I teach an adult Sunday School Class; we have had various personalities in the class over the past 40+ years. In fact, we had one extremely belligerent fellow that actually threatened me, to the point our pastor and some Elders were forced to ask him not to return. I have had a very gracious Muslim client; though we disagree on some theological issues, some we absolutely agree with…like how to treat one another. The point is, we all interact with all types of people of all types of colors and backgrounds. There is one thing our world has lost and it evidently will kill us. We either have forgotten or simply don’t believe that each and everyone of us are created in the image of God. Now, if you actually believe that, as I do, it will change how you interact with others.
How are you known? As a hater or as a kind person? Do you believe in God and feel that you are in the “Family of God”? Well, if so, do you act like Luke writes in chapter 6 verses 34 +35? You, as a child, are known by your father. As God is your Father, then you must “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (verse 36). Friends…can we at least give this a try?
Here is an article that speaks to this topic; it is worth your time to read. Check it out here: I Am Dreaming of…
When people talk about being dishonest or telling lies or twisting the truth, many will discount the problem saying everyone does it. No, they don’t! Some, still holding on to integrity, will strive to be as honest as they can be. Nobody is perfect, but the difference is that some people know they fall short and try to correct it, while others go on as if it is standard operating procedure to twist things in their favor.
Recently in the news was the college cheating scandal, a truly bad situation; but this kind of thing has been going on for some time. Institutions politically manipulating who are the attendees, keeping cheating professors on-board, fake diversity, political correctness and strange course majors and silencing free speech, it is all one giant political game with little to do about real education. Revisionist history is being taught to win in politics with history professors being mostly democrats, 33 to 1 over republicans; how is there any balance where students can get the truth? College Cheating
How are we to strive as a nation filled with honest hard-working caring people…people ready to help the rest of the world…when our future, our young people, is so threatened by such an insane educational system? A recent poll shows millennials to be struggling over such major issues as: losing their phone, having no phone charger, losing their keys, being late to work, and forgetting passwords, etc. Life is more stressful than ever.
This morning, the following headline finally push me over the top. A federal representative, sworn to follow the Constitution, says this about a duly elected President? It doesn’t matter if you like him or not; this is about much more:
Hating conservatives, hating liberals, hating Jews, hating Christians, hating Muslims, hating white males, hating Obama, hating Trump! Friends, this is all playing into Satan’s plan of division, destruction, and chaos! Don’t you see the coming fall? Don’t you see the decline of the United States of America [underline “united”]? Many how spew hate over a simple stupid red hat with white words on it…why? What so wrong with “Make America Great”? What nation has done more in the world to help others? What nation in the world has done more to feed, clothe and help the helpless? Answer: only America! If we needlessly go down, so goes the world. Maybe this is all a great hateful push by Satan…I don’t know. I do know how unloving and sad it all is.
I do know this however, for me, I will follow Jesus Christ and try my best to be loving to all, and show kindness. Give it a try!
Get up, go to work, come home, go to sleep, get up and do it all over again. Day in and day out…do you feel like to are going in circles, a job of drudgery, a job of no value, that you are not going anywhere? Many are believe they are in that boat with you!
How do you really know you are in a boat to nowhere?
Let’s meet Epaphroditus. He was an errand boy nearly two thousand years ago in a town called Philippi. His church sent him with a message and a gift to Rome…off he goes on foot over rugged terrain. Terrain teeming with wild animals, dangerous people and no bathrooms! His biggest problem? He was so sick, he was near death and nearly died. How would you feel in such a situation? Most, I believe, would think, “why am I doing this?” For no pay, sicker than a dog, on a long walk, robbers all around…”I must be a flaming idiot!”
Well, our friend Epaphroditus, because of his efforts, ended up in the pages of the Bible [Philippians 2:25-30 and 3:15-18] to be remembered for all time. He lessen Paul’s anxiety as he contemplated his coming execution by the Romans and brought him a gift while he was under house arrest. God blessed him and had mercy on him; he was a worker for Christ Jesus! Not JUST an errand boy, he had a very important job to do…to carry a message when he was very ill.
