Tag Archives: yourself

Love Your Neighbor

13You shall not defraud your neighbor; you shall not steal; and you shall not keep for yourself the wages of a laborer until morning. 14You shall not revile the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind; you shall fear your God: I am the Lord15You shall not render an unjust judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great: with justice you shall judge your neighbor. 16You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not profit by the blood of your neighbor: I am the Lord17You shall not hate in your heart anyone of your kin; you shall reprove your neighbor, or you will incur guilt yourself. 18You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord. (Leviticus 19:13-18, NRSV)

This whole passage can be summed up in the title, Love your neighbor. Treat the people around you as you would want to be treated.

If you wouldn’t want someone to do it to you, then don’t do it to someone else.

Love God, Love neighbor.


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Love Your Neighbor as Yourself

17You shall not hate in your heart anyone of your kin; you shall reprove your neighbor, or you will incur guilt yourself. 18You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord. (Leviticus 19:17-18, NRSV)

You can’t hate any of your family and you have to tell your neighbor when they are wrong. How many of us actually do this?

Don’t take vengeance or bear a grudge against anyone but love everyone as you love yourself.

This is easier said than done. Our human nature is to hold grudges and want revenge on those who hurt us but the Law says to not do but to love everyone as God loves you. Forgiving you when you didn’t deserve it.


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Built on the Rock

“Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. 2For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. 3Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? 4Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye. 6“Do not give what is holy to dogs; and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under foot and turn and maul you. 7“Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 8For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 9Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? 10Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? 11If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him! 12“In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets. 13“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. 14For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it. 24“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. 25The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock. 26And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great was its fall!” 28Now when Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astounded at his teaching, 29for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes. (Matthew 7:1-14, 24-29, NRSV)

You who are evil can do good deeds…

People always say the Bible says do not judge, but that isn’t true. The Bible says do not judge unless you want to be judged. Judge only if you are ready to have the same judgment brought on you.

Plus why should we worry about other people’s lives? We have enough issues of our own to deal with, we should get our relationship right with God. We should work to make our lives be on the solid rock of God’s love. And by doing this we will love others and help them. We will grow to love ourselves and thereby show forth God’s love to the world.

So love…


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We Love Because God First Loved Us

Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world. God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God. So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because he first loved us. Those who say, “I love God,” and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also. (1 John 4:7-21, NRSV)

We love God because He first loved us. We can not love if God does not live in us.

And we need to love people as God loved us. Where we are and how we are. So many of u feel we need to hide our true selves and make others happy. But here is the thing, God created us as we are and that is hwo we need to be. And we love because He loved us as He created us.

So live the love God gave you in everything you do. And allow the world to be changed through your giving of His Grace to the world.


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Injustice and Oppression to be Punished

Blood hands

See, the Lord’s hand is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. Rather, your iniquities have been barriers between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue mutters wickedness. No one brings suit justly, no one goes to law honestly; they rely on empty pleas, they speak lies, conceiving mischief and begetting iniquity. They hatch adders’ eggs, and weave the spider’s web; whoever eats their eggs dies, and the crushed egg hatches out a viper. Their webs cannot serve as clothing; they cannot cover themselves with what they make. Their works are works of iniquity, and deeds of violence are in their hands. Their feet run to evil, and they rush to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity, desolation and destruction are in their highways. The way of peace they do not know, and there is no justice in their paths. Their roads they have made crooked; no one who walks in them knows peace. (Isaiah 59:1-8, NRSV)

What is it that separates us from God?

Is it because God’s arms are too short?

Is it because God can’t hear us?

Is it because God doesn’t care?

No! God cares, we see that in Jesus.

God can hear us. We know this because of Jesus.

And God’s arms are not too short, they helped hold Jesus to the cross for all of us.

What keeps us from God is us. We chose to live in sin and to follow after what brings us instant gratification and joy and not trust in God to deliver us and free us and give us a life beyond our own comprehension.

