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AskMe #2366575 05/03/10 06:31 AM
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Genesis 3:1-4 (The Message)
1-4 Jacob looked up and saw Esau coming with his four hundred men. He divided the children between Leah and Rachel and the two maidservants. He put the maidservants out in front, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph last. He led the way and, as he approached his brother, bowed seven times, honoring his brother. But Esau ran up and embraced him, held him tight and kissed him. And they both wept.


Jacob returns to his homeland and sees Esau his brother approaching with 400 men. Worried about Esau�s intent he splits up his servants and family. When Jacob last saw Esau, Esau was angry with Joseph for taking his birthright from their father. Now many years later Esau runs up to his brother Jacob, hugs him tight, welcomes him with a kiss and both men weep over their joyful reunion. In Esau�s heart was forgiveness and it touched Jacob deeply.


Jacob had a close relationship with God. Through Jacob�s life we see where God has helped him along the way. Proverbs 16:7 says, �When a man�s ways please the Lord he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.� God blessed the reunion of Jacob and Esau in that it was a reunion of joy instead of sadness. God has the hearts of men in His hand can turn them for the benefit and good of others. In the case of Esau and Jacob we see that God has given Esau the ability to be at peace with Jacob and Jacob to be at peace with Esau. Pray if there are those you harbor ill feelings towards or them towards you that God might reconcile the differences and bring about peace in your life.

AskMe #2367244 05/04/10 06:29 AM
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Proverbs 4:25-27 (NLT)
25 Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. 26 Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. 27 Don�t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.


What lies before in this proverb is the kingdom of God. We are to fix our eyes upon the Lord and let the Lord be our guide in life. If our eyes are fixed on the Lord then our feet follow a straight and safe path. We should examine where we are in life to ensure we stay on course. We must be consistent in our actions, cautious in what we do, and steadfast in our obedience to the Lord. Wandering away from the Lord only leads to evil, so we should not get sidetracked in our attentions and miss out on what the Lord has to tell us.


Every wise man will conclude that the best way for a man is the way which God has made for him. He that made us knows what he made us for, and he knows by what means we may best arrive at that end. According to divine teaching, as gracious as it is certain, we learn that the way of eternal life is Jesus Christ. Christ himself says, �I am the way, the truth, and the life�; and he that would pursue life after a right fashion must look to Jesus, and must continue looking unto Jesus, not only as the author but as the finisher of his faith. It shall be to him a golden rule of life when he has chosen Christ to be his way, to let his eyes look right on, and his eyelids straight before him. He need not be afraid to contemplate the end of that way, for the end of the way of Christ is life and glory with Christ forever. �It doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.� A friend said to me the other day, �How happy are we to know that whatever happens to us in this life, it is well!� �Yes,� I added, �and to know that if this life ends it is equally well, or better.� Then we joined hands in common joy to think that we were equally ready for life or death, and did not need five minutes� anxiety as to whether it should be the one or the other. Brethren, when you are on the King�s highway, and that way is a perfectly straight one, you may go ahead without fear and sing on the road.
With all my heart I invite any who have never yet begun to live after a right fashion, to take Christ to be the way of life to them; and then I entreat them to let their eyes look straight on, and their eyelids straight before them, and to follow Jesus without giving a glance either to the right hand or to the left till it shall be said of them, even in glory, �These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.�

[From a sermon by C. H. Spurgeon, number 2058, Eyes Right]

AskMe #2367979 05/05/10 06:37 AM
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Luke 11:9-10 (NLT)
9 �And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

Jesus had just finished telling a parable of a friend who comes in the middle of the night to ask a friend for food for another friend who has come to visit. Asleep and tired the friend yells back the door is locked and everyone is asleep. Yet the friend persists in his request and finally the door is opened for him. For the friend saw this was important enough that his friend was not going to relent in his request. Jesus says in these verses keep seeking, keep knocking and God will open the door to the requests of prayers.


The objects of our prayers reveal a lot about us. Our prayers show where our concerns are, who our concerns are for and what we are hoping to obtain. In the parable mentioned above a friend was seeking food for another friend; which was the object of his request. Because of his persistence his other friend eventually opened the door to provide for his needs. Prayers are not just a ritual we have learned and repeat, but instead prayers are our direct communication with God. Through our prayers we can praise God, give thanks, and tell Him what is important to us. When God sees our honest pursuit for that which is good and holy He opens the door to listen and respond to our prayers.

