Right Relations / The Friends found in the Bible List

This section of Right Relations is taking a lot of thought and work and though I am not ready to share what I have so far I did want to share this and hear from you.

Right Relations / The Friends list

Friends in the Bible list

When I think of some of the friendships in the Bible the one that comes immediately to my mind is the relationship between Jonathan and David. Jonathan was the son of King Saul, and David was a shepherd boy and the youngest of his father’s sons. So how they became friends is one God had chosen. So how many friendships can you think of found in the Bible? Here is a short list of ones that I can think of. I would love to hear from you about ones that are not listed here or of ones that inspire you.

  1. David and Jonathan / 1 Samuel 18-20
  2. Elijah and Elisha
  3. Ruth and Naomi
  4. Jesus and His disciples
  5. Paul and Timothy
  6. Job and his friends
  7. Jesus and Judas (not all friends are friends, some will betray you the second it profits them)

 

I know there are other friends found in the Bible and that we all have those friends who have had an impact on our relationship with Jesus. I am looking forward to hearing from you. Please share your friendship testimonies and your favorite friends in the Bible.

God bless.

Right Relations / Family Relations / The Parent Child Relationship

Well here is the next piece in the puzzle of my project Right relations. Sometime I wonder if anything I am writing makes any sense or if I am just rambling. So I hope that those of you who are taking time to read along as I continue on this journey are finding things that are helpful to you. Please feel free to make any comments or suggestions as you feel inspired to do. This is a work in progress.

Family Relations/The Parent Child Relationship

Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” (NLT)
Leviticus 19:3 “Each of you must respect his mother and father, and you must observe my Sabbaths. I am the LORD your God.” (NIV)
Deuteronomy 5:16 “Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” (NIV)

These are only 3 verses on how children must act towards their parents, yet they show the importance of the relationship between a child and their parent. Now do we stop obeying this commandment when we become adults? The answer is no. What if you parents are not good to you as you are growing up and even when you become an adult, does this mean you do not have to keep this commandment? If you read what God has instructed us to do, you will see there is nothing said about the parent’s behavior. It simply tells us to honor our mother and our father and by doing this you add to your life. Why does God care about your relationship with your earthly parents? It is not like you were given a choice who your mother and father would be. Yet these two people made a choice and you were conceived.
I do not know what your childhood was like. Some have loving and caring parents. Then there are those of you who did not have bad parents, they made sure you had what you needed as far as food, clothes, shelter, and other things. Yet they were gone a lot, they worked long hours to provide for your needs, but had little to no time for you. Then there are those of us who grew up in unstable and abusive homes. Maybe you were not the one getting abused, but you watched one parent hurt the other repeatedly. Your house was filled with anger, hate and fear. Some knew about the affairs their mother or father was having and this made you angry but there was nothing you could do. Then there are the ones who were raised by a single parent, which used to mean you were raised by your mother, but in today’s times you could have been raised by your father. For whatever reason they were left to raise you alone, and how much they showed you they loved you, there was still something missing.
I know I have not covered the entire list of dysfunctional childhoods, but you can see by this list that there are many reasons to question this commandment. How do you honor a parent that is neglectful, abusive, absent, selfish, and cheats to name a few character flaws some parents have?
How can you respect or honor someone you are afraid of? You may love them because they are your parent and you are desperate for them to love you back. Yet they have hurt you in ways that leave your angry or depressed and feeling worthless. You may do everything right, and never speak an angry word or ever talk back. Yet you cannot trust them. You live in fear of how they are going to hurt you, your siblings, or your other parent. Where is the honor in this?
You have been raised by your single parent. Some are so loving and do twice as much to make up for the lack of the other parent not being there that you do not doubt you are loved and that they will do anything to make you happy. You have no problem loving or respecting this parent, but what about the absent parent? The one who left you behind,. Whether it was before or after you was born. How do you respect or honor them? They haven’t been any part of your life, or they just show up on rare occasions, and you don’t have a relationship with them other than a biological one. So why do we even care about this person?
Unfortunately the actions of our parents are not controlled by us or by God. They have free will to choose how they live their lives. This does not always have a positive effect on our lives. We grew up watching how our parents treated each other and then how they treated us. If it was good it had a good effect on most of us behaved ourselves. Yet there are some that no matter how good their parents were they still acted out, hurting themselves and those around them. Why I cannot tell you. Then those who grew up in the unstable and dysfunctional homes it had an effect on the person we were. Some grew up to be exactly like our parents. We became victims to others just like our parents, or we lived angry, abusive, neglectful, selfish, with no self control. Either jumping from relationship to relationship or ending up in an abusive relationship of our own. Then others who grew up in these types of homes worked harder to get away from this life and made a good life for themselves.
So whether your home was good, loving and stable or it was broken and unstable it did affect the choices you made, and the relationships you formed. For some the effect was positive and we made the best choices and learned to live happy and productive lives, but still have difficulties trusting people, and honoring your parent may seem like it is not worth the effort.
So why is this command repeated throughout the Bible? Right now it I see it as a reflection of how we are to relate to God. He is called our Heavenly Father. Yet how we relate to our earthly parents effects how we relate to Him. Even the people who have the loving and nurturing parents can still have difficulty relating to Him. Not because they had a hard life, they had wonderful childhoods, so good they cannot see beyond their parents. Yet for a large number of us who grew up abused, abandoned, neglected, etc… we have difficulties seeing a loving Heavenly Father when we got stuck with jerks for parents. You may wonder how He could love you and stick you with parents who were going to hurt you? I cannot answer for Him but I will say He did not take away their free will, and He is not responsible for their actions. They chose how they lived and how they treated others. The other thing I want to tell you is that, no matter what you lived through, both good and bad He was always there and He still is. Which reminds me of a song that even thinking about still brings tears to my eyes? “A Sad Little Girl” Look it up and listen to it, if you have never listened to it before. It will tell you about how in the darkest time of this little girl’s life Jesus was there for her.
So how can we honor and respect our Heavenly Father when we do not honor or respect our parents here on earth? We can’t. Honoring and respecting anyone does not mean we have to be there door mat or punching bag. We do not have to allow ourselves to be abused in anyway. Like the old saying goes, ‘Two wrongs do not make a right.’ Just because they have done you wrong does not mean you have to return wrong for wrong. Some ways we can honor or respect the parents who failed at being good parents is by not speaking in hateful or hurtful words about them or to them. This does not mean you have to pretend like they never did anything to hurt you, and you can share what has been done to you because this is your testimony. Just speak the truth without hate or bitterness. For those of you who think this is impossible remember this verse.’ I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ I also want to let you know that I have not perfected this in my own life but I am putting in the effort, and doing as the Apostle Paul said, ‘ I have not yet finished the race but I press forward until I reach the goal.’
For me to have a good relationship with my Heavenly Father I am going to have to work on the relationships with the parents I have here. This includes the relationship with my mother who is no longer alive. Just because she is gone the relationship we had still plays a major role in my relationship with Christ.

