Complaining to Jesus

In Luke’s Gospel, in the last part of chapter 10, Luke is telling about an instance where Jesus was visiting some of his close friends prior to his crucifixion. The specific friends were Mary and Martha.

When Jesus came to the house, Mary sat at his feet, listening to what Jesus had to say.

Her sister Martha, who’s house Jesus was visiting,  was busy making preparations. Verse 40 says:

But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” Luke 10:40 (NIV)

Martha was the owner of the house so it seems like the preparations were her responsibility. In her mind she must have thought Jesus would agree with her, so she complained to him.

How many times in our Christian life, do we point out the faults of other people because they aren’t preparing for Christ’s return like we are. They don’t worship like we do; they worship on the wrong day; they play the wrong music in church; they aren’t helping the homeless;  and the list goes on.

We tend to complain to Jesus when people don’t believe the way we do, but we do not show them the love that God shows us. We would rather try to make them live by our standards, than to tell them about the love of God and what he has done for us.

Here is Jesus response to Martha:

 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42 (NIV)

What was Mary doing? She was setting at Jesus feet listening to what Jesus had to say. She was ’loving’ on Jesus.

Jesus told Martha that it was more important to hear was Jesus had to say than to preparing the house for guests.

The best way we can prepare people to meet the Lord, is to ‘love’ on Jesus and do what Jesus said we should do.

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV)

Note: All scriptures used in this article have been downloaded from http://www.biblegateway.com/?version=NIV unless otherwise noted.

Inoculating Against Christianity

According to the Merriam-webster.com dictionary: To inoculate someone is ”to give that person or animal a weakened form of a disease in order to prevent infection by the disease.”

So to inoculate someone from becoming a Christian, be sure to give them a weakened form of Christianity. Here are some ways we can do that

In our churches today, we usually get a watered down message or one that is sure not to offend anyone in the congregation. We put our Christian light under a cover so as not to offend unbelievers. However in reality, we are inoculating people so they will not become a Christian. We are keeping them from seeing the full effects of a Christian life on earth.

As pastors, we are responsible to God for what we preach. If we preach only what people want to hear and not what they need to hear, we are giving them a weakened form of Christianity. 2 Timothy 4:2-4 (NIV) says it this way:

Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

If we preach only what people want to hear, we are not following the Spirit, but rather we are following the flesh.  Even Christ when he was in the garden praying indicated that his flesh was weak. If Christ’s flesh was weak, then how can we believe that our flesh is strong enough to guide us through this lifetime?

If we are to live a strong life on earth, we must follow the Spirit.

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8:5-8 (NIV)

 

Paul in his letter to the Ephesians says it this way

15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:15-20 (NIV)

The Bible talks about weakened forms of Christianity. In the Book of Revelation, the writer tells about the seven churches. He speaks specifically about the deeds of the church in Laodicea. (Revelation 3:14-21)  In verse 15 and 16, he says:

 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. (Revelation 3:15-16 (NIV)

Do you see yourself doing any of the following?

Twelve ways Christians inoculate people against Christianity

1. Attend church on Sundays only. Then live the rest of the week as though you don’t know who God is.

2. Attend church only at Christmas and Easter so people will know you believe in God. (This can also works as a booster shot.)

3. Read only phrases from the Bible and not the whole passage.

4. Never read through the bible more than once.

5. Attend a church where the pastor only speaks about things that make you happy, where the room temperature is always just right, and the music is always your style of music.

6. Live your life just like the non-Christian so you don’t offend the non-Christian.

7. Worry and complain about everything.

8. Complain about the government rather than pray for the leaders.

9. Welcome only the rich people to church because they help pay the bills.

10. ‘Party’ with the world so they can see you have fun too.

11. Never confront or offend anyone.

12. Make a lists of things you should  or should not do if you are a Christian and be sure to enforce it on everyone else.

Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols? 11 So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. 12 When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall. 1 Corinthians 8:9-13 (NIV)

How are you living your life? Are you following your fleshly desires and giving people just enough of Christ to inoculate them from ever becoming a Christian?

Rather than inoculate people from becoming Christians, why not let your light shine? Let them see the full picture of Christianity.

 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16 (NKJV)

 

Note: All scripture used in this blog were downloaded from www.biblegateway.com June,  2014.