As Isaiah says above, “For our hands are defiled with blood and our finger with iniquity; our lips have spoken lies, our tongue wickedness.” We have all fallen short.

But you can choose to follow the path that is peace. Turn to God and He will bring you home.

Do not look to your self, but look to the manger and the one who died for you.

Live not for yourself but live for Him!


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The Ten Commandments

Then God spoke all these words: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments. You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name. Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it. Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. When all the people witnessed the thunder and lightning, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking, they were afraid and trembled and stood at a distance, and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, or we will die.” Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid; for God has come only to test you and to put the fear of him upon you so that you do not sin.” Then the people stood at a distance, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.  (Exodus 20:1-21, NRSV)


The 10 Commandments.

Are there actually 10?

And how are they numbered?

You see there are at least 2 different numberings of the 10 Commandments, as you see in the 2 pictures on this post. The one on the left is the Lutheran/Catholic numbering and the one on the right is most others and the more widely accepted numbering. Why 2 different numberings? Probably because the commandments are found in Exodus (as seen above) and in Deuteronomy 5:4-20.

When I count in the reading above I get 13 things we are supposed to or not supposed to do. So why 10?

I honestly don’t know why. It is interesting though to see the emphasis put on these. They are a lifestyle that God invites all of us into. God gives the guidelines of a grace-filled life to Moses on 2 stone tablets. One laid out the way we are to interact with God and one the way we are to interact with our brothers and sisters here.

So follow 10 or 13 and use whatever numbering you like, but know these are rules we can not possibly keep, in their simplest form or the expanded form that Jesus gives us later, but are a lifestyle for us to live into to be in the right relationship with God and each other.

Love the Lord your God and Your Neighbor as yourself!


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what are you doing?

Hear the word of the LORD, you rulers of Sodom! Listen to the teaching of our God, you people of Gomorrah! What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the LORD; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats. When you come to appear before me, who asked this from your hand? Trample my courts no more; bringing offerings is futile; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and sabbath and calling of convocation—I cannot endure solemn assemblies with iniquity. Your new moons and your appointed festivals my soul hates; they have become a burden to me, I am weary of bearing them. When you stretch out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood. Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow. Come now, let us argue it out, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be like snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken. (Isaiah 1:10-20, NRSV)

Your worship is not what I want!

Because you do not seem to understand, we need to start over and have no assemblies with burnt offerings or smelly things.

You need to wash and make yourselves clean.

You need to remove the evil from your doings.

You need to cease to look out for yourselves.

You need to learn to look out for others.

You need to seek justice for all, not just those you want to.

You need to rescue all the oppressed, not just those you want to.

You need to defend all orphaned, not just those you want to.

You need to plead for all widows, not just those you want to.

These are the things I desire says the Lord.

Stop doing evil, and start living for me!


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Then the king commanded his palace master Ashpenaz to bring some of the Israelites of the royal family and of the nobility, young men without physical defect and handsome, versed in every branch of wisdom, endowed with knowledge and insight, and competent to serve in the king’s palace; they were to be taught the literature and language of the Chaldeans. The king assigned them a daily portion of the royal rations of food and wine. They were to be educated for three years, so that at the end of that time they could be stationed in the king’s court. Among them were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, from the tribe of Judah. The palace master gave them other names: Daniel he called Belteshazzar, Hananiah he called Shadrach, Mishael he called Meshach, and Azariah he called Abednego. But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the royal rations of food and wine; so he asked the palace master to allow him not to defile himself. Now God allowed Daniel to receive favor and compassion from the palace master. The palace master said to Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king; he has appointed your food and your drink. If he should see you in poorer condition than the other young men of your own age, you would endanger my head with the king.” Then Daniel asked the guard whom the palace master had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: “Please test your servants for ten days. Let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink.You can then compare our appearance with the appearance of the young men who eat the royal rations, and deal with your servants according to what you observe.” So he agreed to this proposal and tested them for ten days. At the end of ten days it was observed that they appeared better and fatter than all the young men who had been eating the royal rations. So the guard continued to withdraw their royal rations and the wine they were to drink, and gave them vegetables. To these four young men God gave knowledge and skill in every aspect of literature and wisdom; Daniel also had insight into all visions and dreams. At the end of the time that the king had set for them to be brought in, the palace master brought them into the presence of Nebuchadnezzar, and the king spoke with them. And among them all, no one was found to compare with Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they were stationed in the king’s court. In every matter of wisdom and understanding concerning which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom. And Daniel continued there until the first year of King Cyrus. (Daniel 1:3-21, NRSV)

