Loving/Forgiving/Grieving

Beloved readers,

If you are older than 6 or 7 years you've found out that there is pain and loss in this life, and you've heard far too much negative chatter for a healthy mind. 

Take one day, listen carefully to everything that is said around you.  Make a mental tally board with two columns, one that is negative, ugly and unkind, the other for positive, uplifting and forgiving statements.  At the end of the day you're likely to find that the positive side is virtually empty.

Jesus spoke a lot on attitudes towards others.  Parables against judging others, being sure to lend to those who have need, and to give outright to the poor, etc.  There was an especially powerful, very short story about the two men praying at the altar.  One, a religious man saying "Thank you Lord that I am not like this filthy sinner beside me."  The humble man beside him prayed "Lord forgive me!"  He illustrated strongly that God's heart will be with the humble man who makes no pretenses, but looks to the Lord for help.

Sweethearts, there are only two ways to go through life.   You can choose to be angry and short tempered, blaming others, finding every fault that exists in them, jumping to anger as other drivers do foolish things around you (sometimes they are justified in their actions but we don't wait to see it from their point of view before we get mad), hurrying everyone up and rarely taking your mind off of your own plans of action, your needs and wants, so that you never consider the situations of others. 

Or, you can choose peace.  Make a conscious choice to remain child-like in your heart, not presuming to know whether everything everyone else does is good or bad.  Not expecting cruelty or deceit in others, and even when cheated, just ask God to forgive the cheaters and trust in Him to replace what you've lost.  You can get up in the morning with peace and if not joy, at least calm.  You can choose to hold back slightly in grocery store lines and when driving, considering the needs and actions of others around you, anticipating that someone might be moving in to your line.  You can choose to give room for others, and know that you'll still get to your destination, with only a moment or so delay.  The benefit of peace and good will is mental and physical health to you, and will help to heal the world as you go.  (If everyone lived like this, there would be few problems.)

I don't want to hear the excuse that the world won't live like this so why should you.  You should, because you're intelligent and you know who your creator is.  You should, because you've been forgiven and GIVEN the status of child of the King.  You have no lack, because everything that God owns, you own. 

For some, this knowledge will make you greedy and high minded, trying to be Lord over others.  The funny thing about this behavior is that it sets you outside of God's kingdom, and you really don't own a thing if you try to be highest. 

For the true child of God, this knowledge will only be proof that they can afford to be kind, patient, loving and giving, and will secure peace in their hearts and patience in their lives.  These are the people who walk as Jesus walked.  He washed the feet of his disciples, He served the lonely, lost and downtrodden.  He died for a wretched, worthless world that deserved only death.

Jesus didn't stop in at Wal-Mart as He traveled from town to town, to buy Himself new hunting equipment, gold and diamond jewelry, or the largest speakers He could find for His car.  We don't know whether Jesus carried any money, but we know He had a treasurer in charge of His ministry.  We know that when He needed to pay taxes, He didn't ask for a collection from the people He helped, instead He exercised powerful faith and told His disciples to go fish.  The first fish up from the water, contained a coin in it's mouth that was sufficient to pay for His group's taxes.

This doesn't mean we don't have to pay tithes to our church or fund ministries to spread the gospel.  The New Testament church did these things faithfully, and more.  My point is that modern thought focuses on the material, and money.  Kingdom thinking focuses on the needs of people, and spreading God's love.  God takes care of the how and all the material concerns.

"Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all of these things shall be added unto you."

Do you want to be an earth thinker, or a kingdom thinker?  Do you want to spread God's love and faith, or do you want to spread Satan's fear and greed?  You end up doing one or the other, whether you intend to or not.  Every one of your actions gives testimony to either Jesus or Satan.

Grief and Pain

There are times when you may be hurting so badly that you don't want to seek God.  You don't know why God allowed this bad thing to happen.  Our understanding of God and His ways is very thin and strained at times like these.  Scripture tells us that we don't think from God's point of view, that His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not ours.

That doesn't mean He doesn't care as strongly as you do, or stronger!  It doesn't mean that He wouldn't step in and destroy your enemies.  What it does mean is that God sees all the earth and every person's thoughts, cares and motivations.  He understands it all, and sees a picture bigger than you and I can see. 

He made the earth and people all perfect.  He created absolute heaven on earth for us, and gave mankind absolute authority on earth, but we gave it all away.  When Adam and Eve listened to Satan and disobeyed God, they didn't JUST sin.  They handed over control of this planet and all of creation to the prince of darkness.  They turned from obedience to the Almighty, to obedience to the enemy. 

Their eternal spirits became dead to God (separated from God), and their physical bodies also died.  Sickness and infirmities, iniquity and sin, became reality.  There were none before man's fall.  These are the natural outcome, or "wages" of disobedience to God. 

"The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life."

We rejoice today, because God didn't leave us in a state of death!  Immediately when Adam and Eve left the garden of Eden, God began instructing them what to do to get back to Him.  He re-established a relationship with them, and promised them a savior.  His own son.  They began killing animals and allowing their spilt blood to represent the death they deserved, and the death of the savior to come, as He atoned for all of our wrongdoings.  On His name, mankind again was able to reach up to God and create a partial "heaven on earth".  All of the people throughout history, who obeyed God and sought His help, received healing, help and prosperity.  Through bad times and painful times, God never let them down, and He won't let you down either.

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