By: Ryan Jameson (podcast link above) (forgiveness & the eyes of the Lord)
By: Paul Arellano (podcast link above)
By: Mario Trujillo (podcast link above)
By: John Cooper (podcast link above)
Why is it so hard to just ask God?
This Sunday we are going to dive into this question.
Tell us what you think?
Could it be that we secretly already know that our wants don’t line up with His?
Or we don’t trust that His heart toward us is a Father’s heart.
By: Ryan Jameson (podcast link above) (love with hooks)
Quick Question Pearl:
Why is it so hard to love people and expect nothing in return?
Human nature leads us to always ask: “what’s in it for me?”…
Matthew 5:46 – “If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?”
The same concept is also in Matthew 6:2 & 4:
“Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.” VS. “Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
That second part is about giving, but realize that when love is done sacrificially – the way Jesus taught us to – and not for some selfish motive, it IS giving.
The theme is consistent throughout Jesus’ teachings. The love He calls us to is often sacrificial. Then, rather than find our reward the same way “tax collectors” (or non-believers) do we discover that God can give us much more than any human. Only then is our faith really in God and not in men. When it is, then we find that people that didn’t seem to have much to offer actually were profound influences on us, even beneficial to us. They may not enhance our social status, or even make us laugh. They may make us cringe! Yet, God enriches us in ways we may never fully realize.
In fact…. an amazing thing…. When we aren’t gathered in each others’ names, when we’re not looking to other people for some reward, but really gathered in Jesus’ name, then the promise from Matthew 18:20. Then Jesus is there too. Even when there’s just two or three!
I love the diversity @ the pueblopearl!
Wish we were there!
By: John Cooper (podcast link above)
I notice that none of the apostles carried out this recommendation by Jesus, nor did they ever repeat it. AND Jesus knows the problem is in our hearts. The reason He didn’t tell us to chop off our heads (minds) or rip out our hearts is because there are people who would DO it! But this is how severely we are to deal with sin in our lives – I love the phrase “Doing whatever it takes.” “I buffet my body – I make it MY slave,” says Paul. Good stuff, Pearl! Drink it in deeply!
IMO self mutilation as an alternative to obedience is cowardly. I don’t believe Jesus was advocating that, rather what was already mentioned above, we are to deal that severely with our sins. Our hand or eye doesn’t cause us to sin. It never does. Our hearts/minds are in charge. So wasting that anger and guilt and frustration on innocent bystanders (such as our appendages) is missing the point. We need to focus our passions on rejecting our sinful nature.
That’s how we deal with our own sinfulness. As far as others are concerned, Jesus’ compassionate: “Neither do I condemn you … go and sin no more” model seems appropriate. If we were the Taliban perhaps we’d decide that Jesus should have hacked off her hands or plucked out her eyes? That’s not what Jesus did because Jesus is the exact opposite of those people. Jesus is the exact opposite of anyone that fails to love the sinner. I don’t always love the sinner well, but Jesus does, and He loves me well despite my own sins.
If we are soft on sin for the sake of popularity. Then yes, we are too soft. If we are soft on people for the sake of compassion and love… then we are imitating Christ. Sin is sin, but God desires “that no one should perish” … we should too.