The Wrong Mountain

file-2I don’t think we could ever overdo the conversation of obedience. Obedience is love. It’s such a big deal that God compares disobedience to witchcraft (1 Samuel 15:23). So, since we’re talking about obedience, let’s talk about Abraham.

Most people know the story of Abraham and Isaac. And the test he went through to prove his love and obedience to God. This test ended with Abraham not having to sacrifice his own son, as was the original command from God.

What I believe, is that Abraham’s obedience saved Isaac’s life. Let’s think about it.

Abraham didn’t know which mountain he was supposed to go to. “Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you” (Genesis 22:2). God told him to take his son, go to Moriah and then he would show him the mountain. And of course, as the story goes, once Abraham was there a ram was stuck in the bushes which in turn became Abraham’s sacrifice instead of Isaac. But, what if?

What if Abraham wasn’t obedient? What if Abraham didn’t go to Moriah? Even simpler, what if he didn’t go to the mountain God showed him? He would have only partially obeyed God’s command and partial obedience is still disobedience.

You see, I understand the foreshadowing details of this story. I understand the parallels. I understand the test. But what I’ve recently learned is that it was complete obedience to God that kept Isaac alive. Not the ram, not perfect timing, and certainly not coincidence. Obedience.

In essence, what I believe is that God will always provide a ram in the bush, it’s just that we keep on going to the wrong mountain.

 

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Critical Christians

I’m going to pick on someone a little bit. If you’re reading this, I love you!

I posted something on Facebook one day and I had a misspelled word or something. I’m that person, so immediately I got onto Facebook to correct it. And as I finished I had a comment from someone, almost immediately, on the correction I needed to make.

My response: while I was correcting, you were criticizing. I use this example, not to call out anyone, but to call out everyone, because that’s what we do. We criticize, not knowing that that person is making corrections…

Jesus set a great example of patience with people. I don’t think He ever expected anyone to immediately get everything right in their lives. I think He knew that mankind typically required a process of change. And when I think about Jesus, I often think of the criticism of the Pharisees. They had more to say about the people Jesus hung around than anyone. They couldn’t believe He would interact with tax collectors and harlots, people who in their opinion, were filth.

But in such a rush to criticize both Jesus and these people, they missed the fact that meeting Jesus made them want to correct their lifestyles. They watched other people’s salvation stories when they could have had their own. They missed the opportunity to congratulate instead of critique. The opportunity to commend instead of condemn.

I’m afraid that even today, we will still miss it. We’ll miss an opportunity to join Jesus at work or to praise His work because we’re too busy wondering why He’s wasting time on them. We’ll get so sidetracked on who God is working through that we miss the fact that He is working.

It’s not my job to wonder if God is making the right choice. It’s my job to know He is. So when He chooses someone’s life to correct, it would be good to not criticize them. But it would be best to congratulate them.

Luke 19:1-10

Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town.  There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich.  He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd.  So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.

When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.”

Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled.

Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”

Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”

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Diversity

I could be wrong. I could be overreacting. But in my opinion (key words), there’s just too much of a lack of diversity in several areas of our lives. Maybe it’s just my being in the South that plays a part in this.

I believe we have all these unique people created in God’s image to be able to engage with one another. I don’t think He made us different to stay away from one another. I think it’s our differences that enable us to creatively cultivate ideas and concepts.

This is a short post, but I was curious to see if anyone else felt that the lack of diversity was an issue? I’m used to being the only black person in a lot of places, but should I have to be?

I could be wrong. I could be right. I just wanted to invite people to think about whether or not this is an issue where they are. It may not be. In fact, I hope it’s not. However, I do believe that if you can easily count the people in a room that look like you, it just may not be diverse enough.

 

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Put a Little Love in Your Heart

Proverbs 17:9 (NLT) Love prospers when a fault is forgiven,

    but dwelling on it separates close friends.

I don’t like arguing with my husband or anyone. I don’t like disagreeing with people. I don’t like being hurt and having to forgive. Who wants any of that, right?

Today, I read Proverbs 17:9 and I thought about my roll in a person’s forgiveness story. Now, I’m not saying people should hurt you just so you forgive them over and over and over. I am saying that every time you forgive a fault against you, you do your part in preserving love.

Every time I forgive my husband or vice versa, our marriage grows a little more love. When forgiveness takes place, love prospers. It’s dwelling on mistakes that strains the relationships.

Is it easy to forgive? Not always. It is right to forgive? Always. If we’re placed on this earth to love and forgiveness makes love prosper when we do, forgiveness is that much more important.

I believe, we’re most like Christ when we serve and when we forgive. Christ didn’t have to do either, but He chose to. He chose to set the example. Surely I can do both because I need to. Really, I believe God is saying, just put a little love in your heart.

If Jesus can forgive crucifixion. Surely, we can survive and find a resolution – India. Arie

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxMLZjqZ8wE

 

 

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28

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I’ve found it easier to accept your age if you start saying it even before you’re there. I found myself saying I was 28, five months ago. So, now that I am, I am already used to the idea. However, getting older has never been hard for me. I’m like wine, the older the better. Ha ha.

Anyway, I am embracing the year of 28. The year of 28 as a married woman. The year of 28 as a career woman. The year of 28 as a writer. Most importantly, the year of 28 as a Christian.

It is time to step up in my walk with God, and it’s especially necessary. At 28, I shouldn’t have the same relationship with God that I had at 18. My prayer life should be deeper. My Bible studying should be more engaged. In other words, God should have more of me with every year, with every day.

So this year, my desire is to focus more on God and less on me. My career, marriage, writing, whatever it is, will automatically be better with my focus on God’s will in those areas. I’ll be better with my focus on God.

I declare 28 to be great as I focus on God’s fate for my life. Here we go.

 

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Tell Me Something Good

There is this amazing emphasis on words in the Bible, especially in Proverbs 18. Which pretty much crushes the notion that talk is cheap. In some ways, yes, but words can hurt or heal.

But don’t you ever get tired of hearing all the bad? Do you want to hear something encouraging? These verses in Proverbs note how negative talk effects people and promote the importance of positive words.

It’s not asking you to be unaware or dumb to the fact that bad things are taking place. It’s just saying it’s important to hear something good, some time! For a change of pace, tell me something good!

Proverbs 18:20

Wise words satisfy like a good meal;
    the right words bring satisfaction.

 

 

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Hypocritical Christian

AttachmentIt’s easy to be a hypocritical Christian. The comparison game is human nature, so naturally we can start to think well at least I don’t do that… 

I’ve been a Christian since I was young, but I don’t believe I took Christianity seriously all my life. I knew the things I shouldn’t do, but I never had a heart of obedience quite as big as my heart of guilt. If I felt guilty enough, I wanted that to convince me not to sin. It wasn’t a matter of loving God enough to stop, or at least it wasn’t until I was older.

I say all that to say Christians should be more careful. I was a good kid, and I was a Christian in my younger days, but I don’t know that I was a Christ follower in the areas I most needed to be one in, in those areas where I had so much influence.

See, I didn’t get drunk, but I did drink too much. I didn’t have sex, but I might have gone a little too far. I didn’t exactly lie, but I didn’t tell the whole truth either. In my mind, I wasn’t perfect, but I certainly wasn’t as bad as “her” or “him.”

However, the bottom line still remains that I was and am not as good as Christ. Which means that I am imperfect and flawed. I sin. The comparison of my sin to others was bad. But the hypocrisy of my Christianity was just plain sad.

James 2:10 For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws.

Matthew 7:1-3 “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat other. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.

“And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own?”

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