AskMe #2368692 05/06/10 01:06 AM
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Originally Posted by AskMe
Luke 11:9-10 (NLT)
9 �And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

Jesus had just finished telling a parable of a friend who comes in the middle of the night to ask a friend for food for another friend who has come to visit. Asleep and tired the friend yells back the door is locked and everyone is asleep. Yet the friend persists in his request and finally the door is opened for him. For the friend saw this was important enough that his friend was not going to relent in his request. Jesus says in these verses keep seeking, keep knocking and God will open the door to the requests of prayers.


The objects of our prayers reveal a lot about us. Our prayers show where our concerns are, who our concerns are for and what we are hoping to obtain. In the parable mentioned above a friend was seeking food for another friend; which was the object of his request. Because of his persistence his other friend eventually opened the door to provide for his needs. Prayers are not just a ritual we have learned and repeat, but instead prayers are our direct communication with God. Through our prayers we can praise God, give thanks, and tell Him what is important to us. When God sees our honest pursuit for that which is good and holy He opens the door to listen and respond to our prayers.



This means a lot to me. Thank you very much for posting.


Married 7/10/04
Me: BS 32, WW:26
D-Day 12/23/09
Separation 12/28/09-
OM Revealed 1/12/10
WW cuts most contact with me/Starts seeing a different OM 2/2/10
Divorce papers served 10/15/10
Divorce finalized 11/9/10
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@HEARTBROKEN77, you are more than welcome. May God bless you as you seek His will and let your relationship with Him be your guide. May Christ strengthen you, give you peace and hope.

AskMe #2368723 05/06/10 07:23 AM
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Luke 9:57-62 (NLT)
57 As they were walking along, someone said to Jesus, �I will follow you wherever you go.� 58 But Jesus replied, �Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.� 59 He said to another person, �Come, follow me.� The man agreed, but he said, �Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.� 60 But Jesus told him, �Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead! Your duty is to go and preach about the Kingdom of God.� 61 Another said, �Yes, Lord, I will follow you, but first let me say good-bye to my family.� 62 But Jesus told him, �Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.�


In these verses we have the account of three different people making a hasty decision to follow Christ. One was so bold to say he would follow Christ wherever he went, but Christ knew his heart and said be ready to live a life of poverty. Another wanted to bury his father, but Jesus answered he should be concerned about preaching to the living. Another said let me first say goodbye to my family, but Jesus said one does not look back; similar to Lot�s wife who looked back at the life she was leaving in Sodom.


Zac Levi, star of the TV series Chuck, seems to offer striking insight into the simplicity that can come from living out faith with trust in God's sovereignty and love. He described it clearly in an interview with Relevant Magazine. "If you're someone who puts their faith in Jesus, then trust Him in being led," Levi said. "To me, it's not rocket science. Go about your day putting your faith in God and standing on truth. It's pretty easy: are you a jerk or not? Are you doing things to benefit you, or others? Are you available to be part of the solution and not the problem? Walk in love and that opens some doors of dialogue. How about just starting to talk and see where it goes? I don't think there's any clock on it-your life is God's, so let Him do as He wills with it." We are all witnesses trying to strike the balance between living in the world while not being of it. We are all accountable, and we all fall short. Whether we make music, paint, or help people invest money, we are called to witness and to obey God and His word. There are no easy answers to questions like this. We all have to think carefully about what our intentions are as we move forward with our lives. Keep watching the fruit-our own first. This will tell us if our tree is planted in the right garden. [source: http://www.newdmagazine.com/]

AskMe #2369400 05/07/10 06:32 AM
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James 4:7-10 (NLT)
7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. 9 Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.


James, the half brother of Jesus, writes, �Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.� Humility takes away pride and arrogance and allows us to see our sins. It is then we find sorrow, grief and sadness for departing from God. Our sadness is short lived; for the Lord sees our humility and lifts us up in honor. James reminds us to resist the devil and he will flee from us for we have a divided loyalty between God and the world. Satan always offers the world, but in the end there is no reward in his offer.


In the book of Matthew, ��Jesus responded, �The Scriptures also say, �You must not test the Lord your God.�� Next the devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. �I will give it all to you,� he said, �if you will kneel down and worship me.� �Get out of here, Satan,� Jesus told him. �For the Scriptures say, �You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.�� Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus.� Jesus resisted the devil and the devil fled seeing he could not tempt Jesus. God then sent his angels to minister to Jesus. The words of James are a roadmap for staying close to God and also for repentance when we do pull away from God. God never flees from us, but instead is always willing to draw near as we truly repent in our hearts. The world will let you down, but God will lift you up in honor.

