Thursday, March 25, 2010

Path to destrucion, path to life

3/25/10 Thursday
It’s hard to believe the month is almost over already. But that’s how it is with me every month, every week actually. With the short term memory loss the first of the month seems like it happened yesterday. Evidently Alan isn’t coming to work today. I know he talked to me about that but can’t remember exactly what he said. I know he has to do some work at the halfway house to fulfill his obligations there. That plus the fact that I’m unable to pay him until we sell the truck or some stock makes it hard on him in many ways. Regardless, there is work that needs to be done so I’m out there doing it. As always I do the best I can with what I’ve got.

The scripture I read for our morning devotional that I try to have with Cherie was the one about ten virgins, who were invited to attend the wedding feast. Five had extra flasks of oil for their lamps and five didn’t prepare themselves that way. They all slumbered and slept as they waited for the call and when it came the five unprepared tried unsuccessfully to get oil from the others. They rushed out to buy some and returned to find the door closed. Knocking on it the Bridegroom answered “I do not know you”. How this parable checks my heart. I worry for myself regarding the day I stand before God and work daily to overcome those things in my life that I know He finds unacceptable. But I also have great concern for so many I know, who aren’t worried at all, merrily fulfilling the scripture found just before this parable in Mathew 24.38 “For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.

The next parable Jesus spoke (Mathew 25.14-30) has the same theme, to be not just prepared but working to gain approval. In that one a man gives his servants money before he takes off on a long journey. The type of money named is “Talents” which, while probably not intentional at the writing (Though God, in His complexity, probably knew) works so well, for we all have talents, gifts and abilities God gave us. The man gave these according to each person’s ability, one got five, another two, and the third only got one. The first two invested their talents and doubled the money, and when each presented this to the master he said “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you a ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord”. How I want to hear this when I stand before God, and this is the desire of my heart, to please Him.

The last servant, however, is the one I work to not be like. He took his talents and buried them in the ground and when his master returned dug it up and gave it to him saying “Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground, Look, there you have what is yours”. His lord answered and said “You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. Cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth”.

We live in a world where churches have watered everything down, where over the centuries people, having itching ears, have migrated to those who teach an easy message, one that requires less and less sacrifice, and allows more and more of what we find pleasurable and fun. But when I read the words of Jesus, you know, the Son of God who the bible tells me created the world and is God (John 1.1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God) He is clear, not just once but many times, clear that there will be many who expect to make it, to be accepted by God and gain eternal life, but to their surprise and dismay won’t. So it’s clear that the master of deceit, Satan, has pulled the wool over much of the Christian world’s eyes, and in doing so has many taking the broad and easy path to hell. Again it’s the words of Jesus that reveals this. Mathew 7.13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it”. In the next sentence Jesus says “Beware of false prophets” warning us of those who preach the easy way.

So on my journey to find and know God this is where I am. I’ve come a long way from the doubts that God even exists but still struggle and search for truth, finding much of what I see to be confusing in the light of what I read in the bible. But I choose to trust in God despite these doubts, which are fading away. So faith is a choice for me right now, but the bible says that faith is a gift from God. My question for you is the one I've had for myself, that is "If there really is a God don't you want to know? and "Don't you want to make sure your on His side?" Fear is a good thing when it's directed correctly. Fear of the law and consequences kept me from doing things that would have had bad repercussions.

It’s time to get back to work.

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