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AskMe #2466720 01/21/11 07:41 AM
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Romans 15:7 (NLT)
7 Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.

The apostle points out Christ accepted believers into His family. The Greek word for accepted (received in the King James) means to take in addition to as ones companion, into ones home with kindness, and to give access to one�s heart. Before Christ we could have been counted strangers or enemies of God. As His accepted children we are no longer strangers and we have been given the privileges of a family member. We therefore should accept others and glorify God through our actions.

What do we do when we don�t like a characteristic of someone close to us? There are several choices we can make. We can reject that characteristic and hold a grudge against the person. We can try to get the person to change the characteristic. We can accept the person for who they are.

Holding a grudge against someone does not help us and sure hurts us especially when God says we should love one another. We can try to change the other person, but the problem with that option is if the person does not want to change they won�t. However if we accept the person for who they are then it gives them the freedom to also accept you for who you are. As acceptance of each other grows there will be things we can let go of and things the other will let go of. We can also learn to hold each other accountable without fear of rejection. God accepts us with all our flaws and sin. And while God wants us to follow and obey Him, He allows us to do so by our own free will. Learn to accept others and share the grace of God.

AskMe #2467998 01/25/11 07:41 AM
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Genesis 4:3-7 (NLT)
3 When it was time for the harvest, Cain presented some of his crops as a gift to the Lord. 4 Abel also brought a gift�the best of the firstborn lambs from his flock. The Lord accepted Abel and his gift, 5 but he did not accept Cain and his gift. This made Cain very angry, and he looked dejected. 6 �Why are you so angry?� the Lord asked Cain. �Why do you look so dejected? 7 You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.�

This is the story of Adam and Eve�s children, Cain and Able. Both brought offerings to the Lord, but Able brought the best of what he had. God accepted Able�s gift but rejected Cain�s. God could see the dejection in Cain and warned him sin was already within him waiting to take control. God�s word to Cain about his sin was �you must subdue it and be its master�.

The movie The Straight Story is based on a true story and chronicles the pilgrimage of a 73 year-old man to mend a broken relationship with his brother, whom he hasn't seen or spoken to in over ten years. Alvin Straight (played by Richard Farnsworth) lives in Laurens, Iowa. Alvin has lost his driver's license because of impaired vision. When a call comes indicating that Lyle, Alvin's estranged brother, has had a stroke, Alvin determines to find a way to visit his brother and make things right. His only solution is to hitch a makeshift trailer to his 1966 John Deere riding lawn mower and set out on a 500-mile trip that will take him in excess of six weeks. Camping out in fields and backyards made available by hospitable people he meets along the way, Alvin Straight slowly but surely makes his way toward his destination. After crossing the Mississippi River and entering into Wisconsin, Alvin camps out in a church cemetery, kindling a campfire between tombstones. The pastor of the adjoining church sees Alvin from his office, has pity on the "homeless" man, and brings him a plate of hot meatloaf and mashed potatoes. A conversation ensues. "I can't help but notice your rather unlikely mode of transportation," the pastor says eyeing the riding mower. Alvin makes mention of his brother who lives in the area. The pastor recalls having met a man by that name while making calls in the hospital, but admits that he didn't recall the man making mention of having a brother. "Neither one of us has had a brother for quite some time," Alvin explained. "Lyle and I grew up as close as brothers could be. We were raised in Morehead, Minnesota. We worked hard.� Me and Lyle would make games out of our chores.� He and I used to sleep out in the yard most every summer night. We talked to each other till we went to sleep. It made our trials seem smaller. We pretty much talked each other through growing up." The pastor asked, "Whatever happened between you two?" Alvin's eyes tear-up as he explains. "The story's as old as Cain and Abel. Anger. Vanity. Mix that together with liquor, and you've got two brothers who haven't spoken in ten years." Alvin's manner and voice indicates the depth at which he is grieving the barrier that exists between him and Lyle. He adds, "Whatever it was that made me and Lyle so mad, it doesn't matter anymore. I want to make peace and sit with him and look up at the stars like we used to do."

Like Alvin, many of us have someone with whom we deeply long to be reconciled. Do not let bitterness, envy, jealousy, anger or whatever other sin may be harbored in your heart keep you from reconciling with another.

AskMe #2468357 01/26/11 07:25 AM
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Titus 3:3-7 (NLT)
3 Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other. 4 But��When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, 5 he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. 6 He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. 7 Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.�

The Apostle Paul writes Titus saying many had been misled by the law and had become slaves to sin. People in their attempt to be righteous would envy the good acts of others, while being full of evil. They became to hate each other instead loving each other as God commanded. So God out of love for us gave Jesus as our savior that we would be declared righteous because of belief in Him and not because of religious laws. It is our faith in Christ as Savior that gives us confidence in our eternal life with God.