Questions to think about;

What does honor and respect mean to you?

Do you have problems trusting people, and does this go back to your childhood?

How do you see yourself?

Are you depressed, angry, or are you happy and and at peace with yourself?

Have your need to forgive your parents?

Have you forgiven yourself?

Is it time for a change of your name?

As you read through your Bible you find that names were changed by God. In Genesis 17:5 You read that God change Abram to Abraham and in verse 15 Sarai becomes Sarah. Jacob becomes Israel, Simon becomes Peter, and Saul becomes Paul are just a few names that were changed by God.

So why the name change? When a woman marries a man she then takes on his family name which identifies her as his wife. Think about that we are called the bride of Christ. Who we were before we came into the knowledge and relationship with Jesus is now a part of our past. That is who we used to be, but now we are made new by Jesus.                 2 Corinthians 5:17  (NKJV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.                                       Isaiah 43:18 “Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past.
Ezekiel 36:26″Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

Most of us still identify with the person we were and still hold onto the traits of the person we were before we received Christ Jesus as our Savior and repented of our sins. When we repented, we turned from our sinful way of living and turned to Jesus, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father but through Him.

I can try to change my behavior on my own, but this is nothing more than what is called behavior modification. My actions have changed but the desire to do the things I once did is still there. There are two things that I need, but not limited to, and they are (1) The heart of Christ Jesus.  James 4:8  – Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse [your] hands, [ye] sinners; and purify [your] hearts, [ye] double minded. 1 Samuel 16:7  – But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for [the LORD seeth] not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. (2) I need the mind of Christ. For how I think and see things are not how God sees or thinks. Isaiah 55:8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

I have to make the decision to submit to God and allow Him to transform me into the creation He wants me to be so that I can better share the love of Jesus and testify what God has done for me through His Son Jesus. How He changed my life in ways that I never could on my own.

Questions;

If God changed your name today, what do you think He would change it to?

What part of the old you are you holding onto? (like an old pair of jeans that do not fit anymore but you hold onto because one day they might fit again)

 

 

 

Would you die for your enemy? Lessons of love /January 8, 2018

It is written, ‘No one has greater love than this—that one lays down his life for his friends.’ John 15:13.

Now think about this; ‘Would you die to save the life of your enemy?’

Many would easily give up their life to save their child, their spouse, family members,  friends, and some would do so for a stranger they see in danger. To give up your life for someone who hates you, who despises you, who wants you to you to feel pain, have your life destroyed and even wants you dead, could you sacrifice your life for these people? Would you want to? If we were to be honest our first response is a big fat ‘NO!’.

Yet as I have meditated on the sacrifice our Heavenly Father gave, when He sent His Son to pay the price for our sins and the fact that Jesus did not have to do this but that He loves us as much as our Father does, He surrendered His life. Before He was crucified, He was mocked, ridiculed,attacked, falsely accused beaten and spit upon.then crucified still being mocked, and what were His words? “Father forgive them, they know not what they do.’ How much mercy and love He had not only for those who loved and followed Him, but He loved those who were His enemy. He died for to save the lives of those who were and are His enemy. We have all sinned. Those of us who have not only acknowledged our sins and repented, we have also received Christ Jesus as our Savior and Lord. Through His sacrifice we have been adopted into His family and have become children of God, but before this we too were His enemy.

