Tag Archive | christianity

Matthew 18: 21-22 ” Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘ Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘ I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.’ “

Jesus was explaining to Simon Peter that the number of times we need to forgive one another is just arbitrary.  It’s not about keeping a score card on that other person…for the act of forgiveness not about them at all.    Forgiveness stems from the unlimitless  capacity to forgive that Jesus first showed us while we were still sinners.  So as Christians, we are compelled to show each other the same kind of forgiveness…for forgiveness comes out of love for the Lord and each other.  The act of forgiveness is for our benefit, not others.  For if we allow unforgiveness to fester inside, blame escalates,   and with it,  growing bitterness, which leads only to spiritual blight.

Psalm 25:4-5 “Show me Your ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths; guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long.”

Make Yourself known to me, Lord.  Instruct me in Your ways… for only You are the source of all truth.  As it says in Job 34:32, ” Teach me what I can not see.”  For my hope and my life is in You.        Amen.

Mark 4:18-19 ” Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the Word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the Word, making it unfruitful.”

In the Parable of the Sower, the seed (the Word of God) is sown among the thorns…obstructing its growth.  When as a Believer, we don’t see fruit in our lives, we need to be asking ourselves – “What’s distracting me from God’s plan and purpose in my life?”   The world’s frenzy is enough to distract us from what really matters, so we need to prioritize everything by these categories:  God first, family next, world last.   Distracted faith is as bad a luke-warm faith…it’s a unfruitful faith that God can’t use.

Mark 4:16-17 ” Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the Word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the Word they quickly fall away.”

In these verses from the Parable of the Sower we see the Word of God being sown over rocky ground.  The plants  spring up, but because they have no adequate root system, they die off  quickly.  In the Amplified Version of the Bible it gives us insight into this shallow faith. It states in Mark 4:17,  ” And they have no real root in themselves, and so they endure for a little while; then when trouble or persecution arises on account of the Word, they immediately are offended (become displeased, indignant, resentful) and they stumble and fall away.”  So how can we pray for this person? They have to go deeper.  In I Timothy 3:9 it talks about keeping ahold of the deep truths of the faith…the divine secrets, revealed truths, and revelations from God.  To move from shallow faith to a vibrant and intimate relationship with the Lord,  a person has to go deeper with God…allowing Him to speak to them through the Scriptures, revealing important truths to them.   And with these new revelations, they are then able to send roots of trust down deep.

Mark 4:15 ” Some people are like seed along the path, where the Word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the Word that was sown in them.”

This is from the Parable of the Sower, where the farmer sows the Word…the Logos…the Word of God,  onto a hard-packed path.  The seed just sits on top of the surface, unable to germinate and grow because of the hardpan – the unbroken subsoil beneath.  To have a hardened heart towards the Gospel is to have an indifference towards the things of God…or to have an unfeeling conscience.  So how can we pray for that person?  We can ask the Lord to plow up that hard soil of rebellion in their life… that the Word of God may germinate and flourish there.

Romans 14:13 ” Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way.”

The Apostle Paul wasn’t speaking to non-Believers in this passage.  Rather, he was directing the faithful to stop judging one another.  You probably know someone who has been deeply wounded at Church by some hyper-critical  Carnal Christian, and now because of that, has turned their back totally on Christianity and anything to do with God.  For them, they can only see hypocrisy in fellow Believers that should be showing the love of Jesus…but instead are negative and critical.  Such Carnal Christians are a hindrance and a barrier to the Gospel Message.

Philippians 1:27-28 ” I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the Gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you.”

Declaring the Gospel to those around us can be scary.  We’re afraid of rejection…afraid of adversity…afraid of failure, so hence, we say nothing.  My favorite excuse is, “Someone else will share the Good News with that person…someone like the Pastor, or someone else more experienced than me.”  But there may not be a “someone else” in that person’s life.  For you may be the only one that will ever share the Gospel, or ever say the words, “Jesus loves you” to that person.  I Corinthians 16:13 says, …” we are to stand firm; be men (and women) of courage; and be strong when contending for the faith.”   So how do we overcome the fear of sharing our faith with others?  First realize,  you can never fail, even if you don’t see immediate results.  What you’re doing is planting seed that needs to be watered…maybe by someone else… and maybe an entirely different person will be there to see the harvest.  Secondly, it’s not about you and your abilities or lack there of.  For your dependence should be on the Lord Jesus Christ and the leading of the Holy Spirit to show you the way.  So with them in your corner, don’t be afraid, you can do it!