Martin Luther wrote, �Christ is the kind of person who is not ashamed of sinners�in fact, he even puts them in his family tree! Now if the Lord does that here, so ought we to despise no one � but put ourselves right in the middle of the fight for sinners and help them.� As Christians we need to take in those wounded by sin and not leave them stranded on the battle field. We must never put our righteousness above others, but instead humble ourselves knowing Christ died for all. Through His death we are redeemed and have the hope of eternal life.

AskMe #2468785 01/27/11 08:12 AM
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Proverbs 27:2 (NLT)
2 Let someone else praise you, not your own mouth� a stranger, not your own lips.

This proverb tells us we should do good works that can be seen, but the good works should not be done for the purpose of being seen. When we commend ourselves it is evidence of pride, self-love, and can even lessen ones reputation. There are times in which we must vindicate or prove ourselves, but those times are not for self-applause.

A church organist was practicing a piece by Felix Mendelssohn. It was a difficult piece and very hard to play. Frustrated he was ready to leave when he noticed a stranger sitting on a rear pew. The stranger came forward and asked if he could play the piece, maybe as a means to help. Prideful the church organist replied �I never let anyone touch this organ!� After two more polite requests by the stranger the church organist reluctantly gave him permission. The stranger sat down and filled the sanctuary with a beautiful, flawless rendition of the musical piece. When the stranger finished the organist asked, �Who are you?� The man replied, �I am Felix Mendelssohn.� Because of pride the organist almost missed the opportunity to learn from the creator of the song. How often does pride keep us from learning from Our Creator? We tell ourselves may lies such as I can handle this on my own when clearly we need God�s assistance.

Sin will take you farther than you want to go, Cost you more than you want to pay, And keep you longer than you want to stay.

AskMe #2469153 01/28/11 07:06 AM
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Acts 2:43-47 (NLT)
43 A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. 44 And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. 45 They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. 46 They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord�s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity�47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.

On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. 2 Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. 3 Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. 4 And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability. As a deep sense of awe came upon the people they sold their property and possessions and shared with those who were in need all the while praising God.

St. Basil the Great, a man of great charity once said, �There is your brother, naked and crying! And you stand confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering.� In other words there is someone without anything crying out for help and you are confused whether to spend money on this item or spend money on that item instead of being charitable. Jesus once told his disciples, �When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.� Everyone who has been blessed with plenty should be alert to help those who are in need. They should be ready to reach out and help when possible and give freely out of the goodness of their heart. I am proud to say I work with many people who volunteer to give their time, collect goods for the needy, or send packages to the soldier fighting for our freedom. Be on the lookout to help those in need and even be willing to give up something you don�t need to help another.

AskMe #2470144 01/31/11 07:39 AM
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Malachi 3:16-18 (NLT)
16 Then those who feared the Lord spoke with each other, and the Lord listened to what they said. In his presence, a scroll of remembrance was written to record the names of those who feared him and always thought about the honor of his name. 17 �They will be my people,� says the Lord of Heaven�s Armies. �On the day when I act in judgment, they will be my own special treasure. I will spare them as a father spares an obedient child. 18 Then you will again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.�

Malachi is the last book of the Old Testament and from this point it will be another 500 years before God speaks again to His people. But here in these verses we find a reassurance from God about the salvation to come. A scroll is prepared to remember those who reverently feared and honored God. Then God proclaims on the Day of Judgment these people will be His own special treasure. They will be spared as a father who would give his life for his child. God will do this to show the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between those who served Him and those who did not.

Mike Erre, in the December 7 entry of Men of Integrity dated November/December 2008 said, �My wife and I refinanced our house and cashed out what was (for us) a large sum of money. I spent several weeks dreaming of ways to spend it. It was near Christmas, and I had been studying the birth of Jesus and what it would have meant to those who heard about it first. As I was praying and prepping for the messages I would teach in the weeks of December, God brought into my mind that to take this whole "love thy neighbor" thing seriously, my wife and I should give away more money than we spend on ourselves this Christmas. (Although I didn't realize it at the time, God had placed the same message in my wife's heart.)� Mike said he and his wife had a wonderful time giving away the money and they celebrated what Paul called �a gift too wonderful for words!� God gives us opportunities to honor Him and show Him that we care for our fellow man. The couple above found their own blessings by giving money away to others in need. There are many people struggling today. Take the time to reach out to those you know are struggling and help in any manner possible. Whether it is to listen and give advice, or donate what you have, or offer money when appropriate to help someone in dire need. God remember s those who fear and honor Him and helping others is one way of bring honor to God. May God bless you for your generosity as you let your heart cheerfully give to those in need.

