Quarreling

Some would say that quarreling is human nature.  And, to an extent, I agree.  Look around you.  Look at the anger you see, the bitterness. Look at young children with their siblings.  Siblings always quarrel, at some point.  Some more than others.  Part of our path to maturity is to learn how to handle quarrels and to not quarrel.

Proverbs 20:3

3 Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor;
only fools insist on quarreling.

I think that is pretty clear, don’t you?   Just to add to it, here is the information from my devotional:

A person who is truly confident of his or her strength does not need to parade it. A truly brave person does not look for chances to prove it. A resourceful woman can find a way out of a fight. A man of endurance will avoid retaliating. Foolish people find it impossible to avoid strife. Men and women of character can. What kind of person are you?

Gets you thinking, doesn’t it?

Beatitudes

These come up often for me.  For good reason at that.  A couple years ago, our pastor did a series on the Sermon on the Mount, which contains the Beatitudes.  They are now stenciled on the walls of the sanctuary of the church.  The girls, last year I believe, were taught them in Chapel.  This month, their memory verses are The Sermon on the Mount.  And today, ok, yesterday since I’m a day behind in my daily readings, is, what else, but the Sermon on the mount.

I’m not going to analyze it tonight.  I’m too tired.  And work has fried my brain too much today to properly discuss it.  But I do want to put it out here, for the purposes of remembering it.

Matthew 5

Introduction to the Sermon on the Mount

1 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him,2 and he began to teach them.

The Beatitudes

He said:

 

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.

5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.

6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.

7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.

8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.

9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.

10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Salt and Light

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Honestly, if you read through it, truly read it and appreciate the beauty of the metaphors and poetry, it’s a masterpiece.  And says so much about what a true Christian should be.

God bless!!

Information dump

This is strictly for my information.

Hitting, biting, kicking, etc.

Physically harming another person is striking out at man, who is made in God’s image, just as murdering another person is striking out at man who is made in God’s image.  Gen. 9:6 says, “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.”  Based on this principle, we make parallels between the Bible’s insttructions for the punishment of murderers, and the discipline of our children when they strike out at another person.  The same emotions and motivations are often involved in striking other people and in murder.

General information and commandments about this sin:

Gen. 9:5-6  Shed man’s blood, by man his blood will be shed.

The parallel can be made for apanking a child after he has physically harmed another child.

Matt. 5:21-22  If angry with brother without a cause, are in danger of judgement, just as murderer is in danger of judgement.

Be consistent in firmly disciplining any physical harming of other people.

Pr. 6:17 God Hates hands that shed innocent blood.

Matt. 15:19 Evil thoughts and murders come from the heart.

Num. 35:32-33 Show no mercy. Deflies the land.

Do not show mercy to the child who harms others.  His uncontrolled anger and cruelty will “defile” the household.

Js. 4:1-3  Motivated by lust.

Deal with envy, covetousness, selfishness and pride in the heart of the cruel and striking-out child.

What happens, or should happen, to the person who harms others:

Many of the following examples of punishment are Mosaic judicial laws concerning murder.  Many of these principles, however, can be applied in the case of harming other people.

Lev. 24:20-21, Ex. 21:23-25  Murderer was punished life for life, lex talionis.

Spank the hitting, biting child.

Another principle that does not come out in these laws is the need to ask forgiveness of the victim.  obviously, in murder, this is impossible.  When a child has injured another child, though, he should go back to the person, confess his wrong, and ask forgiveness.

Ex. 21:18-19 injure. Pay for loss of time and doctor.

Do the mother’s chores that she could not do while she was attending to the harmed child.

Serve the victim of the child’s striking. Provide for their comfort.

Do the victim’s chores.

Levy a fine from spending money.

Ex. 21:16 Kidnapping punished by death

Holding a child against his will (locking him in his room, holding him under a blanket, etc) is considered kidnapping in our household.

We discipline the offender with spankings.

Ex. 21:15 hit parents, put to death.

Spank.  Also deal with the problem of defiance.

Ex. 21:12,14 Strike man so that he dies, killer should die.

This is an example of premeditated murder, and is punishable by death.

Premeditated, intentional harming of others should be disciplined with spankings.

Num. 35:16-21 Strike with iron, stone, hand weapon, hurl at him, strike with hand so tha tvictim dies, should be punished with death.

Spank for any intentional injury to another.

Num. 35:30, Deut. 17:6  Death penalty required the testimony of two or three witnesses.

This is a good policy before spanking a child for hitting, too.

