8 Nov 2009
November 8, 2009
Matthew 7: 12
Pet Peeves...Or...The Golden Rule
The Golden Rule
Do for others what you would like them to do for you. This is a summary of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.
This seems to be a simple enough statement except when you consider that I was going to entitle this article "Accountability...8th Grade...Betrayal". Then the plot thickens as they say. Let's start with accountability. Who are we accountable to? God. Why? Because he made us and in him we live and have our being. Or should. We are to respect and revere him. Why? Because he made the rules for life and death and the way to heaven. So? So, if we have any hope in redeeming ourselves, that is, being forgiven of our sins and having eternal life...getting to heaven...we need to straighten up and fly right. Make the right choices for him, ourselves, and those around us. AND those around us....I repeat myself on purpose. If we are to pick of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, what fruits, if any, are produced in the following scenarios, and how are they used?
Let's look at Dick and Jane and Sally. Dick meets Jane. Jane divorces husband for Dick. Dick and Jane have a 30 year affair. No children in this affair, but some children with previous husband. Very profitable business ventures together. About halfway through the relationship, Dick meets Sally and starts an affair. Sally thought Dick was building a house for her and him. Sally gets pregnant. Dick marries Sally, but still is continuing to have affair with Jane. Pregnancy aborts house purchase, but saves baby. Dick and Sally stay married having more children til his death about 13 years down the line. Dick continues to have affair with Jane all the while. Dick tells Sally "Jane is a good person". Sally suspected, but never knew for sure if Dick and Jane were having an affair, he was just never home...working. Dick dies and leaves Sally and now 3 kids poor. Although Dick has built a huge investment portfolio with Jane that Jane is now profiting from. And Sally's kids profit from at Christmas. (Guilt?) Jane offers to buy Sally's house to reduce payment...she rents under the guise of ownership, although no legal paperwork suggests such. Jane gives Sally menial labor job. To help...always to help. Now Sally is dying and Jane has convinced her to give her the kids....the kids she couldn't have with Dick...when she dies. And she had made Jane medical power of attorney. Who has been wronged and by whom?
I just heard a huge resounding "WHAT???!!!" from the congregation. Yup! It's the truth. Any fruits? Where and how are they used? ACCOUNTABILITY. BETRAYAL. Adultery, more to the point.
Eighth Grade. Do you remember being in 8th grade and telling your friend something in confidence, or something to pray about privately? And then learning that she or he had told everyone thinking themselves 'right' because..... There should never be a 'because...', there is no justification for betraying someone's trust.
Take the example of telling Susie something you went to the Priest/Minister about in confidence and privacy. And you tell your friend, Susie, so to have prayer support for yourself, the Priest/Minister, and those involved, who, according to scripture are doing wrong in church. Actions that are more voodoo in nature than having anything to do with scripture as God intends. Actions that are most assuredly not of the HOLY Spirit. AND you asked her to not share the information. And then she runs and tells others involved. Thinking she is justified...how??? There is no justification for betrayal of trust. There is no justification for someone in their upper years to act like the proverbial 8th grader. BETRAYAL. ACCOUNTABILITY. Broken golden rule.
Where is the integrity of the people involved? In the trash. Where is the LORD in their lives? IS the Lord in their lives, or are they acting like he is there to some and proving he is not to others? Why do people do what they do thinking themselves righteous and pios? How sad...how very sad. Have they no idea what they do to the integrity and credibility of those involved? Or the pain and sorrow that can erupt by making decisions that are not of God, supposedly in the name of God, for God, that have NOTHING to do with God? But it has everything to do with themselves, and their sellifsh, adulterated, immature, abusive, disorderly, evil unspiritual thoughts, and ambitions surely NOT of God. Wherein lies love? For anyone other than self? Wherein lies integrity? Except for a mistaken pios notion of misconceived, misunderstood definition of such for self?