Nebuchadnezzar sought to assimilate the exiles into the Babylonian culture by taking away their identity and creating dependence upon him.

He changed their names form ones linked with their culture and religion to ones that were linked to Babylonian deities.

Daniel means God is my Judge was changed to Belteshazzar O Lady [wife of the god Bel], protect the king!

Hananiah means Yahweh is gracious was changed to Shadrach I am very fearful [of God] or command of Aku [the moon god]

Mishael means Who is what God is? was changed to Meshach I am of little account or Who is like Aku?

Azariah means Yahweh is a helper was changed to Abednego servant of the shining one [Nebo]

They were schooled in the language and mythological literature of the Babylonians, and their food was assigned from the king’s table, reminding them constantly of the source of their daily bread.

But these four did not defile themselves by allowing their names to be changed, or by accepting the kings food…

And because they remained loyal and trusting in God, He prospered them, more than the others, and they were found to be the wisest in the group…

So trust in God to provide and walk with you, and trust not in yourself or other men…


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Examine whose life?

20130627-110321.jpgExamine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test! I hope you will find out that we have not failed the test. But we pray to God that you may not do wrong—not that we may appear to have met the test, but that you may do what is right, though we may seem to have failed. For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. Your restoration is what we pray for. For this reason I write these things while I am away from you, that when I come I may not have to be severe in my use of the authority that the Lord has given me for building up and not for tearing down. (2 Corinthians 13:5-10 ESV

How many of you hate to take tests? I know I am not all that fond of them. I get worried whether I have all the right stuff in my head, if I studied the right things. Do I remember everything I need to know.

Then after, or during, the test there is second guessing. Did I answer that question right? Was it A or was it C? Which one?

And today Paul is telling the Corinthians to make sure they are in the faith. That they have examined their lives and determined if they are following Jesus. We are to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith. We are to test ourselves.

Hold on. Did you hear what Paul said? He said we are suppose to examine the lives of the people we worship with, or work with and determine whether or not their lives are following after Jesus from our standpoint. Right we are to test all other people and determine if they are followers of Christ. No that is not what Paul said. He said to test yourself. Not others. We are suppose to be making sure we are following after Christ, doing what is right even when we don’t. We are to make sure our lives are right, not anyone else’s. We are not the judge of anyone’s life but our own. Christ is the judge of all, not me or you.

So test yourself, and walk in the path Jesus has set before you and allow that to be what shows His love and grace to all.


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self centered…

Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded (James 3:13-4:8 ESV)

Why do you do the things you do?

The Gospel text for this Sunday was from Mark 9:30-37 and in it the disciples are arguing along the way about who is the greatest. We get hung up on who is the best, the coolest. Who does the best ministry or has the biggest congregation. But the real test of a ministry is the disciples being created, and the lives being touched with the message of the gospel. Yes numbers may show you have the most people, but are they being touched by the message and in relationship with Jesus? If not, then the numbers don’t matter.

Our personal gain is not what any of this is about. God builds up ministries that are seeking out His mission and ministry. He builds up communities that are discipling each other and those who don’t belong in relationships with Jesus.

So why do you do the ministry you do, for personal gain? To feed your self centered ways?

True ministry is done out of selfless love, for the needs of the other to learn more about Jesus…


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