AskMe #2370832 05/10/10 06:16 AM
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Psalm 27:7-10 (NLT)
7 Hear me as I pray, O Lord. Be merciful and answer me! 8 My heart has heard you say, �Come and talk with me.� And my heart responds, �Lord, I am coming.� 9 Do not turn your back on me. Do not reject your servant in anger. You have always been my helper. Don�t leave me now; don�t abandon me, O God of my salvation! 10 Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close.


This is a psalm of David. David has just expressed to the Lord how he wished he could dwell in the Lord�s house and remain safe from his enemies. There with shouts of joy he would sing to and praise the Lord. David knows God is the foundation of salvation from sin. So David asks if he cannot be there present with the Lord then hopefully the Lord would respond to him in prayer. David said he knows God longs to be with him because he has heard God say in his heart, �Come and talk with me.�


We all want our lives to be safe and secure. However there are times when that security seems out of reach or the security we are looking for seems to hide in darkness. David felt this way often when he was sought out by opposing enemies. It helps us to understand why David took such delight in the Lord; for the Lord was his strength; the Lord was his fortress; the Lord protected him as a parent even if his parents would have abandoned him. So David longed to be with the Lord. I believe the Lord calls to all of us just as he did to David, �Come and talk with me.� Have you spend time talking with the Lord? If you haven�t talked to God lately take some time to talk about your fears and then listen as the Lord speaks back to your heart.

AskMe #2371455 05/11/10 06:43 AM
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Proverbs 11:22 (NLT)
22 A beautiful woman who lacks discretion is like a gold ring in a pig�s snout.


Beauty is often equated with as something valuable that might be associated with wisdom and stature. Yet beauty can be fleeting when a person�s integrity fails. A pig ring attempts to keep a pig from its natural behavior to root through the ground. Using ornate gold for such a dirty utility would not make sense because it would become defiled and dirty. Neither does it make sense for a person to corrupt their beauty by being indiscreet.



As of October 2006, there were three times as many professional tanning parlors in the U.S. as there were Starbucks. Each year, an estimated 2.3 million teenagers enter those parlors, which has helped indoor tanning become a $5 billion-a-year industry. On their own, these numbers may not seem surprising or even noteworthy. But they become dangerous when placed in the light of a recent medical discovery. Since 1975, the occurrence of melanoma�the most lethal form of skin cancer�has doubled in the United States among women ages 15-29. The World Health Organization is also taking notice. It estimates that 60,000 people die each year around the world because of excessive UV exposure, and urges youths under the age of 18 to avoid indoor tanning.

But many experts fear that teenagers will not change their behavior, even in the light of such dangerous consequences. In a Time magazine article from last August, two 16-year-old girls were interviewed. One girl said, �All the girls who are really tanned all through the year�they�re the popular girls. Guys are always complimenting girls on their tans.� Another girl who visits a tanning parlor several times a week acknowledged that she is willing to risk her health for short-term rewards. Her rationale, �It may make my skin wrinkle a little bit earlier, but I�m going to look good while I can.�

Short-term pleasure leads to long-term disaster. Nowhere is this truer than in the area of sexual immorality. For a few minutes of pleasure, countless men and women will throw their lives away. Just think for a moment about the potential consequences of sexual sin: loss of fellowship with God, divorce, disease, pregnancy, guilt, estrangement from family and friends, psychological and financial loss, damage to one�s reputation, and countless others. Indeed, there is no sin in this life with such brutal consequences. This reality ought to keep us from sexual sin. Yet, if we are honest, most of us assume that we will be the exception to these consequences. Honestly, we believe that these things will never happen to us. So we go on our own merry way, sinning. Therefore, the apostle Paul uses another approach in helping us overcome sexual immorality. He uses a positive affirmation: �Your body is God�s body.�

Remember discretion and apply wisdom to your life!

[sources: Bible.Org, God�s Bod, by Keith Krell; Preaching Today citation: Sam O�Neal, St. Charles, Illinois; source: �Why Teens Are Obsessed with Tanning,� Time Magazine (8-7-06), 54-55.]

AskMe #2371989 05/12/10 06:44 AM
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Proverbs 12:15 (NLT)
15 Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.