Circumstantial evidence can serve as one witness.  Often, when the whole story comes out, the “victim” of the hitting has also been at fault – teasing, hitting, etc. – and should be disciplined for his wrongdoing as well.

Pr. 28:17  Man who is burdened with bloodshed will flee to the pit.

Don’t stop him.

Pray for the child’s conscience to convict him and make him miserable until he has confessed his wrong and asked forgiveness. This would be another case for establishing a room for the child to spend time in after injuring another child.  This would allow him time to think over his action.  (Use this in addition to talking with him and disciplining him.  Don’t just banish him to his room whenever he hits someone.)

_____________

Do not Encourage Excuses

Parents and grandparents who compliment and pamper little children excessively may be in danger of misleading the children to believe they can do no wrong or that the wrong they do does not matter.  Adults and children are sinners and it is natural for them to make excuses for their wrong-doings.  Often when children do something that is sinful they immediately cry, “It is not my fault.” “She hit me first.” “Everyone else was doing it.” Uncorrected children may grow into adults who continue making excuses.  Adults lose their temper because of their kids, they drink heavily because of genetic programming, or they cannot lose weight because they were abused as a child.  All people attempt to avoid responsibility for their own sin, but no one, young or old, deceives God.

The wise parent begins early to teach his child to accept personal responsibility for his behavior….

 

Again, this is just information that has been provided to me to assist me with something I’m struggling with.

Thank you, God Bless.

Hatred

Yesterday, I discussed love and how we are to love one another.  Even if we don’t agree with the person, we are to still love them.  Today, I’m going to the opposite side of it, hatred.  Believe it or not, that’s what follows the instruction to Love one another.

John 15:18-25

18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.

These are still the words of Jesus himself.  He’s reminding us to remember that the world hated him before they hated us.

19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.

If we belonged to the world, and followed the world’s beliefs, the world would love us.  However, we, as Christians, don’t belong to the world.  Jesus, God, chose us, and removed us from the world, and therefore, the world hates us.

20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.

I do feel it’s important to remember that a servant is no greater, better, than his master.  Those people that persecuted Jesus, will also persecute his followers.  If they obey Jesus’ teachings, they will also obey other Christian’s teachings.  Be wary of the teachings you follow though.  Search it out, make sure it’s accurate to the bible.  Not all are and actually leads to false teachings, and well, just not good.

21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me.

Christians will be treated harshly because of Jesus, for those that treat us harshly do not know God, and in my experience, most do not care to know him.  They don’t want to have to give up their sin.

22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin.

Here’s the kicker though – they KNOW that they are guilty of the sin, they don’t care.  But they have no excuse for it in God’s eyes.  They’ve been told, they are aware.

23 Whoever hates me hates my Father as well.

This one is fairly obvious: they hate Jesus, so they hate God.

24 If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father.

If Jesus had not come to us, and lived among us, teaching us, then those people would not be guilty of sin.  Instead, he did come to us, he lived among us, taught us the way, was persecuted, killed, buried, and then defeated death and rose again, walked the earth again for 40 days and it was witnessed by 500 people, and then ascended to heaven.  Yet, people will not believe, and still persecute him, thereby hating Jesus, and God.

25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.

This, however, fulfills the Law, the prophecy.  Those that persecute Jesus, hate him without reason.  You see, what the final ‘judgement’ on Jesus was, to crucify him, was that he committed blasphemy.  A trumped up charge as he never actually committed that act.  And for false blasphemy, he was nailed to a cross to die.

It’s amazing what a friend will do for you, isn’t it? Due to their hatred, he was killed.  He was killed for our sins, as he was the sacrifice that God offered to us.  We really should respect that and live as we’ve been commanded.  We should be right with God, and not ourselves.

Love and Joy

People believe that perfecting love and joy is easy.  After all, you love someone, right?  And you have things or people in your life that bring you joy, right?  Don’t forget, there is also the matter of accepting the love and joy from elsewhere.

John 15:9-17:

   9As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.

These are Jesus’ words.  He is saying that as the Father, God, has loved him, he has loved others.  I believe specifically here he is talking about the disciples.   Because of this, we are to continue in His love.

   10If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

If we keep His commandments, we’ll abide in His love.  Jesus did this himself, so he’s not asking us to do anything that he hasn’t already done.

   11These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

Jesus was full of joy.  All the works he did were in joy and love for others, not for recognition.  So, he tells us these things that HIS joy will be with us and that we will be filled with joy ourselves.

