Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Outward vs. Inward.

Wow.  This weeks Bible studies have been so good!  Well, they are ALWAYS good!  I feel like I am learning so much through the Word of God.  I was thinking I'd like to share yesterday's & today's readings with you and things that stuck out to me. But I may only share yesterday's for now.  To me it is so much to take in and think about.  I don't want to overwhelm you!

Yesterday found us reading in Mark chapters 12 & 20, Matthew 22 & 23, & Luke 20 & 21.  Lots of great reading.  But what really stood out to me was Mark 12:29-31  " must love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, ALL your soul, ALL your mind, and ALL your strength.  And love your neighbor as your self."

At the end of yesterday's reading (Mark 12:41-44 & Luke 21:1-4) Jesus brings out how the poor women gave more than the rich people gave when they entered the temple.  While the rich gave large sums of money, it was only a tiny portion of their surplus.  The poor woman only gave 2 coins, but it was ALL she had to live on!

How often do I give God my ALL in all areas of my life?  Do I really give Him my WHOLE heart?  Do I really give Him my WHOLE soul?  Do I really give Him my WHOLE mind?  Do I really give Him my WHOLE strength?  Or do I find myself only giving part?  I'll admit there are times I find myself only giving part.  But His Word plainly tells us He doesn't want just a part of me.  He wants ALL of me.  Am I willing to give it?

Something else that stood out to me was how Jesus warns the religious leaders in Matthew 23:1-36 & Luke 20: 45-47, & Mark 12:38-40.  Jesus tells the crowd and His disciples to practice and obey what was taught, but not to follow their ministers' examples.  "For they don't practice what they teach. They crush people with unbearable religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden." (Matt. 23:3-4)   Jesus goes on in verse 5 and says "Everything they do is for show. They were extra wide prayer boxes with Scriptures inside, and they wear robes with extra long tassels. They love to sit at the head of the table and in the seats of honor in the synagogues. They love to receive respectful greetings in the market place, and be called 'Rabbi'."  He also goes on in Matthew 23:13 and warns not just the leaders, but the teachers too.  Christ talks about how they do all the right things, outwardly.  But inwardly they are hypocrites and Jesus calls them out on it!  Matthew 23:28 "Outwardly you look righteous, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness."  Scripture tells us that God made each of us equal in His eyes.  None of us are higher than the other.  So we shouldn't set ourselves up, nor should we put others on pedestals.  My take away from this was many things, but one thing I wrote down, and my prayer for myself is: "Please Lord, help me to not be like that!  Help me to not think or say 'Look at me.  Look what I have done.'  No.  Look at the God in me!  May others see Christ and may He be lifted up!" 

Something to think about:
  • Do I give God my ALL?  My WHOLE?
  • Do I lift God up higher than others?
  • Do I do all the right things, but for all the wrong reasons?
Lord help me to be more like the poor widowed woman, giving you my ALL.  And help me to be a lot less like the religious leaders, ministers, and teachers who outwardly look righteous, but inwardly are a hypocrite. Make in me a clean heart and may others see You NOT me!

Monday, October 4, 2010

I'd Rather Have Jesus (by George Beverly Shea & Rhea F. Miller, 1922)

Verse 1
I'd rather have Jesus than silver or gold, I'd rather be His than have riches untold; I'd rather have Jesus than houses or lands, I'd rather be led by His nail-pierced hand.

Than to be the king of a vast domain. Or be held in sin's dread sway. I'd rather have (my) Jesus than anything, this world affords today.

Verse 2
I'd rather have Jesus than men's applause, I'd rather be faithful to His dear cause; I'd rather have Jesus than world-wide fame, I'd rather be true to His holy name.


Verse 3
He's fairer than the lilies of rarest bloom, He's sweeter than honey from out of the comb; He's all that my hungering spirit needs, I'd rather have Jesus and let Him lead.


I woke up Sat morning after having dreamed about this song during the night.  It was with me all through the day Saturday and again Sunday morning as I got ready for church.  Verse 2 really stands out to me as I think about some of the things I feel God has called me to do.  People around me, even fellow Christians, may not agree with stands that I have taken.  And I know the world will despise me b/c of my love for Jesus.  But in the end, what it all boils down to is this: I'd rather have Jesus.  I don't need your applause or approval, but I do need God's!  And that is what is more important to me than anything else.  As long as I've got King Jesus, I don't need anyone else. (As the song sung by Brian Free & Assurance says.) I don't mean that in a stuck up way or that I'm any better than you.  Only the simple fact that in the end of time Christ is going to ask me if I was faithful to Him.  If He finds that I was more faithful to my peers, I don't think the end would be too pretty for me. As I was looking through my Bible yesterday I came across and underlined scripture in Galatians that goes well with my train of thoughts.  This song and scripture are big part of my personal testimony.

Galatians 1:10
"For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ."

In the end of time, who will God find you to be faithful to? Him, or others?