Can we love others as He loves us, or do we continue to only those who love us, and that we feel are worthy of our love?

Is there anything you can do today to show love to someone who has made it clear that they hate you?

Love for Enemies

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor’ and ‘hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be like your Father in heaven, since he causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Even the tax collectors do the same, don’t they? 47 And if you only greet your brothers, what more do you do? Even the Gentiles do the same, don’t they? 48 So then, be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:43-48 (NET Bible)

A thought and a question continues 9/15/17

It does not take much to open the door without realizing that you have let the enemy in, and once he is in he is difficult to evict. I however have made the decision to kick him out and guard that door window and any other way he could come in. I remember living in a mobile home in the country and my daughter told me we had a rat in the kitchen. I told her it was probably a mouse but when I turned to look it was a possum! It was difficult to chase him out but when we finally got him out I yelled “I am not Ellie May and animals are not allowed in”. Later I found that it had eaten a hole in the wall behind my refrigerator and had a nest with its’ babies living there. Once we rid ourselves of these creatures I found the hole in which they had made to move in. I not only covered it up but bought steel wool and placed in in any place I thought they might try to make their way back in. I kept a watch out to make sure they did not return and thankfully they did not, but then a wood pecker decided to make its’ home in my bedroom wall. How I found this out was every morning I would be woken up by a knocking on what I thought was my door. I would get up open the door and no one was there. This went on for a number of days. Now I lived in the country and neighbors were not close. I never heard or saw a car drive away and I knew if it was a child playing ding dong ditch I would still see them. So every morning I became more and more annoyed. One morning I saw things going by my bedroom window making me believe that someone was on my roof throwing things down. So I storm out run around to the back of my home in time to see a woodpeckers head sticking out of the outside wall of my bedroom tossing out pink insulation. Once again I felt like Ellie May, but unlike her these were not welcome guests. Until I was able to have new siding put up, I would go to bed at night and bang on the wall and yell at the bird, “How do you like being woken up?” So why am I bringing up this old story? Well with this continued journey to get my thoughts right with God I was reminded of this time in my life. If I did not work at riding myself of these unwanted guests they would have made my home theirs and they would outnumber me and I would never had gotten them out and I would have been the one who would have to leave. It took effort and in order for me to train my brain to think on what is right I will have to put in the work and keep putting in the work. Every time I slack off  and let my guard down and even welcome these unwanted guests in it will be harder for me to get rid of them. If I catch them early it will be easier for me to deal with and rid myself of this poisonous way of thinking. I am thankful for those of you who have already left encouraging comments yesterday, including scripture on my first post regarding this topic. So I will fight the good fight and even if I stumble I will get back up.

Todays Question; What are some things that we do that allow the enemy to come into our thoughts?

Scripture to meditate on

1 Peter 5:8-9 (ESV)  Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.

Matthew 12:29 (NKJV)  Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.

Matthew 12:43-45 (NKJV) “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. 44 Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. 45 Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.”

Psalm 94:19 When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul.

2 Corinthians 10:5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ

Prayer;

Father, 

I submit myself to your will. Asking for your help in taking every thought captive and riding myself of that which is offensive to you. I am choosing to focus on Your goodness and mercy. Thinking of ways that I can please and honor You. Thank you for loving  and forging me. Alone I could do nothing but with Jesus all things are possible. Thank You Lord Jesus I need you this and everyday of my life. Amen

A thought and a question… 9/14/2017

I have been trying this year to get my thought life in order. Yet no matter how hard I try sometime during a day I have entertained some negative thought. Too often more than one is entertained. Then I vent over my frustrations and aggravations. So here I am thinking on the negative and being negative. This is not good at all. Scripture tells me that I am to take every thought captive. It does not say to entertain every thought. (2 Corinthians 10:5 (NKJV)  casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,) So what should I keep my thoughts focused on? Scripture answers this question as well.  (Philippians 4:8 (NKJV)  Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.)

Step one – Take every thought captive and submit it to Christ.

Step two – Choose to think about what is pure and true, and what ever glorifies Jesus.

Sounds easy doesn’t it? Yet we all know this is not an easy task. It is actually a battle we must wage everyday and keep ourselves in check.

Now while all of these thoughts rolled around my little head I thought of this – If I am to keep my thoughts in check, should this not include my conversations? Thinking upon this question I wondered when was the last time I had a conversation with anyone that did not include complaining, judgment (myself or the other party in the conversation), whining or anything that was negative. To be honest I cannot think of any conversation other than with the cashier at the grocery store. So I wondered would it be possible to have only positive conversations ( this includes both people talking)? I wonder if it would be possible for me to not only speak positively but only entertain positive conversations for even a day, and if I could do this could I make it three days? I laughed and thought I would have to not speak at all. This however is not something that is actually funny. So I am challenging myself to see if I can make it three days only speaking to others in a positive and life giving manner. God help me! Ephesians 4:29 (NKJV)  Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

Question: Could you for three days have only positive conversations?