This proverb states what keeps a person from being wise; they think they are right about everything and they are unwilling to listen to the advice of others. They let their own confidence and pride stand in the way of obtaining a greater understanding. Their thought is, �I will do what is right in my own eyes.� The wise keep from being the fool by listening to others and following the advice when it is sound and good.


It was a very cold Saturday morning and my daughter was going to take her driving test. We had been advised by friends to get to the DMV early because the line formed quickly. Some friends said the line had been so long at times you could be there all day. So two hours before the DMV opened we were standing in line with a thermos of coffee, warm clothing, and blankets. Several others were in line with us enduring the cold temperatures the best they could. I give God thanks we listened to our friends and the weatherman. It was a long cold two hours. Just as the doors were about to open a mother and her daughter got out of their car and tried pushing their way to the front of the line saying they had been on the car waiting before everyone got there. They felt entitled to the front of the line just because they were on the property; even though everyone else was on the property and braved the cold while they stayed in a warm car. A fight almost ensued until one of the DMV officers stepped out and talked to the lady and her daughter. He advised them it would be best to go to the end of the line, since others had patiently waited and endured the cold. The woman would not listen and after many threats and complaints the officer relented to letting the woman in line with her daughter. I can remember the officer�s words to the driving evaluator �Go ahead and let her take the test.� It wasn�t long before they returned and I could hear the woman complaining how they had failed her daughter�s driving test. Those who listened and waited seemed to fair well on their tests for the most part. But the ones who thought they were right in their own eyes were placed under greater scrutiny. Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.

AskMe #2372605 05/13/10 07:14 AM
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Proverbs 13:10 (NLT)
10 Pride leads to conflict; those who take advice are wise.


Foolish pride can become the root of bitterness. Pride makes one impatient, envious, contentious, and hide from the truth. Pride has no humility and attempts to stand alone. Pride leads to revenge instead of forgiveness. But those who humble themselves to listen and act accordingly are the ones who gain wisdom.


Pride destroys relationships and keeps one from gaining the insight and wisdom of others. I have seen family members not speak to one another for years over a simple argument where both parties had too much pride to set aside a quarrel. Instead they allowed years to pass without speaking or trying to resolve the issue. If it is difficult for you to say, �I�m sorry� even when you are not wrong; that may be an indication you are harboring pride? Is it difficult for you to understand and accept the feelings of another even when you don�t agree with them; that may be another indication of pride? There is nothing wrong with telling someone you are sorry when their feelings have been hurt even if you don�t believe you were the cause. Just say, �I�m sorry and I understand how you feel.� You can leave it there knowing you might not agree or might not have been the cause of what they are feeling. It lets the other person at least know your pride is not holding you back from understanding them. Being right about facts does not win an argument, but letting loose of pride and being right about the feelings of another can end an argument. Be wise, listen, take advice, and keep humble. It will keep pride from separating you from others.

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Matthew 26:41 (NLT)
41 Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!�


Jesus returns from praying about his eminent execution on the cross. He had asked the disciples to remain awake with him and to pray with him. But he returns and finds them sleeping. Jesus gives them a warning to keep watch and pray so they would not give into temptation. For while there is willingness to avoid temptation our earthly body is prone to sin and easily ready to give in. It is only through the power of God that we are able to resist temptation.


A survey of 3,000 U.S. adults identifies the differences and similarities between what men and women say tempts them the most:

Sex: Men (50 percent) Women (22 percent)
Food: Men (29 percent) Women (56 percent)
Money: Men (14 percent) Women (15 percent)
Alcohol: Men (7 percent) Women (2 percent)
Power: Men (2 percent) Women (7 percent)

It is interesting two things which are natural for people to partake in; sex and food, create the most temptation. As Jesus said the body is weak and we must fight against the temptations which attack us almost daily. Money was the one temptation that seemed to be almost equal among men and women. It is easy for people to covet what others have and also desire to gain it by different means. So my friend keep watch over the temptations that come toward you and pray God would give you a means of escape.

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Luke 22:24-28 (NLT)
24 Then they began to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest among them. 25 Jesus told them, �In this world the kings and great men lord it over their people, yet they are called �friends of the people.� 26 But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant. 27 Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves. 28 �You have stayed with me in my time of trial. 29 And just as my Father has granted me a Kingdom, I now grant you the right 30 to eat and drink at my table in my Kingdom. And you will sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.


