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Why am I living righteously?

 Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them,

“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.(Luk 14:25-27)

Why do people think that God will not let you live the live you want to? To be able to choose your own life and to do with it what you want, live how you want, enjoy what you want is something that you can do. God even says so in His own word. I know, I know,  you are thinking “Wait…live how you want?” That is a Bible message? If that is the case why am I living this pure, clean and righteous life?

You see, the thing most people don’t see in the above passage is that you do have a choice. It is like this. Imagine you were going for an interview and the C.E.O. was doing the interview so you knew that it was a pretty big deal. He says “Look, I want you to work for me, I want you to be dedicated to the mission of my company. I just want you to know before you start what it is that you will need to do in order work for me. After I explain it to you, you will get to choose if you want to work here or not.”

You choose. If you want to work there or if you don’t but if you choose to, you know what is expected. Sounds fair to me. However, which of us would decide not to work there and then go back 30 years later and expect to collect the retirement benefits?

Well, we have a lot of people who have made the choice to NOT follow and work with Jesus (some make a show of it and show up once in a while) but they still want to collect the retirement plan benefits. Doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it?

When Jesus says “If you don’t….you cannot”, you would think people would pay attention to that but many people are like “what? That was in the contract? I never saw that paragraph!”

Balancing God’s grace with these verses (and the context) may not seem an easy thing to do but I don’t think Jesus has any problem with it. We need to take words like this seriously, as we consider the commitment that we made to follow Jesus. It is likely that no one fully understood the commitment that they made to follow Jesus (In all likelihood, not even the disciples understood the extent of their commitment) but we do know and can have confidence that the reward is worth it. If you aren’t loving Jesus above all others in your life, it is time to quit Jesus or change your life.

P.S. “Don’t quit Jesus, that is not the best option”

the virtue of Uriah

Having set the contrast between David and Uriah in the last blog, I would like to expand on Uriah’s virtue. You see it so clearly in his response to David. Explaining why he did not go home to be with his wife (and cover up David’s sin) Uriah says:

“The ark and Israel and Judah dwell in booths, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field. Shall I then go to my house, to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing.” (2Sa 11:11)

Uriah was called back to inform David of what the battle was like in the expectation that once back in Jerusalem, he would take advantage of his own bed being so close by. However, what Uriah shows is that while he was involved in battle, that it was inappropriate for him to be involved in civilian affairs.  Much like what Paul told Timothy:

Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. (2Ti 2:3-4)

What Uriah did was something that I think is a bit unusual for us today. (Which doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be usual, just that it isn’t.) He was willing to continue sharing in the sufferings that his fellow soldiers and commanders were enduring. While we may not have blamed Uriah from taking David up on his offer, Uriah’s adamant reply indicates that he saw things differently.  The question is “Do we?”

In the spiritual battle that we are engaged in, do we insist on our own luxury and comfort or are we willing to forego “our rights” in order to help others? In the book of Acts chapter 4, the early Christians sold properties and houses in order to help those fellow Christians who had needs. In that way none of them was needy.  Those that sold were saying the same thing as Uriah was “if others must dwell without comfort, I will to”

A side note on the helping of others. We get into trouble when we think of peoples wants as their needs. I have no doubt that the issues were temporary ecomonic one, still the ‘needs’ were what were met not the wants. If a family is hungery and you can feed them, then do so but you might draw the line at their new leased car, Air Jordan shoes, mobile game device and the like. If a person does not have cable, cell phone, and a good looking car, they will not die! 

We should be less attached to the comforts of this world and more attached to the world which is to come. Many of us have a great deal more than we need. (Emphasize that last word: NEED) It is not wrong that we have more and many of the Bibles characters were wealthy. We certainly don’t want to improvrish ourselves to the point of being in need of others help too but if we were to downsize our lifestyle and help our fellow Christians in their needs, I suspect we would find more peace.

We should take care of our needs and those of our family, we should be willing to help support those who have needs in their lives starting with our fellow Christians first and we should help suppor those who preach the Gospel (not necessarily those who stand on TV and plead for money for their own ministries. Find those who are actually doing it…plenty around).

The Marshmallow Chronicles

I want to introduce “The Marshmallow Chronicles” a new blog that I am going to start writing. While you don’t have to, I would consider it an honor if you would go to and follow the posts on that one as well. It will not be a daily blog, at least not yet.

The theme will be Journeys in Self-Control. And it is still a little bit in progress with all the meta tags and widgets and such. The message is more important than the background. Pray that I do it will.

PS. It may be in private mode still, I am trying to get it out of that so, let me know if you have problems getting in.

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