Do You Listen? / June 18, 2019

(In this post I have included the original post, but as I read it again I heard God speak to me and tell me that it was unfinished. So The bold print is from the original.)
When your children do not listen to you and disobey you do you get upset? Of course you do. I do not know of any parents that does not care when their child does something wrong. As a parent you have rules you expect your children to follow those rules. There are the things you want them to do, and the things you do not want them to do. When they break your rules you discipline them. So why is it that when God tells us to do something or not do something we like to argue with Him, or we go ahead and do the thing He has told us not to do? He is our Heavenly Father, and we are His children. As we want our children to listen to us we need to listen to God our Father and not argue with Him and do what we know pleases Him. We are not to talk back or tell Him what to do. We do not tolerate this with our own children, so why is it that we think we can do this with God? 

Growing up, talking back to any adult was not allowed, and you definitely did not talk back to my father, unless you wanted a beating. Yet are there times when we do this with God, our Heavenly Father? Do we make demands and tell Him what to do? I think we have become spoiled children at times. We have used prayer as a one-way street, with a list of demands and wants. A combination of a shopping list and a to do list.

When Jesus was asked by His disciples how to pray, He had included, ‘Thy will be done’ in His example of how to pray, and what we today call the ‘Lord’s prayer’ (Matthew 3:9-13). Later while praying in Gethsemane, He again said in prayer, ‘Not my will but Thine be done’. In both instances, Jesus the Son of God does not make demands but prayed for the will of God to be done.

It is not our own will that we should be seeking but His. How can we know His will? Let us not only hear what He tells us, but listen. Remember that prayer is communicating with God. He is not your personal genie granting you what ever you wish, He is our Heavenly Father. He wants to hear from you, but He also wants for you to listen to what He has to say. He is not your ATM machine where you put your membership card in so you can take something out. Stop for a moment and give Him your time and attention. Listen to His voice.

1 John 5:14 This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
John 10:27-28 ESV My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.
Mark 4:24 ESV And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you.

Proverbs 1:8-9 ESV Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, (9) for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.

Proverbs 7:1-3 ESV My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; (2) keep my commandments and live; keep my teaching as the apple of your eye; (3) bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.

It is only in your mind

It is only in your mind

1.It is only in your mind.
2.You are just seeing things.
3. Hearing voices?

The list above all happen in your head, Like get your head on straight, meaning straighten out your way of thinking. The land of imagination is found in your mind. Creativity comes from your mind not your hands. Even scripture tells us to take every thought captive, and put on the helmet of salvation. So much power is in your mind.  I think that without imagination it is difficult for a person to believe in a God who loves us. Loves us so much He sent His Son to die for us. Think about it. If you are a parent, you would sacrifice your life for your child. You however would not sacrifice your child for any reason, and definitely not for people who hate you. But that is what God has done for us. Hard to believe isn’t it.
John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
It is only in your mind – you must believe. Sin starts as a thought before it becomes an act and belief is a thought that can lead you to salvation. Believe in Jesus and you will have eternal life. Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.”
You are seeing things – He will open your eyes to see more clearly. Ephesians 1:18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, Psalm 119:18 Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law.
Hearing voices? – Do you hear Him calling you? John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: Josh 2:11 Hearing this has melted our heart, neither has there remained any more spirit in any man because of you, for the LORD your God is God above in the heavens and in the earth beneath.
If you have not already done this, I pray that you open your eyes to see the true love of The Father, an open your ears to hear Him calling you. Then open your mind to believe Jesus is the Son of God and receive Him as Lord and Savior.
Matthew 13:16 “But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear.

Growing but not learning

It is sad you can grow up in a house and learn nothing of your own heritage. I know that this is how I was raised. I know little of my mothers family history other that I am descendant of Samurai and from Okinawa. My mother while growing up refused to take the Japanese classes. So she was not able to teach me to read or write Japanese as I growing up. Even though my father got custody of me and my brother, I learned little to nothing of his side of my family. I was 20 years old before I knew that grandfather I grew up with was my step grandfather. As looked at a picture of my real grandfather I was asked if I knew who this man was.  There is a list of other things I grew up not knowing. So why I am I discussing these things? We can be raised in our family home and still not learn one thing about our heritage. Now those of us who have been adopted into God’s family, how many of us really know our heritage?

baby-me-n-mom

1 Corinthians 3:6  I planted the seed in your hearts and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow.

2 Peter 3:18  but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

Ephesians 3:17-19  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

1 Peter 2:2  like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation,

Ephesians 4:15  but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,

Who do you serve? Who do you live for?

Joshua 24:15 New King James Version (NKJV)

15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

How many of us profess with our lips ‘Jesus is Lord’, but continue to live willfully against His commands? We say, ‘Sorry God, forgive me.’, but we do not even try to turn away from the sins we are committing. We rebel against His commands and continue to live selfish unrepentant lives.

Matthew 7:21-23

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

His grace is not a license for us to continue to live in sin.

Romans 6:1-4

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

When we repent and receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, who we were is not who we are to be. we are new creations in Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

None of us are without sin. We repent and turn from the sins we commit and we hold fast to His Word and show Him we love Him by keeping His commands. No excuses can erase any wrong we continue to commit.

Romans 6:15-18

What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! 16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? 17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

He will not force you to obey Him. It is your choice. He has given freewill to each of us to choose for ourselves how we live and who we live for.

So I ask, ‘Who do you serve, and who do you live for?

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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?

Bending/Your Will or God’s Will

God is who he is. The Great I Am. He does not change, His Word does not change. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. The only bending He does is to bend down to pick us up. He does not break His commands nor does He change them. The ones who try to change what God has commanded is the enemy and man. We say it is okay to do things that His Word says is wrong because He understands what we are going through and that we don’t have a choice. He forgives us and we are under His grace. We try to bend His Word to fit how we want to live, when we should be allowing His Word to transform us to His will.

Something to think about.

Take a moment and think about the serpent and Eve. Do he strange out lie to her or did he bend the truth to deceive her,that eating the fruit would not harm her? Now what things do we as Christian’s do that bend His truth, believing that we are doing something good and that we are not hurting anyone?

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)