This is an interesting conversation taking place among the disciples considering statements Jesus had just made. His previous words were, �But here at this table, sitting among us as a friend, is the man who will betray me. For it has been determined that the Son of Man must die. But what sorrow awaits the one who betrays him.� Here Jesus tells them one of them is about to betray Him and that He is going to die. The disciples first question who would betray Jesus and then they switch to asking who would be the greatest among themselves. Jesus reminded them the greatest will be the least, the leader as a servant; saying �Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves?�


There are times when we quickly forget God and turn all the attention back on ourselves. Instead of praising God for what He has done in our lives we start to dwell on our miseries. Instead of thanking God for the meals on our tables, we wine instead about those things we do not have. Most of us are self centered in that we think of ourselves first. Even the disciples were guilty of this quickly turning their attention away from the pain Jesus was about to face to thinking about how great they could be. Yet Jesus did not scold them for forgetting the pain He was facing; instead he reminded them of what it meant to be a leader in His kingdom. A leader puts self last and serves those who are around them.

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Zephaniah 3:16-17 (NLT))
16 On that day the announcement to Jerusalem will be, �Cheer up, Zion! Don�t be afraid! 17 For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.�


These are the words of God spoken to Jerusalem by the prophet Zephaniah. In chapter 3 God tells them there has been a strong stance and reproof against the sins they have participated in. Yet God in His mercy and love keeps His promises to reform them, cleanse them from their sins and bring them home to Him. In the verses above we are reminded God takes delight in our gladness. He loves us and desires to take fear from our lives that we may sing joyfully unto Him.


Tony Blair was the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. In a 2008 article of Time Magazine, the following was said about him:

Blair is deeply religious�the most openly devout political leader of Britain since William Ewart Gladstone more than 100 years ago. He handles questions about religion deftly. He doesn't back down. His longtime press secretary and consigliere, Alastair Campbell, remembers Blair in 1996 at a school in Scotland where a gunman had killed 16 children and a teacher. In a bloodstained classroom, Campbell asked Blair, "What does your God make of this?" Blair, says Campbell, stopped and replied, "Just because man is bad, it does not mean that God is not good." [1]

Every day we watch sin take place all around us. Turn on the news and it is filled with stories of fraud, conspiracy, and murder. Yet these things are not from God they are from sin that lives in the world. God reminds us through His word not to fear; but take cheer for the Lord is a Mighty Savior living among us who delights in us and our gladness. He allows consequences of sin to take place in order to correct and reprove us. God�s desire is to bring us close to Him, by cleansing our sin and keeping His merciful promises to us.



[1] Time, Tony Blair�s Leap of Faith, by Michael Elliott/Bethlehem, Wednesday, May 28th, 2008
Read more: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1810020,00.html#ixzz0oN3sjetu

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Luke 8:16-18 (NLT)
16 �No one lights a lamp and then covers it with a bowl or hides it under a bed. A lamp is placed on a stand, where its light can be seen by all who enter the house. 17 For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all.
18 �So pay attention to how you hear. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what they think they understand will be taken away from them.�


Jesus often taught in parables, which was a story to illustrate in simple terms a principle. Here the parable is about a lamp. When covered or hidden it cannot be seen, but put out in the open it can be seen by all. Jesus was making the point if Biblical teachings are put away or the talents to use them was put aside; then no one benefits. It is like the lamp which is hidden; the light remains in the dark. Those who do not listen are like those in a room where the lamp is hidden. Something purposeful is given, but those who are close do not receive benefit and the benefit is taken away.


All around us are alarms to warn us. There are smoke detectors to alert us to fire and smoke. Backup sensors on cars alert us when something is behind the vehicle. But these alerts provide no protection if they are ignored. The Bible provides us with many warning about we should live life, but if we ignore them then it is as if we have hidden what we know. And if we don�t warn others who do not know better, then we also have hidden what we know. Let the Lord�s light illuminate your life and the life of others.

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Revelation 3:20 (NLT)
20 �Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.


These are the words of Jesus to the members of the church of Laodicea. Jesus had addressed them as lukewarm meaning they were not passionate about their beliefs. But they did have faith in Christ and His salvation. Their wealth made them think there was nothing they needed. Yet Jesus told them they did need His correction, discipline and love. In the verses above Jesus gives them an invitation to open themselves up to Him and He will be there with them as a close and intimate friend.


