her flowers, candy, and perhaps even jewelry.  He does everything he can to impress her, and to let her know that she is loved.  After years of marriage however, men and women have a tendency to become apathetic toward one another.  They slip in to routine and lose their enthusiasm and zeal.  The result is a marriage that is no longer founded upon love; if the love does not return, divorce is extremely probable.

                Like many marriages, the church of Ephesus had grown cold.  Today there are many Christians who have become indifferent and apathetic.  As we examine our hearts, if we have lost our excitement and zeal, then we must repent.  We must once again do the works of God; we love others unconditionally and spread the gospel message with eagerness and enthusiasm.  May the Lord’s Spirit fill you; may He guide you; and may Your heart burn with mercy, passion, and the love of Jesus Christ.

                “Lord Heavenly Father, if we have grown cold, help us to repent and to once again be filled with passion and zeal.  May we desire to serve You and our fellows; may we long to spread Your gospel; may we love others, and accomplish Your will in this place.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

Marriage is permanent

JESUS SPEAKING

                The Pharisees came and asked Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” testing Him.  And He answered and said to them, “What did Moses command you?”  They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce, and to dismiss her.”  And Jesus answered and said to them, “Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept.  But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh.  Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”  In the house His disciples also asked Him again about the same matter.  So He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her.  And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery” (Mark 10: 2-12.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

                The religious leaders asked Jesus a controversial question concerning divorce (controversial even today.)  They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?”  Jesus’ answered ‘No.’  He then referred to Adam and Eve as an example of God’s divine will concerning marriage.  In ‘the beginning,’ God created two people; Adam and his wife Eve.  They were created for one another; God intended them to be one inseparable person; one being, in eternal fellowship with Him.  They longed for one another; they had no desire to be apart.  Divorce is not God’s creation [Although God did not create divorce He allows it in only one instance.  Sexual immorality is just cause for divorce.  This would include any type of sexual contact outside of the marriage (pornography might also be considered sexual immorality.)  A faithful spouse may divorce an unfaithful spouse and still lawfully remarry; the spouse that committed adultery however, cannot remarry.  Note:  It is possible that extreme physical abuse may be cause for separation, if a person feels their life is threatened?]  The bond between a husband and wife is sacred; and if broken will result in eternal consequences.

                Every human being alive today is the product of the union between two people.  When the first cell is formed in the womb, it carries with it, all of the information necessary to create a person.  Half of the instructions come from the mother, and half come from the father.  The child may have the father’s eyes, but the mother’s hair; their mannerisms and behaviors will partially reflect either parent in some way.  Imagine attempting to separate the child in two; ‘half of Dad over there; half of Mom over here.’  Can a human being be divided in such a way and still hope to live?  No; any attempt at separation would surely result in death.  When two people get divorced they are trying to separate what cannot be separated.  Sadly, many married couples choose to divide and in turn they choose death rather than life.

                Today, anyone seeking to be married should understand that there is no turning back; there is no ‘jumping ship;’ there is no dividing what God has made one.  Divorce for any reason other than sexual immorality leads to death.  Although marriage is meant to be a blessing and a gift from the Lord, at times it can be challenging and extremely difficult; despite the challenges however, it is most certainly permanent; it is a contract that can never be broken.  So take the time to consider what marriage means before you enter in to an eternal union with another human being.

                “Lord Heavenly Father, please give those who are married the strength to continue forward in love with their eternal partners; may they understand the permanence of their marriage vows.  Also, provide those of us who are not married with wisdom in choosing our future wives and husbands.  Lord, continue to guide Your children; that those who love you may avoid the snares of death, and the tragedy and misery of divorce.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.  


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