AskMe #2470589 02/01/11 06:44 AM
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James 1:5 (NLT)
5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.

The Apostle James tells us if we have a need for wisdom we should ask God and He will generously provide that wisdom to us because He is listening. He does not rebuke, but instead hears us out and then offers us what we need. There is a condition that follows in verse 6 and that is we must place our total faith in God.

In Life Together, his classic book on Christian community, Dietrich Bonheoffer says that listening is the first service we owe one another in the Christian community: �The first service that one owes to others in the fellowship consists in listening to them. Just as love to God begins with listening to His Word, so the beginning of love for the brethren is learning to listen to them. It is God's love for us that He not only gives us His Word but also lends us His ear. So it is His work that we do for our brother when we learn to listen to him. Christians, especially ministers, so often think they must always contribute something when they are in the company of others, that this is the one service they have to render. They forget that listening can be a greater service than speaking. Many people are looking for an ear that will listen. They do not find it among Christians, because these Christians are talking where they should be listening.�

We have relatives, friends and acquaintances that are facing overwhelming and heart breaking circumstances. Often we want to help, but we can�t even comprehend the depth of the problem or where to start to help. There are some things only God can accomplish. However, we can listen and we can ask God for wisdom. Instead of trying to hand out advice, stop, listen and have faith that God will answer.

AskMe #2470673 02/01/11 10:54 AM
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I just wanted to thank you, AskMe, for your daily devotionals.

A year ago I wouldn't have thought to spend any time on the Word or Faith Study.

Today, I begin every day with a devotional, I am working a plan to read the Bible in a year, and am a member of a church small group Bible study.

Reading your posts has also become part of my daily routine. smile


Preach the Gospel every day. When necessary, use words.
St. Francis of Assissi
Fred_in_VA #2471123 02/02/11 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Fred_in_VA
I just wanted to thank you, AskMe, for your daily devotionals.

A year ago I wouldn't have thought to spend any time on the Word or Faith Study.

Today, I begin every day with a devotional, I am working a plan to read the Bible in a year, and am a member of a church small group Bible study.

Reading your posts has also become part of my daily routine. smile

Fred I started writing devotionals for some men in my church group. What I came to realize is I benefited just as much or more from writing them, because I learned from my studies. May God bless your study of His word and give you wisdom for your life. I pray He would greatly bless you!

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James 2:1-4 (NLT)
1 My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others? 2 For example, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in dirty clothes. 3 If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, �You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor��well, 4 doesn�t this discrimination show that your judgments are guided by evil motives?

The Apostle James, half-brother of Jesus, is speaking to Christians about favoritism. He tells them that just based on external appearance there are those who would give preference to someone who looks rich, while ignoring a person who looks poor. They do so in hopes of gaining good favor from the individual. His conclusion is favoritism is guided by evil and selfish motives of the heart.

When we see ourselves as "pretty good," we misunderstand the gravity of sin and our desperate need for grace. We place ourselves above others, become their judges, and give them the power to disappoint us. A physicist � uses this analogy: Each of us is like a light bulb. One shines with 50 watts of holiness, another has only 25 watts. Maybe the most stellar Christians are 200 watts. But these comparisons become trite in the presence of the sun. In the face of God, our different levels of piety are puny and meaningless. It makes no sense to compare ourselves with one another because we are all much more alike than we are different. ["Dr. Jekyll..." Men of Integrity, March/April 2005]

Do not place yourselves above others; for we are all sinners. We must not look at the external appearance of a person, but their internal relationship with God. We are reminded in Isaiah 64:6 �We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags.� Fortunately God sees past our poor state of righteousness and bestows love, compassion, mercy and grace to us all. Aren�t you glad God doesn�t show favoritism?

AskMe #2471548 02/03/11 07:14 AM
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Romans 14:1-3 (NLT)
1 Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don�t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. 2 For instance, one person believes it�s all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. 3 Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don�t. And those who don�t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them.

In these verses the apostle gives his thoughts towards the differences of people. There are people who have different levels of faith. There are people who believe one thing is wrong while another believes something is right. The apostle gives an example that because of different beliefs some eat only vegetables, while others eat anything. Whatever the difference, as believers in Christ, we should not condemn another for doing what they believe is right. God has accepted them as they are and it is God who will motivate all men�s hearts in the right direction.

