Friday, October 08, 2010

Examine yourself

The Christmas corn is growing well.

10/8/10 Friday
This morning’s scripture, that I read to Cherie as she prepared for work, was out of Luke 18. It’s so hard to just read a small portion of Jesus’ teaching so I read three parables. The first was about a widow that bugged an unrighteous judge till he got tired of hearing from her and granted the legal protection she wanted. Jesus’ point was that if an unrighteous judge granted a petition, how much more would God do for those who cry out to Him day and night. The way Jesus put it was “will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night?” so he was talking about justice for those who are wronged.

The next parable Jesus pointedly spoke to those around Him, who were “confident in their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else”. You know, I have a problem with people, who when they read things I write, think I was talking specifically about them. Sometimes I am but often times I’m not, but they receive it as a personal attack. However, I do speak on what’s on my heart and the things I see and experience naturally influence that, and I see a lot. So, if what I say bothers you, perhaps there’s a reason, perhaps you (to quote a statement I read on facebook regarding similar reactions) need to do a gut check. If you are pure in the matter there is no guilt, but if not there is guilt, then it’s a matter you need to address. We are called to make right the wrongs we’ve done, to confess our sins one to another, and to go to our brother or sister and not just seek forgiveness but reconciliation. Of course I have a specific situation in mind and don’t apologize for telling the truth. If the truth bothers you, you need to change something. To deny it and pretend, or believe, everything is fine, is the definition of hardening your heart and self deception, and a dangerous way to live your life.

So here’s the parable. These are the words of Jesus, not Bob. Luke 18:9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10 "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men--robbers, evildoers, adulterers--or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.' 13 "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.' 14 "I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

It is good to be confident in your relationship with God, yet one must be careful about that. 2 Corinthians 13:5 says “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith ; examine yourselves !” Paul wrote this to the Corinthian church because he knew of problems that existed there, and mentioned unrepentance for impurity, immorality, and sensuality that was being practiced. For all of us, these things can creep in silently and stealthily, so that we are unaware of it. I examine myself all the time to look for the unclean things that I’ve allowed to reside in my thoughts. There is always anger and bitterness that I must address, along with unforgiveness. For some situations, some hurts that have been done, I must continually fight the thoughts that rise up every time there is a reminder of it, and forgive again. They just don’t disappear or magically become non existent, especially when they have not been resolved on a personal level.

The final part of this mornings reading was at the end of that parable. People were bringing their babies to Jesus so He could touch them and the disciples, I’m sure with Jesus’ best interest in mind, started to rebuke them. Jesus stopped that saying "Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. "Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all."

What stuck out like a flashing neon light in this was the last part, the words “Will not enter it AT ALL”. Throughout the scriptures there are standards set, standards that are often forgotten or watered down in modern Christianity. What we often hear now is a “tickle your ear” gospel that is far from the truth and in fact could lead to eternal separation from God.
The small area I disced yesterday

It’s gonna be a busy day. There’s a Farm Bureau luncheon this afternoon I need to attend and Cherie and I plan to go to the GLC bookstore in Odessa when she gets off work. So I’ve got to get cleaned up and that means I can’t go get all sweaty and smelly working outside, like I usually do. Eventually we will have a shower and that will be nice cause I can just hop in and clean up.

I know that my talking about God so much will bother some, and wish it wasn’t a problem, but I can’t deny the miracle my life is, despite the difficulties we face. I struggled and fought against this faith but cannot deny it now. There is truth and there is fact that I am unable to ignore.

I ordered the part I need for the chainsaw. Just plain wore out the sprocket that drives the chain. Had to get it online and it cost $23 bucks. But need the chainsaw as winter’s coming and there’s more firewood to cut.

The Farm Bureau meeting went well. They cooked up a bunch of steak. I only had a little as I didn’t want to be a pig and only eat a small amount of red meat as it is. The sheriff was there and sat next to me. We talked about things. He’s noticed the work I put in on the farm and commented on it. I asked if there was any progress on who shot our dogs and there isn’t really. “It’s a hard thing to nail down” he explained and I quite understand that. But John does take it seriously and, being a dog owner, understands the pain that caused. He made a point of introducing me to some folks. It’s unfortunate that I can’t remember who they are, but I do remember the chief of police. I asked them both about if there was any ongoing jail ministry at the small Stanton jail. The police chief said there had been some regular ministry in the past but that kind of died off over the last few years so there is a definite need. I’ll talk to the pastor of our church to see about pursuing that under their umbrella. Feel it’s important to have oversight on things like that.

There’s always work to do out here. I think I’ll focus mainly on weeds as I plan on meeting Cherie after work and going to Odessa so don’t want to get too dirty.

1 comment:

Vickie said...

Hi Bob! Been catching up on your blog. So sorry about your horrible that someone shot them! I missed the fellowship Saturday too. Would have loved to have seen everyone! Praying for you guys...miss you bunches!
Love and hugs to you and Cherie! Vickie