Category: Religion and Philosophy    Thursday, January 25, 2007

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Matthew 18 verse 22 –23 says "Then Peter came up and said to him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven."

            Our culture today has become lax in so many areas that it is frightening to me. Especially those of us that claim Christ as our savior have become complacent and mundane in regard to the very foundations of Christianity. We no longer hold each other accountable. We won't allow others to hold us accountable. Even the pastors at most of the churches today refuse to admit that leading a flock is their calling and they shy away from confrontation. Some pastors believe they or their congregation are called to "equip the saints of God" when the scriptures clearly state that  God will equip  His children.  Pastors and churches are to lift up the saints in turn as they follow the commission of Christ found in the gospel of Mark. In short a pastor's main job is supposed to be protecting, providing, and nurturing the flock. Not running away from trouble or being afraid to hold someone in the congregation accountable for sin against a brother, sister, or society because of politics, how much money they have put in the plate, or how impressed they may be due to education or stature. This is a sin called hypocrisy which obviously angers our Lord tremendously. (Remember the temple?) If you're a pastor that is guilty of these things it is a wonder that God has not pulled His hand of blessing away, humbled you, and demanded full accountability from you. ("To whom much is given, much is demanded")  


            Another area of lax is the individual accountability of the saints. The biggest problem is that we do not spend enough time listening to God through our hearts or His written word. Just a few years ago it was much easier for the saints to spend time in scripture. They did not have the amount of distracting things that we do. Television was limited in the amount of viewing options. Today I have well over 350 channels to select from. A few years ago a family was important. It was the foundation and the center of life. Today in some of our lives, family has little meaning usually getting together only at holidays or birthdays. Some of the young people today do not know, nor do they care about their history, or they have very little loyalty to the family.  I want you to know that God has us here on earth for a short time as a place to prepare ourselves for eternity in heaven with Him. God is the one that created the family structure as the foundation to great nations. Why has it lost its value today?

            The bible is the word of God given to us in a form we can understand and retain for us. Think about that. It is not a book containing meaningless phrases that order us around so God can feel superior to us. It is not a book that is used as a discipline for us because we just can't seem to get it all together. It is an owner's manual for us, given to us by the manufacture of us! WOW! If you don't believe that,  you have forgotten, or you have never thought about it, then stop and think now. I want to give you one example and then I'll stop...For now…J

            Recently I became aware of someone being very angry and upset over a non- threatening situation they had with another Christian. The angry individual vented in a public manner and was trying to make a point displaying how offended, hurt, and violently angry they were. When I found this out my spirit was immediately hurting for them and convicted to pray. I had to spend sometime thinking on the situation and the Lord put the scripture on my heart found at the beginning of this letter. Mathew 18:22. As I read this account I asked myself why would Christ tell Peter that he had to forgive anyone 70 times 7 ?   Most of us have a problem in that area. That is a tough one. Then I remembered that the bible is a owners manual intended to be used by us and for us.  As I heard of this individual's anger I could see that the only thing that was being accomplished was creating damage for them. They were allowing the problem to escalate, becoming paranoid and self destructive. My heart goes out to that person because they just did not follow the owner's manual.  If they had they would have found peace within, been able to keep things in the proper perspective, and easily reconciled, realizing that  there was nothing  to become angry about in the first place. Instead, by not following the owners manual they fell into one of the traps of Satan, our accuser. Here is what was accomplished. The angry one became paranoid, which is one of the most psychologically destructive things that can happen to you. They lost perspective, became overwhelmed showing their true heart to those in their world, and hindered a prayerful plan for someone to witness to one of their own, a lost family member.  Sounds like the devils work to me! As always, we make our own choices. Life is all about choices, God just equips us.

Until later, Dave

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