   12This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

So, what is His first commandment?  To love one another, as He has loved us.  Remember that Jesus didn’t hang on the cross for just the believers, he hung on the cross for EVERYONE.  Yes, even the criminals and not so nice people (which is generally speaking the rest of us.)

   13Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

This verse happens to be my oldest daughter’s favorite verse.  And think about it, would you lay down your life for your friends?  How much love does that take?  Quite a bit.  And Jesus laid down his life for the entire world, willingly.  What a remarkable statement about his character.

   14Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

We are his friends, IF we do what he has commanded.  By following his commands, we are who he died for.

   15Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

I found this verse interesting.  We are to have a servants heart. Yet, Jesus won’t call us servants, but friends.  Why?  Because a servant doesn’t know what their master (boss) does, but Jesus has made it known the what God has instructed.

   16Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

We don’t choose Him, he chooses us.  He’s ordained us to go out and bear fruit, bring people to Christ.  I have one caveat to that.  I refuse to force someone to Christ.  I make it known my beliefs.  I don’t hide them.  I present the truth, and when someone is moved by the spirit, they will come to Christ.  But I will not lecture someone about it and push them when they are not ready.  A person will let you know when they are ready.  But it is not up to me to convert someone, that’s God’s job.  The end of the verse reminds us that whatever we ask in Jesus’ name, we will be given.  Bear in mind that if what we ask is against God’s plan, it just won’t happen. 😀

   17These things I command you, that ye love one another.

And the most important thing to remember of it all?  Not just that this is what he has commanded of us, but that WE LOVE ONE ANOTHER.  That doesn’t mean just a few people, that means everyone.  That, is the part that is not so easy.  I know I struggle with it on a regular basis, though it is easier and easier to do as I let the spirit work within me.

I challenge you, to look at things a little differently.  You don’t have to agree with the person’s views, politics, or way of life.  You can still love them.  Trust me, it is possible.  Oh, and this would be what most people would refer to as tolerance.

Humbling

This morning, I was in for a real treat, and it was a complete surprise.  I arrived at Sunday School this morning, and our normal teacher wasn’t there.  I adore our normal teacher, he really gets you thinking and encourages us questioning.  But today, I was treated with a substitute, if you will.  Our normal teacher had to go to Arizona for a funeral, so, another Elder stood in for him.  I’ve always loved this Elder, and his wife.  They are two of the most wonderful people you will ever meet.  I won’t go into everything that he talked about, just too much for a quick post.  But one verse really stuck out for me.

2 Chronicles 7:14

if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

This, of course, brought my memory back to one of my favorite Casting Crowns songs, “What If His People Prayed.”  Here are the lyrics for that:

“What If His People Prayed”

What if the armies of the Lord
Picked up and dusted off their swords
Vowed to set the captives free
And not let Satan have one more

What if the church for heaven’s sake
Finally stepped up to the plate
Took and stand upon God’s promise
And stormed hell’s rusty gates

What if His people prayed
And those who bear His name
Would humbly seek His face
And turn from their own way

And what would happen if we prayed
For those raised up to lead the way
Then maybe kids in school could pray
And unborn children see light of day

What if the life that we pursue
Came from a hunger for the truth
What if the family turned to Jesus
Stopped asking Oprah what to do

What if His people prayed
And those who bear His name
Would humbly seek His face
And turn from their own way

He said that they would hear
His promise has been made
He’s answered loud and clear, Yeah
If only we would pray

If My people called by My name
If they’ll humble themselves and pray
If My people called by My name
If they’ll humble themselves and pray

What if His people prayed
And those who bear His name
Would humbly seek His face, Yeah
And turn from their own way

He said that they would hear
His promise has been made
He’s answered loud and clear, Yeah
If only we would pray

What if His people prayed

You can do a search on YouTube to hear the song if you like.  I just love this song, I find it hilarious.   The verse says to humble ourselves.  I’ve discussed it before that this is a difficult thing for people to do.  Which is why we must do it.  So, we humble ourselves, then pray.  We need to then seek God’s face, seek Him.  Through prayer and faith, he will show himself to us.  If you haven’t experienced it, just wait, you will.  It is a most incredible experience.  Once we seek His face, then we need to turn from our wicked ways.  We are repent, and stop sinning as much as possible.  This is not easy.  We all sin and fall short. (Romans)  But once we do this, he will hear us from heaven and forgive us.  And he will then heal our land.  Land does not necessarily mean physical land.  It could also mean ourselves.  He will heal us.

I love that faith.  It shows such a wonderful integrity and honor.