Saturday, April 6, 2019

If's And's and other Thoughts

Was talking with a friend this morning over breakfast.  Something clicked in words I was using that appear to be found throughout Scripture.  In both the New Testament and Old there's references to either blessings or curses.  Either doing things for God or not. Either living for Jesus or not.
Thinking in darkness or in the light.


Not And.

In the Old Testament, especially in the early books, many things told to Israel were in the form of If's.
If you do this....then I will...

But what caught my thinking this morning was I think God showing me that either you are a blessing to someone or a burden.  You can choose to help others as well as you can choose not to.  In the choosing not to, you can become a burden to them rather than a help.  Who knows what your more-than-normal tip will do for the waiter or waitress who served you.  You have no idea what is going on in their life.  If God leads you to give more than what's 'customary' then give it.  God gave it to you, why shouldn't you share with others?

In the early days of the church the matter of giving and taking care of those both within the Church and outside of it were so great that the Roman government had a problem with it. People knew of what was being offered by the Church and weren't going to the government for handouts.

Think of what it would be like today if the giving level in real Bible-believing Churches were to such an extent that mortgages were done away with.  Credit cards.  Medical bills.  Homeless and hungry people.  That's the way it was in the early days of the Church! 

This isn't a very long post but it was something God showed me this morning when we had breakfast.   You can either help someone or pass up on a means of blessing them.  Who cares if you never know the end result.  God knows, and isn't that enough?  Matthew 6:2-4 "So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.  But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you."

We live in a world with so much debt.  So much.  So many look to the bankrupt Federal and State governments for help and not to the Church.  Many times some Church's won't help those who are not members.  In 362 AD Emperor Julius was so frustrated with the Church in it's taking care of the poor that it was hurting his efforts with controlling the people.
          "These impious Galileans not only feed their own poor, but ours also; welcoming them into their agapae, they attract them, as children are attracted, with cakes. Whilst the pagan priests neglect the poor, the hated Galileans devote themselves to works of charity, and by a display of false compassion have established and given effect to their pernicious errors. See their love-feasts, and their tables spread for the indigent. Such practice is common among them, and causes a contempt for our gods."

At one point the Church WAS that effective.  I know of people who give a tip that's the same as the bill.  To them it's mostly this same reason.  They know what they make and it's not what you think.  It's their way of giving to help others in need.

You never know what will become of that opportunity to help others.  Sometimes it's really only acknowledging them.  I make it a point to thank every single Veteran that I can when I see one in public.  Some are shocked that they were thanked, a few almost cried.  It's also my way to honor people who gave up a valuable chunk of their lives to defend the freedoms that we enjoy.   Too many in this nation don't thank them enough.  They gave them the freedoms they enjoy and in return they treat them with contempt.  That they are a burden on society.  Not to me. If even giving my gratitude alone helps even one I will do it.

God promises a lot if only we would obey.  He created everything and originally it all was good in His sight.  He owns it all.  So give like there's no tomorrow if that's what God puts on your heart.  For some there might not be a tomorrow. 

I'm not perfect in these thoughts myself.  I know most of what I post on here can be controversial. However, I'm not just sharing what God's showing me or has shown me, but I'm in His School of Theology.  That's just how I see it.  I pray to be shown more.  So He does.  Sometimes it's overwhelming, sometimes it takes my breath away. 

Consider all the women in the old testament that struggled with birth.  Look at the hundreds of thousands murdered through abortion today.  Consider this:  it's the Lord who either grants or withholds a pregnancy. EVERY one.  It's not simply some bio-chemical reaction between a sperm cell and an egg. It's what the Lord of the Universe GRANTS.   Life has been granted to so many hundreds of thousands of babies and in the name of inconvenience laws are passed to snuff it out.
Even at the point of natural birth.  Legalized murder.  If a doctor doesn't do it, it's considered murder. A man or woman with a degree who is supposed to follow the rule of "Do No harm!" commits murder.  Someone on the street harms a pregnant woman and the baby dies, that person is charged with murder.

I can only Imagine was written about Heaven.  But I wonder what this life would be like if sin hadn't happened.  If society wasn't like it is.  After the 7 year Tribulation we will see what it will be like for 1000 years of Christ ruling this world Himself.   It's coming. 

In the mean time I agree with what is written in the book of Acts 5:29-32 "But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross.  He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.  And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.”

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