Why? Satan lives. None of us is perfect and we are not going to get 'there' unless we run everything we do past God before we open our mouths, take action, consider ourselves, and consider others. If we read and study the word of God, and align ourselves correctly, we will sin less, understand the mind of God and what he calls us to do. At every turn Jesus told Satan and the negative that assailed him to go. Just GO. He thought nothing of quoting scripture to rebuke Satan. See Matthew 4: 1-17, and Deutoronomy 8: 3, and 6:13, 16. Are we not to do the same?
There are a lot of people in the world. We need to test if they are Christians by how they act and what they say. Do they align themselves with the Word of God? Do they practice what HE preached or what they preach? Scripture does not contradict itself or go against itself. We must never preach anything other than that which scripture...God Almighty, Jesus and Holy Spirit have told us to preach and it will always be in alignment with what scripture says. ALWAYS. If it does not align, you are not listening to people that are of God, and they have lost their way, thinking their way is the right way. It is not. Be aware, back away, get away, stay away. Dust your feet and keep on going. God has something better in store for you than to be a part of a group or involved with a person that is not of God.
So why should Sally give her life and kids to the hands of Jane? Why should you ever tell Susie anything again or should Susie perhaps even be in your life? Should they be held accountable? You bet. And ONLY by them asking your forgiveness AND the changing of their ways should you let them back in, IF God nows says...okay...it's safe...if ever.
A Minister and a Counselor is bound by confidentiality. There is a fine line folks. It scares me sometimes that I may cross a line in an attempt to help, in the name of prayer. Have I ever made a mistake? I am human, so most assuredly I am not perfect, and I am most sure I have made a mistake, many, and I have sinned. All fall short of the glory of God. But in the context of those titles, I have not been malicious, acted with ill intent, conciously betrayed, but I have been held accountable by God when I have erred and not. And I have been attacked by Satan and his assigns. And I have prayed and rebuked and dusted my feet and kept on going. And I have tried earnestly to not act like the proverbial 8th grader. More importantly, I have ever endeavored to live the golden rule with love in service to all in the name of and for God. I believe it is God's desire that all do this.
We are commanded to love. We are commanded to go to our brothers and sisters if they sin, and, if they do not listen, go to the church. If then no one listens, we are to wipe our feet. Pray we all listen. If no one does, wipe your feet and don't look back. However sad that is. YOU must live and live life abundantly with the one who made you, gave you life, and offered you heaven. You answer only to the Trinity...God, Jesus and Holy Spirit. You can not be the Savior for others. They have been offered Jesus, if they will look to him and obey him.
Here are a list of vices...evidence of neglecting God and others: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, hatred, discord, slander, gossip, jealousy, anger, selfish ambition, dissension, arrogance, envy, murder, idolatry, witchcraft, drunkeness, wild living, cheating, adultery, homosexuality, greed, stealing, lying.
And here are a list of virtues...the by product of and evidence of loving and living for God: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
See also Galatians 5: 16-26. Get right, if you are not. Heaven awaits...the door could open any minute.
Let Us Pray
Dear God, Jesus and Holy Spirit. Please forgive me of my sins and help me to be right with you and for you. And for others. I am not perfect, so let me not lord over others, but be under you, Lord, that you might make me and all others right, and all things, right according to your Word. Heal my pain, my sorrow, my suffering, and that of others. Make me and others new again. Hear me when I pray this prayer:
O God: Give me strength to live another day; Let me not turn coward before its difficulties or prove recreant to its duties; Let me not lose faith in other people; Keep me sweet and sound of heart, in spite of ingratitude, treachery, or meanness; Preserve me from minding little stings or giving them; Help me to keep my heart clean, and to live so honestly and fearlessly that no outward failure can dishearten me or take away the joy of conscious integrity; Open wide the eyes of my soul that I may see good in all things; Grant me this day some new vision of thy truth; Inspire me with the spirit of joy and gladness; and make me the cup of strength to suffering souls; in the name of the strong Deliverer, our only Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.*
In other words, Lord, help me and those who live and breathe and have their being in you and those not of you. So we can all live together in peace and harmony...without pain, suffering or sorrow. Thank you. Heal my hurting heart and that of others. Heal 'Sally's' heart and others like her. Forgive only those worthy. Amen
Here is an additional prayer for daily use:
A Morning Resolve
I will try this day to live a simple, sincere, and serene life, repelling promptly every thought of discontent, anxiety, discouragement, impurity, and self-seeking; cultivating cheerfulness, magnanimity, charity, and the habit of holy silence; exercising economy in expenditure, generosity in giving, carefulness in conversation, diligence in appointed service, fidelity to every trust, and a childlike faith in God.
