Confict? Old and New Testament concerning "Did God pass the "test"? (posted Sunday 9/29/13)

Three years ago our family double tithed (gave 20% of our income) for the month of September.  I got the job of my dreams and many other things happened that were wonderful.  Then I listen to Andrew Farley’s interpretation of tithing more recently: The New Testament Church is not given a command to obey the Law or to tithe.  We are commanded to love, by walking with and keeping in step with the Spirit.  Specifically relating to giving we are told to give generously what we want to give, not under compulsion; that is, with joy.  So is the New Testament in conflict with the Old Testament?

Not at all.

Jesus said, “It is for freedom I have set you free.”  And, “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”  The Law was a fixed command.  But now Jesus and God live in us by the Holy Spirit.  Jesus can tell us exactly what He wants, He can customize His will to our unique situation.  And we can freely choose to do what He wants us to do.  And reap the positive consequences of obeying the One Who Loves Us Most.

Until Jesus tells me otherwise, we will tithe (out of our own free will).  Not because we feel obligated by law.  But because we love Jesus.

Hopes for Heaven

I think that what is most important to God in the Bible is what is going to be most important to God in heaven.  Treating every person with the highest possible respect and love will be just breaking even.  No awards… We will have only done what is expected.

I also believe the quality and intensity of our emotions will increase.  When I told God I was not a sinner the second time, he burned with anger.  His anger was pure and intense.  I believe God is more “human” than we are (the good qualities of being human that is).  My emotions are just a shadow of God’s.  I believe our bodies, made of the dust of the earth, can’t contain emotions like God’s.  And they will be replaced by spiritual bodies, able to feel like God feels.

I believe we will recognize each other, just as Jesus was recognized in his spiritual body (eventually) when he was with his disciples (after being raised from the dead).  I believe I will have full memory of my life and the people in it and I will have great joy in telling others about what Jesus did for me (as I do now).  I believe I will also have the joy of listening to others tell how Jesus engineered their circumstances and they too came to know the truth – that Jesus loves them.

I believe the instant I die Jesus will lovingly take me and hold me in his arms; like a shepherd holds a sheep that was almost lost.  And he will tell me that he loves me, that he has always loved me, and that he is glad I am finally home with him.  And we can love each other face-to-face.

I’m okay, but you?

I interact every day with the mentally ill and the developmentally delayed.  I struggled with surface impressions that suggest people whose brains are not working right are less than me somehow.  Then, without me knowing it, my brain started to not work right.  And people couldn’t “see me” anymore.  They saw mental illness.

And they locked me out of their hearts.

One writer jolted me with the observation that the Bible teaches that our “minds” go to heaven while our brains are buried.  His conclusion is that the brain is an interface between the physical world and our minds.  This suggests that though we may have an defective brain, our mind is whole.  Our mind “sees” the world through the distorted brain and makes decisions, etc. based on inaccurate data.  But when we get to heaven we will see that the person we thought was less than us was in fact just the same as us.  They were simply dealing with life through a distorted lens.

When I meet that person in heaven, without defect, and with full memory of how I treated them, how comfortable will I be?


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