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Archive for the ‘Character’ Category

SharedCar3Yesterday I had a conversation with our Son about the car. He was incensed we would put our car he drives in the shop without providing another for his use. I tried to explain it was my job to administer our shared resources for the good of all — which means sometimes he has to wait and/or find alternatives to the places he wants to go.

Reasoning did no good, I guess because it combined two words: “Him” and “Wait”.

Today God had a conversation with me about almost the same thing. This world, everyone and everything in it, is a shared resource. It’s his dirt, he must administer those resources according to his wisdom and love — which means sometimes I have to wait and/or find alternatives to get me places I want to go, trusting that what I really need he will provide.

Sharing resources requires patience, a positive attitude, and perseverance.

— fritz

* Get your own dirt. April 27, 2012

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workerKnowing how something is built is not the same as knowing how to build it.

Part owner of a construction company years ago, it was my job to know how walls, ceilings, and floors were constructed and to know when these were built according architectural specifications; but to actually do the building was totally different. Building skills are only learned by building.

Likewise, the Bible tells us how to be godly but learning how to do it comes from experience. As a young preacher I knew a lot about how following Christ was done but I am still learning how to do it.

Jesus said,

“Here’s what I propose: … If someone strikes you, stand there and take it. If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, gift wrap your best coat and make a present of it. And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously… love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer…If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? … You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it.” (Matthew 5:38-48 Message)

There are things we must learn how to do if we expect to be of service to Christ.

How are you going to learn how to “turn the other cheek” unless someone slaps you? How am I going to learn how to love my enemies unless I have enemies? How are you going to learn how to pray for those who spitefully use you unless you have a boss that throws you under the bus or co-workers that spread malicious gossip? How am I going to learn how to trust God to provide unless I sometimes lose my job or go through difficulty?

We say, “God why would you let me get slapped in the face?!”, when all God is doing is teaching how live for Christ instead of just knowing how living for Christ is done.

– fritz

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Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies – Psalm 23:5

Rejected applications, separation and/or divorce, those dissatisfied no matter what, sarcastic teens letting you know you are out of touch, a snub here, a lack of coöperation there, even downright hostility — hey, it’s a fact of life.

Even in the midst of God’s banquet-like blessing the Psalmist pointedly adds, “my enemies all around!

Why can’t we all get along?! There could be lots of reasons or no reason, it’s life. While the Bible doesn’t say why, it does says what to do about it.

Don’t pay people back with evil for the evil they do to you. Focus your thoughts on those things that are considered noble. As much as it is possible, live in peace with everyone. Don’t take revenge, dear friends. Instead, let God’s anger take care of it. After all, Scripture says, “I alone have the right to take revenge. I will pay back, says the Lord.” — Romans 12:17-19 (God’s Word Translation)

  • Be as friendly as you can — work on your people skills
  • Don’t retaliate, turn those feelings over to God (he judges what’s right better than you)
  • Choose to not let it bother you, in fact, choose to happily move on with Christ ready to help even your enemies find the life changing power of Jesus

–fritz@langgang.com

Related post: “The Most Misunderstood” – June 7, 2012

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“Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?” — Mark 12:14b

Three times Jesus was accused of not caring. Here, some were trying to get Jesus to make a public gaff and derail his ministry. Does Jesus uphold a hated law and reject caring or does he turn against the law and risk arrest?
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The ones who really didn’t care were those trying to put Jesus into a box. They didn’t care what he thought, what was right or wrong, only what would further their cause. They were accusing Jesus of being like them.

They didn’t think Jesus cared because they didn’t care. We tend to project to God our own attitudes.

But Jesus went right to the heart — What, really, determines the ownership of anything? The image stamped upon it — what does it look like?

Who do you resemble? Who owns you? Are you stamped with your heavenly Father’s image or acting like the devil?

The good news — ownership can change!

It cost God plenty to get you out of that dead-end, empty-headed life you grew up in. He paid with Christ’s sacred blood” — 1st Peter 1:18 (MSG)

— fritz

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“Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” — Apostle Paul (1st Corinthians 11:1)

Christ is the one we are to follow but some don’t, yet, have that connection. Some can’t “see” him and telling them to do so is ineffective.

But they do see us and some follow if not by their actions then certainly by watching our lives unfold — whether we realize it or not.

When Jesus said in his famous “Sermon on the Mount” that we are the light of the world and then added the analogy of a city on a hill (Mtt. 5:14) he meant that more people see a light than those in the light know.

I visited an uncle on his deathbed. We weren’t ever close and had never talked so I thought he knew little about me but when I walked in he said he knew I knew God and he asked me to tell him how to face eternity. He gave his life to Christ that night and sang for joy.

Embrace the calling as Paul did and follow Christ closely — little ones, and not so little, are watching.

— fritz.

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The Old Testament had strict dietary laws generally based on inherent animal characterises — fish with fins and scales, “clean”, fins without scales, “unclean”. Animals chewing the “cud” and parting the hoof were ok to eat but those having one without the other, no good!

It all seems so arbitrary and many have tried to explain it by saying there are, perhaps, special heath benefits. But the Bible indicates why — and it had nothing to do with health.

“And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nations which I cast out before you … I am the LORD your God, who has separated you from other people … Ye shall therefore put a difference between clean beasts and unclean” — Leviticus 20:23-25

The “therefore” of this verse specifically links dietary law to the kinds of people God was replacing.

Old Testament dietary law was an object lesson teaching there were “clean” and “unclean” people based on their inherent actions.

In the New Testament God, again, links dietary laws with people groups, but with a twist — something happened with the advent of Christ!

Follow a telling story from the biblical book of Acts:

The apostle, Peter, has a vision of unclean animals on a sheet and is commanded to eat. He refuses, as any good Jew would, because they were “unclean”. Then the vision’s voice says,

“What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.” — Acts 10:15

Just then three (3) gentiles show up at the door wanting to hear about Jesus, and a light goes on in Peter’s head!

I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him” — Acts 10:34-35

Before Christ, people rarely changed — they were forever as they were born. Not so in Christ! Jesus is in the life changing business! The symbolical dietary law has been superseded by Christ who changes the human heart making the unclean forgiven and holy! As the Apostle Paul wrote to those who come to Christ from the world,

“[S]uch were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” — 1st Corinthians 6:11

— fritz@langgang.com

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[Y]e pay tithe [but] have omitted the weightier matters of .. judgment, mercy, and faith” – Matthew 23:23

Those wanting just enough of God to be comfortable, just enough religion to feel good about themselves, were never happy with Jesus. He likes to meddle too much!

Jesus is not content to sit quietly as we live our lives our way. He’s like my youth director friend who was fired. He was doing fine, the pastor said, until he started asking the kids for commitment.

But that’s Jesus. To outsiders it’s considered meddling but to those who know him it’s not meddling at all — its his love and mercy. Doing the right thing is the blessing to us.

Sound Bite: “That’s not meddling, that’s God’s love!”
Prayer: “Jesus, have your way in me, help me to give my all for you. Amen!”

— fritz@langgang.com

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