Apologetics, or proving the reality of Jesus, never moved me toward a personal relationship with him. It wasn’t until I saw someone who was very upset with their spouse, and yet was speaking so lovingly about their spouse at the same time, that Jesus began the process of breaking through my hate. Speaking kindly and respectfully of someone you were mad at made no sense to me. People that angry, verbally destroyed their spouses, they didn’t recount their spouse’s good qualities. And yet this reality was being presented to me. I had never met anyone like this.
One of our threesome left and I went to coffee with this person thinking I could be a listening ear and help them. This person shared Jesus with me. And because I had seen Jesus in this person (but didn’t recognize him) before they shared Jesus I gave this person the right to influence me.
The movie God’s Not Dead states that you cannot prove God exists. I think you can, it’s just that some people will not believe you even if you do. But God’s love, demonstrated in you, toward them, can do what no argument can do. It can change the human heart. It can meet their deepest need. It can give them new life.
No new job. No meals paid for by strangers. No extra ordinary things due to double tithing. In fact, some things are even worse.
God helped me and my family all month… Just like he always does.
He is helping others through me and my family… Just like he always does.
So what was the benefit of double tithing?
Well, I learned I love Him just the same, regardless of whether He works overtly or quietly.
Whether I notice anything different or not.
He is enough.
I used to think this meant swearing. But another meaning has surfaced to me. The people who God will not hold guiltless are those that claim to represent him, who take upon themselves His Name… falsely.
Those who preach “Health and Wealth.”
How many New Testament followers of Jesus had “Health and Wealth?” Jesus certainly had Health, in fact He gave it away. But the Bible doesn’t say He had Wealth (in terms of money). Paul was not rich or healthy (eye disease?). Timothy had stomach trouble needing wine. After Jesus went to heaven his followers were persecuted, scattered, fleeing for their lives from town to town. Not conducive for accumulating wealth.
Those who condemn you for a sickness because you don’t have “faith.”
How many lives have been ruined by those who tell someone dealing with mental illness to “get off your meds, trust God, and He will heal you.” When the four friends let down their sick friend through the roof of the home Jesus was teaching in, it says that Jesus saw their faith, (the friends), not his faith, (the sick one). And Jesus healed the sick one because of his friends’ faith. There is a lesson here. When you condemn someone for being sick and not having faith to get well, you are condemning yourself. Because you are responsible to have enough faith. Not the sick one. Read about the “friends” of Job and what they said about him and what God said about him. Job called them miserable comforters. God said Who is this that darkens His counsel with words without knowledge?
Those who outwardly follow Jesus instructions in order to gain money.
Jesus’ principles make good business sense. But if your motive is to gain money by doing them “you deny the power” of Jesus and his message of love for all. You deny the love Jesus died to bring you and “your god is your stomach.”
Those who preach Jesus to have their own followers in order to feed themselves.
Jesus followers talk about Jesus and what he has freely given them and all others. Self-seekers use Jesus as a means to get fame, fortune, power and pleasure (what satan and the world offer).
These people do not represent a true picture of God’s character and love for all. They are harming Jesus’ reputation (Name) and hiding the true Jesus that loves them just the way they are. That is why they are guilty.
When I was young I wanted things
When I was middle-aged I wanted importance
When I was older I wanted significance
Now I just want to love all others
Just the way Jesus does
Poor in spirit,
those who are not confident in their own ability to please God.
over the sin that they can’t stop doing
great power under complete control
First Jesus says blessed are the poor in spirit,
and they that mourn.
He says my righteousness is to exceed the “Super Religious” (the scribes and Pharisees),
If I am angry with someone, if I call them “stupid” I am in danger of hell fire,
Adultery is looking at a woman to lust after her and is worthy of dismemberment.
Then He ends by saying for me to be perfect,
just as my Heavenly Father is perfect.
At this point I give up.
Because I know I cannot do this.
And my spirit becomes poor,
and I mourn over my sin I can’t stop doing.
And I know I do not have great power
and the power I do have is not under complete control.
And I know I hate my enemies.
And I realize
I need a Savior.