Tag Archives: love

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.

Brothers

In Genesis 30:23-24 the writer tells of the birth of Joseph. Joseph was a special child of Rachel and Jacob. He had only one brother and ten half-brothers that were born to Leah, Jacobs first wife.

These were the sons of Israel: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Joseph, Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad and Asher. 1 Chronicles 2(NIV)

Joseph was a very special child to his father Jacob. However, to his brothers he was a ‘daddy’s boy’. He was also a dreamer and was having dreams that indicated he would be rulers over his brothers. In fact Jacob had a special, colorful robe made for Joseph. Of course, this made his brothers jealous.

The brothers obviously didn’t believe Joseph. In fact, Genesis 37 tells of  how the brothers treated Joseph. As you recall, Jacob sent his son Joseph to check on his older brothers who were herding the family sheep.

When the brothers saw Joseph coming, they decided this would be a good time to get rid of this dreamer for good. The plan was to throw him into a pit to die. But then some Midianite merchants came by and they decided to make some money on the deal and sold Joseph.

They needed a story to tell Jacob, so they took Joseph’s coat of many colors and dipped it in blood. They could show Jacob the blood and tell him that a wild animal must have killed him. For several years this seemed to have done the trick.

Well the Midianite merchants sold Joseph to one of Pharaoh’s officials. However, after a series of successes and upsetting trials along the way, Joseph was made governor of the land. (Genesis 42)

Jacob was faced with a drought and sent his older sons to Egypt to buy grain. What the brothers didn’t know was that Joseph was the person they were to buy grain from. However, Joseph recognized his brothers and asked about Benjamin and he wanted to see Benjamin.

After Joseph worked out a scheme to get all the brothers together, he told them who he was. He forgave his brothers and was united with his family again. He then invited his family to come live in Egypt until the drought had passed. Joseph was indeed ruling over his family.

There was another family that had a special son with four half-brothers. But this family had sons that were conceived by Joseph and a special son, who’s name was Jesus that was conceived by the Holy Spirit. (See Matthew 1:16)

We don’t hear a lot about these brothers but Matthew 13:55 indicates that Jesus had four half-brothers, James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas.

These brothers were no different than Joseph’s brothers. We read in John7:2-5(NIV):

But when the Jewish Festival of Tabernacles was near, Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave Galilee and go to Judea, so that your disciples there may see the works you do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” For even his own brothers did not believe in him.John7:2-5(NIV)

There came a day when Jesus sent his son into the world to check on his children. They didn’t believe who he was. The wanted to get rid of him because he claimed to be the Messiah. They crucified him on a cross. Jesus was put into a grave, just as Joseph was thrown into a pit. But God raised Jesus from the dead and put him in a place of leadership, in the same way that Joseph was taken from the pit and placed into leadership.

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance[a]: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas,[b] and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. 1 Corinthians 15:3-8(NIV)

You see, Jesus appear to his brother James after his resurrection and James realized who Jesus really was. As a result of James believing who Jesus was, he became a pillar in the church, and wrote the book of James. This small book of James talks about temptations, warning the world of sin, and telling them to follow Christ. In fact, James was martyred in AD 62, because of his faith in Christ.

We can be born and raised in a Christian home, but that doesn’t guarantee we will believe. Everyone must come to a point in their life where they see Jesus for who he is and what he has done. We can be brothers but until we accept Christ personally, we are blind to the truth just like the brothers of Joseph and Jesus were blind to the truth.

Are you suffering from a ‘drought’ in your life? Perhaps now is the time that you need to turn to Christ and accept the gift that he has for you? God’s desire for you is to restore you to a place of fellowship with Him. He wants to give you love, peace, and hope. Are you ready?

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

 

The brothers obviously didn’t believe J

Love Your Enemy

The Bibles says in Jude 1:18 that “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires. 19 These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.” Jude 1:18-19(NIV)

It is obvious that we are in the end times. However, God didn’t give us this information so we would know when the end was near. The reason he gave us this information was to warn us about the scoffer’s ability to separate us from God.

This is what God said we should do:

20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. Jude 1:20-23(NIV)

How are we doing?

This passage doesn’t say that we should write snide comments and cartoons about the scoffers, like we see so often on the social media. It doesn’t even say we should avoid them. It says we are to LOVE them!

Here is behavior God wants from us.

27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” Luke 6:27-36(NIV)

God loves us so much that he even gave us the power to love our enemies. However, we can only do it through God’s power given us through the Holy Spirit.

To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. Jude 1:24-25(NIV)

Next time you hear a pastor give this benediction, think about what it really means. God is with us! It is only through His power that we will be able to endure to the end!

 

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