Imagine your door bell ringing or hearing a knock at your front door. You can look out to see who is there and you see a close and personal friend. Do you let the friend continue to ring or knock until they walk away or do you open the door for the friend? Some of us might open the door for our friend and invite them in. Others may choose not to be bothered and ignore the ringing and knocks at the door. This is what Jesus was referring to. If you want Him to fellowship with you then you must open the door to your heart and let Him in. But if you choose not to be bothered when He is calling out to you then eventually He is going to quit knocking and wait for another opportunity. Open your heart now that Jesus would fellowship with you, love you, encourage you, and lead you.

AskMe #2378867 05/25/10 06:25 AM
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Matthew 26:20-25 (NLT)
20 When it was evening, Jesus sat down at the table with the twelve disciples. 21 While they were eating, he said, �I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me.� 22 Greatly distressed, each one asked in turn, �Am I the one, Lord?� 23 He replied, �One of you who has just eaten from this bowl with me will betray me. 24 For the Son of Man must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago. But how terrible it will be for the one who betrays him. It would be far better for that man if he had never been born!� 25 Judas, the one who would betray him, also asked, �Rabbi, am I the one?� And Jesus told him, �You have said it.�



As Jesus was celebrating the Passover meal with the disciples He made the statement to all of them that one of those close to Him would betray Him. Each one of them questioned whether it would be them for Jesus always understood their hearts. Then Judas came up to Jesus knowing he was the one who had already agreed to betray Jesus. Judas asks knowing the answer, �Rabbi, am I the one.� Jesus in His gracious way said, �You have said it.�



Jesus was a great teacher even in His actions. With everyone present He tells the disciples there is one who will betray Him. Jesus does say in front of them, �Judas is going to betray me.� He doesn�t point to Judas and say it is going to be Judas. Instead Jesus patiently waits for Judas to ask and Jesus acknowledges Judas. Jesus does not belittle Judas, nor does Jesus call out to the rest of the disciples saying, �Judas just acknowledged it is him.� Instead Jesus has said what needs to be heard by others and Jesus confirmed His comment only to the one who was betraying Him. So often when we are hurt by others we feel like it is necessary to tell the world. LOOK THIS PERSON HURT ME. Instead we should do as Jesus did and confront directly the one who has hurt us compassionately with mercy, grace and offer hope of forgiveness by the action of our words. Jesus could have stood up and put Judas down in front of all the disciples, yet he chose to handle the matter privately with Judas. Yet Jesus also informed the disciples so the one who was guilty could redeem themselves and also when actions came about they would not be surprised by what had taken place. Jesus did this with compassionate love. In your hurts are you talking directly to the person who hurt you? If not be careful of talking to others because it only prolongs the hurt.

AskMe #2380274 05/27/10 06:38 AM
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Acts 15:36-41 (NLT)
36 After some time Paul said to Barnabas, �Let�s go back and visit each city where we previously preached the word of the Lord, to see how the new believers are doing.� 37 Barnabas agreed and wanted to take along John Mark. 38 But Paul disagreed strongly, since John Mark had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in their work. 39 Their disagreement was so sharp that they separated. Barnabas took John Mark with him and sailed for Cyprus. 40 Paul chose Silas, and as he left, the believers entrusted him to the Lord�s gracious care. 41 Then he traveled throughout Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches there.


Paul had proposed he and Barnabas tour the newly founded churches to see the progress which had been made and to see how The Gospel had spread. Barnabas wanted to take along his nephew as an assistant. It was common to take a younger man to accompany them so the younger man could learn as well as help the older men. Paul however did not want John Mark to go because on a previous occasion he had left them during their journey and returned to Jerusalem. Barnabas favored his nephew while Paul could not get past the previous incident. It became a strong disagreement between Paul and Barnabas to the point where Barnabas went on his way with John Mark and Paul went on his way with Silas.


Here in these verses we find a sharp disagreement between two Christians. Paul had made up his mind that John Mark was not going with them. This possibly offended Barnabas, since John Mark was his nephew. We see a principle here that when someone has made a decision the only person who can change their mind about the decision is themselves. Paul wasn�t changing his mind and neither was Barnabas. So often we want to mold someone to our will. We want them to perform to our desires. We want them to follow our actions. We desire they would follow our lead because we feel it is the right thing. THE TRUTH IS: YOU CANNOT MAKE SOMEONE DO SOMETHING THEY WISH NOT TO DO. No one can control another even though we may attempt with threats, coercion or avoidance (not speaking or visiting). All one can do is set boundaries and follow the boundaries they are comfortable with. Barnabas felt comfortable taking his nephew, while Paul did not. So Paul set a boundary he would go his separate way with Silas. However we do see Paul�s heart soften for John Mark in later years when he writes from prison to fellow Colossians to welcome and receive John Mark.

