Lessons Worth Re-Learning

This is my journey that the LORD Jesus Christ has taken me on in my life. So don't be surprised, this is a Christian site written by a Christian. Most of us have lived our Christian lives such that if we bloomed where we were planted, we'd be mushrooms in a cave! If you would like to subscribe to this blog, please send me an e-mail.

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Location: Farmington, New Mexico, United States

I am just like everyone else: I make it one day at a time with a little bit of humor. The Word of God is a fire in my heart that burns all the way down to my bones and I cannot hold it back. Jeremiah 20:9

Thursday, June 05, 2014

My Heart Condition

Deuteronomy 15:1-11
Good News Translation

The Seventh Year
1.  "At the end of every seventh year you are to cancel the debts of those who owe you money. 
2.  This is how it is to be done. Each of you who has lent money to any Israelite is to cancel the debt; you must not try to collect the money; the LORD Himself has declared the debt canceled. 
3.  You may collect what a foreigner owes you, but you must not collect what any of your own people owe you.
4.  "The LORD your GOD will bless you in the land that He is giving you. Not one of your people will be poor 
5.  if you obey Him and carefully observe everything that I command you today. 
6.  The LORD will bless you, as He has promised. You will lend money to many nations, but you will not have to borrow from any; you will have control over many nations, but no nation will have control over you.
7.  "If in any of the towns in the land that the LORD your GOD is giving you there are Israelites in need, then do not be selfish and refuse to help them. 
8.  Instead, be generous and lend them as much as they need. 
9.  Do not refuse to lend them something, just because the year when debts are canceled is near. Do not let such an evil thought enter your mind. If you refuse to make the loan, they will cry out to the LORD against you, and you will be held guilty. 
10.  Give to them freely and unselfishly, and the LORD will bless you in everything you do. 
11.  There will always be some Israelites who are poor and in need, and so I command you to be generous to them.

     GOD is good all the time. And He is speaking and teaching if we are willing to hear Him and attentive to His voice.
     I have to admit to everyone that I have a problem with the welfare system and beggars on street corners and church assistance programs.
     I believe the welfare system is great for people who have had a tragedy, or are handicapped, or temporarily unemployed. But what is happening is once on the system they become dependent on the system and can't give up that free money and then they stop learning how to become independent again if they are capable. It's almost like a chemical addiction they passionately defend the right to. Obviously handicapped people need lifetime help. 
     The beggars on the street corners have developed the stigma of career beggars because a few live in really nice homes and drive cadillacs. Some hold signs saying they are traveling through yet are there every day or week. Some signs say are handicapped vets and 'GOD bless America'.
    There are genuinely deserving people out there that fall through the cracks and cannot receive assistance.
     I have a problem with the modern programs in much of our churches. They are being used as a ransom for membership in those churches. Therefore there are 'strings' attached.
     I think GOD has a problem with us all but I'm going to talk about what GOD is speaking to me about through this scripture. This scripture is speaking to me about generosity, not debts. It's a heart condition. Verses 8-10 are the key here: 1) do not be selfish, 2) do not refuse to help, 3) give generously, 4) do not refuse to give just because the year to cancel debts is close because you know at this point in time it is a gift not a loan, 5) give freely and unselfishly, "and the LORD will bless you in everything you do." 
     GOD says if you even consider not helping them it reveals you have an 'evil heart'. Brrr. . . .  I don't like that at all.
     When Jesus died on the cross He paid the price for ALL of us whether we accept the free gift or not or are Jewish or not. He cancelled all our debts. There are some people who have accepted that free gift and some who have not. It's not up to me to be their judge and jury. That is between them and GOD. What He requires from me is to love ALL humans. To treat them with love in His name, to be generous with whatever He has blessed me with in His name, because He has chosen this method to bless them.  "Freely you have received, freely give." Matthew 10:8 (NKJV)
     It's not a matter of if they deserve it or not. He died for me while I was still a pagan and a sinner. There is no way of knowing who deserves it or not or what they may do with it because I am not GOD. I am instructed to give freely and unselfishly and live humbly before my GOD. I do it as a gift for the LORD to use. That is between me and the LORD. It is my choice whether to give them money, food, or my voluntary labor. What they do with it, whether it is to buy food, or pay their bills, or buy cigarettes or alcohol, all that is between THEM and the LORD. It is not my business.
     And GOD reminded me of something I told my mom probably over 40 years ago. We were talking about old churches that the pioneers had established that were abandoned now and excavations had found money buried under them. She said she wished she could find some of that money because it was 'finders keepers'. I said I would donate it back to the church because it was the LORD's money. People had given it to the LORD. That was between them and the LORD. What the church did with it was between the church and the LORD. It was still the LORD's.
     Whatever I have was given to me by the LORD. I may have worked for it. But it wasn't given to me to hoard, it was given to me to share. I don't think that it is the government's place to take care of the poor, the handicapped, the orphans, the widows, or anybody. It is the Church's duty to take care of the poor, the indigent, the orphans and widows. It is my job to do my part because GOD was gracious to me in the first part.
     How can the world see Jesus if we are don't show it? We need to be 'Jesus with skin on' or the world will continue to have a distorted view of who GOD is and who Jesus is. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, there is this story about a little girl who is in her room kneeling in prayer and weeping uncontrollably. Her mom hears it and comes in and asks her what the problem is. The little girl says, "I need Jesus!" The mom says, "Everytime you pray you're talking to Him." The little girl said, "But I need Jesus with skin on!" GOD uses His Body of believers to be His 'Jesus with skin on' on the earth.

Psalm 51
Good News Translation

A Prayer for Forgiveness
1.  Be merciful to me, O GOD, because of Your constant love. Because of Your great mercy wipe away my sins!
2.  Wash away all my evil and make me clean from my sin!
3.  I recognize my faults; I am always conscious of my sins.
4.  I have sinned against You—only against You—and done what You consider evil. So You are right in judging me; You are justified in condemning me.
5.  I have been evil from the day I was born; from the time I was conceived, I have been sinful.
6.  Sincerity and truth are what You require; fill my mind with Your wisdom.
7.  Remove my sin, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8.  Let me hear the sounds of joy and gladness; and though You have crushed me and broken me, I will be happy once again.
9.  Close Your eyes to my sins and wipe out all my evil.
10.  Create a pure heart in me, O GOD, and put a new and loyal spirit in me.
11.  Do not banish me from Your presence; do not take Your Holy Spirit away from me.
12.  Give me again the joy that comes from Your salvation, and make me willing to obey You.
13.  Then I will teach sinners Your commands, and they will turn back to You.
14.  Spare my life, O GOD, and save me, and I will gladly proclaim Your righteousness.
15.  Help me to speak, LORD, and I will praise You.
16.  You do not want sacrifices, or I would offer them; You are not pleased with burnt offerings.
17.  My sacrifice is a humble spirit, O GOD; You will not reject a humble and repentant heart.
18.  O GOD, be kind to Zion and help her; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
19.  Then You will be pleased with proper sacrifices and with our burnt offerings; and bulls will be sacrificed on your altar.