Would you, could you do the same? Colossians 3:23-24, no job is un-important if you are working for Jesus!
Our current culture will tell us that any group, any combination of individuals, can raise children in a loving home. Of course, I would agree there are exceptions to this expansion of family structure; however, I think it is the underlaying foundational cause of many of our relational problems. The brutal language being spewed throughout all of society is nothing more than hate speech. What about the violence we see, the increase in gang memberships and substance abuse? Why do kids fight, kill and play their brutal games? Why do boys treat girls so harshly? Why do girls fight so much and express such hate on social media? Is all this a desire to be accepted into some form of “family”…a real family they don’t have at home? Do boys not have a male role model that can teach them compassion, sensitivity, and basic manners? The raising number of single-parent families might suggest this as one of our problems, but then there are exceptions to this where a single caring parent is performing better than an abusive two parent home. Can our problems be traced back to the nuclear family unit? I am sure the problem is multi-dimensional; I don’t want to fall into the trap of suggesting a single simplified cause.
I think our problem is basic selfishness, plain and simple!. We could blame the “Me Generation” where the focus was on self. We could blame of experts in relationships who say a person must first take care of self before they can be able to share. What can I get out of this relationship? I want this and I want that. I am not fulfilled, so I am out of this relationship. The entire focus is on the self. We do know that the family break down goes way beyond one single generation. I grew up in the sixties; now there was a generation focused on self if ever we had one.
This focus on self is not biblical. It is not God’s plan where male and female are both created equally in the image of God, to become a single unit working for the joy of the other.
In John Dempsey’s article published in Townhall on September 28, 2018, entitled “Bloomberg Writer: Dropping Divorce Rate is Leading to Inequality”; we read of the University of Maryland study which shows an 18% drop in divorce rate in the last 8 years. This should be celebrated…less broken homes is best for our future and our children; but the left seems to take a good thing and make it a bad thing; in this case, an issue of inequality. As Mr. Dempsey noted: “Marriage can easily survive when each spouse is willing to do something special for the other.” This, I can attest works and it is commanded in the Bible…but to embrace this position, the culture would need to embrace the Bible, and we all know where that is going. Mr. Dempsey also notes that marriage doesn’t discriminate between classes of people. The break down of the nuclear family has nothing to do with education or economics; it has everything to do with the heart. There exists an plausible argument that Welfare has broken down the family unit. Can we turn our nose-drive toward destruction around? I don’t know, but I believe the break down in the nuclear family unit, first planned and created by God, to be definitely on our slippery slope.
For decades now, we have rightly been concerned for the stewardship of the earth, God’s creation. God demanded it. We were created to take care of it (Gen. 2:15). Unfortunately, many have taken God’s command to be good stewards, to become the path for their own personal power and control over people. Yes, we should not pollute, but I wish to bring forward a whole other form of pollution, much worse.
Part of being good stewards of God’s creation is to be kind and good to other people…people who are also part of God’s creation! So where is the pollution, Haven? The pollution I am writing about is in the form of our actions and words.
As Jesus was telling His disciples when concerns were raised about defiling one over the food they ate, He said it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person but what comes out of a person out of their heart (Mark 7:20-23). The words we use can cut more than the sharpest sword. The words we use can linger longer than the distance to our closest star. Just look at the coarseness of our language in everyday talk these days! Just look at the invisible hate polluting the internet and sometimes driving unseen persons to suicide. Just look at the deceit and slander found daily in politics and in the media. This, my friends, is pollution! This coarseness of language, deceit, slander and all lies (large and small) is FAR worse than ANY polluted river found in the least developed country you can kind!
One day, all will come before the Judgement Bar of the LORD. Let’s all work to clean up the pollution found all around us…start today!