In particular I will try to be faithful in those habits of prayer, work, study, physical exercise, eating, and sleep which I believe the Holy Spirit has shown me to be right.
And as I cannot in my own strength do this, nor even with a hope of success attempt it, I look to thee, O Lord God my Father, in Jesus my Savior, and ask for the gift of the Holy Spirit.*
O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my every thought when far away. You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment you know where I am. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, LORD. You both precede and follow me. You place your had of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to know!
I can never escape from your spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the place of the dead, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your stength will support me. I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night--but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are both alike to you.
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous--and how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.
How precious are your thoughts about me, O God! They are inumerable! I can't even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up in the morning, you are still with me!
O, God, if only you would destroy the wicked! Get out of mylife, you murderers! They blaspheme you; your enemies take your name in vain. O LORD, shouldn't I hate those who hate you? Shouldn't I despise those who resist you? Yes, I hate them with complete hatred for your enemies are my enemies.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
NOTES OF HELP: Susanna Wesley, Mother of John Wesley, founder of Methodist Church, wrote to her son on June 8, 1725 the following:
"Take this rule: Whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes off your relish of spiritual things; in short, whatever increases the strength and authority of your body over your mind, that thing is sin to you, however innocent it may be in itself."
Therefore I advise you to "Fix your thoughts on what is true, honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable, and about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Be considerate in all you do. Always be full of joy...rejoicing! Philippians 4: 8b, 4.
Let us hear from Paul as he prays:
When I think of the wisdom and scope of God's plan, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resouces he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love. And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope. May he be given glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever through endless ages. Amen. Ephesians 3:14-21 NLT
Scroll down to read Jesus' Prayer of Thanksgiving...'The Unforced Rythms of Grace'.
Definition of a Christian: Anyone who believes in God, Jesus and Holy Spirit, and accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior. Regardless of church name or religious affiliation.
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Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this:
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Our NEW Current Cause
My family and I, and the church, are in crisis and could desperately use your prayers and financial support. Due to medical concerns, employment crisis, and economic devastation, I do not have funding to meet everyday expenses right now for the church, or family, and home, nor those necessary to keep this website afloat, for those shut-in or needing spiritual support, nor the ability to help others along the way. But I am confident that, with your help, balance can be achieved. As God touches your heart, I hope you will pray earnestly for the church, my family and me, and send any amount of money you can to help. Please note 'Church and Family' on your check, and, I will see that all funds get divided appropriately. The church, I and my family, as well as to those to whom we reach out, will be sincerely grateful for anything you can do to help.
Please accept my sincerest thanks....and may God bless you!
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One last thing....
Jesus' Prayer of Thanksgiving
'The Unforced Rythms of Grace'
"Abruptly Jesus broke into prayer: "Thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth. You've concealed your ways from sophisticates and know-it-alls, but spelled them out clearly to ordinary people. Yes, Father, that's the way you like to work."
Jesus resumed talking to the people, but now tenderly. "The Father has given me all these things to do and say. This is a unique Father - Son operation, coming out of Father and Son intimacies and knowledge. No one knows the Son the way the Father does, nor the Father the way the Son does. But I'm not keeping it to myself; I'm ready to go over it line by line with anyone willing to listen."
"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn how to live freely and lightly.
Matthew 11: 25-30
And the people said,
I now write most prayers in the position of ' I ' (first person) because most people are sitting at their computer alone, not in groups, and it allows those reading and praying to personalize the prayer as coming from them going to God. Variations may appear on holidays when families may wish to use the prayer provided.
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
* Todays prayers were taken from Forward Day By Day published by Forward Movement, an agency of the Episcopal Church.
Bible Authors and Minister