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Tag Archives: think

The Quarreling Brothers: Jacob and Esau

These are the descendants of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah, daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram, sister of Laban the Aramean. Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord granted his prayer, and his wife Rebekah conceived. The children struggled together within her; and she said, “If it is to be this way, why do I live?” So she went to inquire of the Lord. And the Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples born of you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the elder shall serve the younger.” When her time to give birth was at hand, there were twins in her womb. The first came out red, all his body like a hairy mantle; so they named him Esau. Afterward his brother came out, with his hand gripping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them. When the boys grew up, Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field, while Jacob was a quiet man, living in tents. Isaac loved Esau, because he was fond of game; but Rebekah loved Jacob. Once when Jacob was cooking a stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was famished. Esau said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stuff, for I am famished!” (Therefore he was called Edom.) Jacob said, “First sell me your birthright.” Esau said, “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?” Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank, and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright. (Genesis 25:19-34, NRSV)

2 nations are in your womb…

Twins. Esau came out first with Jacob holding onto his heal like he was trying to hold him back.

And then Esau gives up his birthright for some stew. Seemed like a good thing to do at the time, but how many of us do hasty things and then regret them?

That is why there is a thing called buyers remorse. We do things without thinking through the long-term consequences. We do things for the joy of the moment or to fix a quick need. But then it turns out bad in the long run.

How can we better use our resources for the furthering of God’s kingdom and not regret the decisions we make?

 

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The Inescapable God

Lord, you have searched me and known me.

You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away.

You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways.

Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord, you know it completely.

You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it.

(Psalm 139:1-6, NRSV)

This could be scary to think that God knows everything about you.

He knows all of your thoughts and actions. Everything you do and everything you think.

But I find this very comforting. Because even though God knows all of this He still loves me and watches over me.

He protects me and shelters me.

He has searched me and knows me, and yet He still loves me!

 

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The Boy Jesus in the Temple

Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Assuming that he was in the group of travelers, they went a day’s journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.” He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them. Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor. (Luke 2:41-52, NRSV)

Why did you have to look? Did you not know I would be in my Father’s house?

Jesus was teaching in the temple at age 12 with authority the Pharisees did not have or understand. He was amazing everyone with His grasp on who God is.

Do we want to know all of the answers?

Or can we live in the knowledge that our Father has all the answers?

Do we look for Jesus?

Or do we think we know where to find Him?

 

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Work out…

Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Do all things without murmuring and arguing, so that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine like stars in the world. It is by your holding fast to the word of life that I can boast on the day of Christ that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. But even if I am being poured out as a libation over the sacrifice and the offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you— and in the same way you also must be glad and rejoice with me. (Philippians 2:12-18, NRSV)

I admit I have always had issue with this verse. Mostly it is because my mind shuts off after I read the line and I am trying to process the line, “Work out your own salvation, with fear and trembling…”

What!?!?!?!?!

I thought grace was a gift and Jesus worked out my salvation for me on the cross and now here Paul is telling me that I have to work out my own salvation and not only that I have to do it in fear while I am trembling, probably from said fear.

But when we shut off our minds and try to process that statement we miss the rest of what Paul is saying. You see he continues, “for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” God is working in us, and therefore it is not really us working out our salvation, but it is God working in us to bring about the change He wants in us.

Then Paul continues even further and tells us not to quarrel, or bicker, or have any dissension among us because that will draw attention away from God and on to us.

You see it is God working in us and that is what needs to be showcased.

 

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Think about it…

They were indignant. “Our father is Abraham!” Jesus said, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would have been doing the things Abraham did. And yet here you are trying to kill me, a man who has spoken to you the truth he got straight from God! Abraham never did that sort of thing. You persist in repeating the works of your father.” They said, “We’re not bastards. We have a legitimate father: the one and only God.” “If God were your father,” said Jesus, “you would love me, for I came from God and arrived here. I didn’t come on my own. He sent me. Why can’t you understand one word I say? Here’s why: You can’t handle it. You’re from your father, the Devil, and all you want to do is please him. He was a killer from the very start. He couldn’t stand the truth because there wasn’t a shred of truth in him. When the Liar speaks, he makes it up out of his lying nature and fills the world with lies. I arrive on the scene, tell you the plain truth, and you refuse to have a thing to do with me. Can any one of you convict me of a single misleading word, a single sinful act? But if I’m telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? Anyone on God’s side listens to God’s words. This is why you’re not listening—because you’re not on God’s side.” (John 8:39-47 MSG)

Have you ever had to stand your ground, because of your faith?

The Pharisees were standing their ground because they thought they were right. They were thrown off by Jesus because they could not see Him in the scriptures. They knew what they had been taught but they followed it blindly. They turned off their intellects, and just took what they had been told on blind faith. Yet is that what God wants?

God spoke through Jeremiah about the new covenant that is written on their hearts. How the law of the Lord will be written by God on their hearts. But the heart in Jeremiah’s time is not the seat of emotion, but the intellectual center of the body. The part where we think about things…

We are. It to blindly follow the disciples before us. If we do we will miss what God is telling us anew, or refreshing what He told us. If we blindly follow what others think instead of what God is leading us to we are fallowing the father of lies, and leading others astray…

Listen to God and do what He is leading you to do, even in the face of those who say you are going against the true faith…

 

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Intellect…

Hannah prayed and said, “My heart exults in the Lord; my strength is exalted in my God. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in my victory. “There is no Holy One like the Lord, no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God. Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. The bows of the mighty are broken, but the feeble gird on strength. Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry are fat with spoil. The barren has borne seven, but she who has many children is forlorn. The Lord kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up. The Lord makes poor and makes rich; he brings low, he also exalts. He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor. For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and on them he has set the world. “He will guard the feet of his faithful ones, but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness; for not by might does one prevail. The Lord! His adversaries shall be shattered; the Most High will thunder in heaven. The Lord will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king, and exalt the power of his anointed.” ( 1 Samuel 2:1-10, NRSV)

Hannah prayed that the lord is her strength. And then she said, “for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.”

We have to use our understanding and intellect when we come to God. It is not about blindly following and questioning people when their ways do not match our ways. We need to use the intellect God has given us and think things through.

We also must remember that we are not the judge. God is the judge and a God of knowledge and by Him all things are weighed and judged.

So use your head and follow God.

 

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