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Posts Tagged ‘Matthew 07’

>No Fair-Weather Friend

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For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee … In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me. – Psalm 86:5,7

God is no fair-weather friend. In Christ he is not easily offended and holds no grudges.

I expect he would like a little confidence from us that he would act according to the way he requests we act toward one another.

A radio preacher told the story of a father who threw his son’s old dilapidated bicycle into the dumpster when asked by his son to fix it. His son was hurt and could not understand why his dad would do such a thing. He could not understand, that is, until his dad took him to buy a brand new bicycle.

“If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” – Jesus (Matthew 7:11)

-fritz

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A Julia Roberts quote caught my attention (she, a popular film star, and her cameraman have three children together):

“You make these people and you love them and you want them around for a thousand years,” she says about her three kids – 3-year-old Henry and 5-year-old twins Phinnaeus and Hazel – with cameraman Danny Moder. “And you want to be there for them for a thousand years.”1

Having a number of children, myself, I know the early years are wonderful and we wish they could last forever but eventually reality sets in and it is not so wonderful until life’s true source of wonder is found.2

Jesus compares life’s choices to building a home,3 he compares difficulties to storms and floods against that home. The wise and the foolish both built but the proof of their wisdom did not come until the storms. I’ll be interested to hear Julia’s interview when her children are 15 and 17, or better yet when they are 40 and 42.

Today’s society worships youth but it is the seasoned followers of Jesus who really have something to offer.

“The [Gray] head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness. – Proverbs 16:31

“That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, … That they may teach” – Titus 2:1-5a4

– fritz
1 – Exerpt from Washington Post 08/10/10,
2 – Related Post: December 30, 2009 “Happy the Man with Lots of Children?
3 – Matthew 7:24-27
4 – Titus 3:1-5

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>Lord or lunatic

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“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven … Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord … then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart” – Matthew 7:22

Some teach Jesus thought of himself only as a good man trying to do the right thing and hoping in the future; that it was, really, his disciples who came to the conclusion Jesus was the divine Son of God.

But Jesus firmly believed in his own Lordship and proclaimed it would be He who decides at the end of the age those entering God’s Kingdom. What kind of a man proclaims that? Either the Lord or a lunatic. The “just a good man” theory isn’t even on the table.

Paul writes

He remains true (faithful to His Word and His righteous character), for He cannot deny Himself. – 2nd Timothy 2:13b (amplified)

– fritz

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“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:” – Matthew 7:7 (KJV)

We naturally think this is Jesus’ directive for prayer. The context, however, is personal, human, relationships – specifically family; brothers, sons. Only then does Jesus indicate how much better the Father responds.

God wants our relationships to others conducted the same way as our relationship with Him; asking, seeking, knocking – not demanding, hunting, and pushing.

I am seeing how demanding obedience, insisting on my own way, and condemning non compliance is NOT the relationship God has with me or anyone else. Life and growth comes where and when there is respect, requests, and the freedom to say/receive “no” without condemnation.

– fritz

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“…neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” – Matthew 7:6 (KJV)1

We sometimes get things so backwards, with our arrogance and propensity for self justification. Look at the Pearls and Swine directive from a better perspective

Jesus is not suggesting that certain classes of people are to be viewed as pigs or dogs … Anyone who has ever had serious responsibilities of caring for animals will understand immediately … The problem with pearls for pigs is not that the pigs are not worthy. It is not worthiness that is in question here at all, but helpfulness. Pigs cannot digest pearls.2

Jesus isn’t offering an insult to those who don’t accept our “pearls” of wisdom, he is chiding us who push things on others that they can’t use!

[T]he point is not the waste of the “pearl” but that the person given the pearl is not helped…Our children or others do not know what else to do with us pearl pushers. And even though they love us–as parent or friend, for example–they simply cannot take any more of our “pushy irrelevance,” as they see it, or possibly our stubborn blindness.2

– fritz

1 – Matthew 7:6
2 – The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard, published by HarperCollins, copyright 1998, page 229
Related Post: An Armload of Zucchini

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