(Jeremiah 29:27-28)…In the United States, we are led to believe that we can just borrow to get anything that we want. This is not how God has commanded us to live as Christians. And when the world around us lives that way it becomes even harder to resist that temptation and not come up with some excuse for doing so. Christians should be the last people to be in financial hardship. All that we have comes from God and He calls us to be good stewards of it. We are disobedient to His calling when we mishandle what He’s given to us. God wants our tithe of course, but He is just as concerned with how we use and manage the rest of what He has given to us. We can really change this world especially if we’re financially secure.
(John 21:1-17)…One of Jesus’ final meetings with some of the Disciples, after he rose again, was very similar to his first encounter with them. We see them our fishing and not catching any fish. Once again they listen to the instructions given by Christ and they have success with their fishing. Afterwards they all have breakfast with Christ on the shore. And we get to listen in on the restoration of Peter. Peter denied Christ three times, in turn Christ came back and restored Peter three times.
I look at my own life, and see how I fail so much, and I struggle with how I can just simply be forgiven. I think we can see that it’s not only a matter of being forgiven, but to be working to change your life so that you don’t fail in those same ways. When the Disciples listened to Christ they had a great catch. When we listen to the calling and instruction in our own lives “fruit” will be produced in our lives. We may be blessed, but even more we have opened ourselves to be a blessing to others. The amazing thing is that no matter how many times we mess up Christ forgives us. There are many days that I don’t feel I deserve that forgiveness. Then again, salvation is not based on what we deserve, we clearly know that what we deserve is death. I stand in awe at the grace, forgiveness, and love that God shows me.
The question that I need to ask myself today is “what specific actions am I going to take to make changes in my life today?”. Well, in one way I keep failing in being responsible, forgetting about things I’ve said I’m going to do. I need to begin taking steps to work on holding myself to following through on what I’ve said I can or will do. I need to set myself as many reminders as possible. I need to create myself task lists and always make sure that I look at them. I need to be up front and honest when I fail because I forgotten and not try to hide my failure. It would be good to enlist the help of others to make sure that I write things down so that I remember them. I want to be a person of character and responsibility, that is something that God has called us to be, especially me.
(Genesis 4:1-16) As far back as Adam and Even we can definitely see that there are consequences for our actions. Even more so there are good and bad consequences for the good and bad in our lives. If we choose to go against God, turning towards sin, there unpleasant consequences ahead. When Cain killed Abel and the Lord cast him out Cain thought the worst, that others would find him and kill him. However, God showed mercy on Cain, He made it so that Cain would be marked so that no one would attempt to kill him. Cain received punishment, and he wasn’t happy with that, but like a loving father, God didn’t take the punishment to extremes.
I believe that there are also good consequences, good things that happen that are blessings for living a life pleasing to God. Are we going to take into consideration the consequences of our actions before we act? I do think ultimately if we desire to live the life God has called us to we are free’d from living a live only out of looking at the possible consequences. There will be times however where our weekness will cause us to take into consideration if we are proceeding in a direction away from God and what those consequences will be. At those times we need to look to the Holy Spirit to guide us and keep us strong in the faith.
(Numbers 17:1-13) Why is it that there is a natural tendency in us to resist, or question, the authority in our lives? The reality of it is that any authority in our lives is to be shown respect and followed, so long as that authority doesn’t cause us to go against God. God specifically commands us to follow the authority in our lives. The situation with Moses and the Isrealites is a perfect example of how God views authority.
The truth is that God is the ultimate authority in our lives, even though we make choices at time to resist His authority as well. It is our reposibility, to God’s lead in our lives, to show authority the type of respect that God calls us to. When we follow the authority in our lives, we are not only following them but God.