AskMe #2381060 05/28/10 06:12 AM
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Philippians 2:3-5 (NLT)
3 Don�t be selfish; don�t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don�t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. 5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.


In the previous verses the Apostle Paul asks, �Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate?� Then he goes on to these verses to help encourage these traits. They were to put away selfishness and pride. Instead they were to humble themselves, looking out for the interests of others as well as their own. This was so they could learn to be like Christ in their actions and thoughts.



Author Ed Dobson wrote a book titled The Year of Living Like Jesus, in which he tells the story in diary form of how he tried to live as Jesus lived and as Jesus taught for a year. On day thirteen of month one, he records this story:

My wife and I drove to Key West. I decided to take a day off from reading. As we walked past a restaurant on Duvall Street, a man, who'd obviously been drinking, called from the steps: "Hey, could spare some change so I can get something to eat?"

I've heard that line a lot, and I know a number of responses. First, you can simply ignore such people. After all, he will most likely use whatever money you give him to buy more alcohol, and, therefore, you'd be enabling his habit. Second, you can offer to take him to a restaurant to buy him something to eat. In most cases the person will not go because he mainly wants the money to buy alcohol. Third, you can point him to an organization that provides meals for the homeless. Many such organizations exist in most cities.

What did my wife and I do? We walked past the man without doing anything, as we have done with so many other people over the years. After all, it's not our fault that he is where he is.
But after we'd walked on a little farther, he called after us, "Can you help a Vietnam vet?" My youngest son is a veteran, and I deeply respect those who have served their country in that way. So I stopped, walked back to him, and gave him a dollar. At that moment I remembered the words of Jesus: "Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you." It's as simple as that�give to the one who asks. He asked. I had an obligation to give.

As I walked down the street, a wonderful peace came over me because I felt I'd actually obeyed one of Jesus' teachings. I knew he'd probably use it to buy more alcohol and that I probably hadn't made the wisest choice. And I also knew that a dollar wasn't really going to help him. But I had no other choice. He asked and I was obligated.

Still, what caused me to give him the money was not really my responsibility to follow Jesus, but the fact that he was a veteran. So after my initial euphoria, I realized I had done the Jesus thing for the wrong reasons.

[Ed Dobson, The Year of Living Like Jesus (Zondervan, 2010), pp. 24-25]


AskMe #2382962 06/01/10 06:45 AM
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Matthew 9:9-13 (NLT)
9 As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector�s booth. �Follow me and be my disciple,� Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him. 10 Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. 11 But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, �Why does your teacher eat with such scum?� 12 When Jesus heard this, he said, �Healthy people don�t need a doctor�sick people do.� 13 Then he added, �Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: �I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.� � For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.�

In these verses the Apostle Matthew is called to be one of the disciples of Jesus. His profession was a tax collector, which was considered by many a disreputable job. Matthew invited Jesus and His disciples to his home where Matthew�s friends gathered with them. The Pharisees challenged them being with what they called the scum of the earth. Then Jesus spoke Hosea 6:6. The New Living Translation says this, �I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings.� Jesus was reminding them knowing God, knowing what God desires of us, and understanding God wants us to pass His love on to others, even sinners, is more important than superficial sacrificial living.

Scanning through some shows on TV I heard a question written to a pastor. The question was, �I am a Christian and I have a friend who is not. Others in my church tell me I should not associate with them because of some things they do. Should I stop being friends with this person?� Throughout the teachings of Jesus He tells us love is the most important thing we can do in the lives of others. We are to love those close to us. We are to love those we are in disagreement with. We are to love those who might seem unlovable. First though we must love God with all our heart, with all our soul and all our will. It is then we can freely love others in the appropriate ways; no matter who that person may be.

The question asked by the viewer shows there are those today who still believe as the Pharisees that it is more important how things look than fellowship and relationships built on love instilled by God. The Apostle John tells us one thing we should not love. �Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.� So it ok to associate with those others may deem as unlovable and sinful as long as we do not allow ourselves to be tempted by worldly pleasures.

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