Paul said, �There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." Paul was looking at a diverse group of people who had come together to form the church after Pentecost. The church had removed barriers of gender, race, and social class. Author Philip Yancey quoted a pastor in India, where they have a strong caste system: "Most of what happens in Christian churches, including even the miracles, can be duplicated in Hindu and Muslim congregations. But in my area only Christians strive, however ineptly, to mix men and women of different castes, races, and social groups. That's the real miracle." Christians for the most part graciously accept one another for who they are. Each person has a special ministry they can perform and it often takes variety of talents to accomplish the work of Christ. If God can accept us then we also need to learn to accept each other so that together we can serve the cause of Christ.

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Each person has a special ministry they can perform
And I do believe this is one of yours. Thank you for your steadfast contribution to this thread, AskMe.


D-Day 2-10-2009
Fully Recovered and Better Than Ever!
Thank you Marriage Builders!

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Originally Posted by maritalbliss
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Each person has a special ministry they can perform
And I do believe this is one of yours. Thank you for your steadfast contribution to this thread, AskMe.

The Apostle Paul said to the Thessalonians, "Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing." I pray my encouragement will be an encouragement to others. And I thank you for your encouragement to me. God bless you.



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Matthew 21:22 (NLT)
22 You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.�

The Disciples has just witnessed Jesus say to a fig tree, ��May you never bear fruit again!� And immediately the fig tree withered up. The Disciples were amazed and Jesus responded to their amazement by telling them anything was possible with faith.

In the movie Evan Almighty, Morgan Freeman�s character personifies God. There is a quote he uses in the movie that is valuable in teaching about prayer. Morgan Freeman said, �Let me ask you something. If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does he give him opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does he give them opportunities to love each other?� We pray sometimes thinking the results should be a certain way; yet God has His own plans for answering our prayers. We must have the faith and trust in God that He will answer our prayers appropriately. And it is through that faith that our prayers are answered.

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Proverbs 7:21-23 (NLT)
21 So she seduced him with her pretty speech and enticed him with her flattery. 22 He followed her at once, like an ox going to the slaughter. He was like a stag caught in a trap, 23 awaiting the arrow that would pierce its heart. He was like a bird flying into a snare, little knowing it would cost him his life.

King Solomon observed this young man while looking out the window of his House. He referred to him as a na�ve young man and especially one who lacked common sense. This young man walked past an area he should not have gone and as he did a sly, seductive woman greeted him. She tempted him, physically, emotionally and spiritually by the words she used. She led the young man off unaware of the trap she had set for him.

Years ago, the story goes, a San Diego bank hired a private investigator to track down a bank robber and retrieve stolen funds. The search led to Mexico. The investigator crossed the border and then, realizing he would need a Spanish interpreter, opened up the telephone book and hired the first interpreter listed in the Yellow Pages. After many days, he finally captured the bandit and, through the interpreter, asked him, "Where did you hide the money?" In Spanish, the thief replied, "What money? I have no idea what you're talking about." With that, the investigator drew his pistol, pointed it at the suspect, and said to the interpreter, "Tell him that if he doesn't tell me where the money is, I will shoot him where he stands." Upon receiving this message, the bank robber said to the interpreter, "Se�or, I have hidden the money in a coffee can, under the fourth floorboard, in the second-floor men's room of the Palacio Hotel on Via Del Rio in La Paz." "What did he say?" the investigator asked the interpreter. "Se�or," said the interpreter as he thought for a moment, "he says he is prepared to die like a man!"

Temptation comes at us from many directions. Even when we have the best intentions; if we are na�ve in our thoughts and not reasoning with common sense we can fall into the sin handed us by temptation. There is no one who is above temptation so we must always be informed and understand how the enemy attacks our lives wanting to destroy us, whether it�s physically, emotionally or spiritually. If the enemy can take us down they he also takes with us those we could have helped.

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Proverbs 11:3
Honesty guides good people; dishonesty destroys treacherous people.

Honestly is most likely a virtue David passed on to his son Solomon. Often through Psalms David would speak of integrity and honesty of heart. David even said God�s desire was that we have honestly from our most inward parts. Here we see Solomon reflecting on honesty and that it guides the lives of good people, but dishonestly destroys those who use it.

We all know the story of the boy who cried wolf. It is an Aesop fable about a shepherd boy who became bored tending the sheep so he would cry out to the villagers that a wolf was attacking. The villagers would come to the rescue only to find the boy was lying in order to pull a dishonest prank on them. Finally confronted by a wolf the boy cried out as usual, but no one came to the rescue as the wolf ate the flock and in some versions of the story the boy also. The moral at the end of the story says, �Even when liars tell the truth, they are never believed. The liar will lie, once, twice, and then perish when he tells the truth�. People lie for many reasons. They want to cover something they are fearful of. They lie in order to increase their low self-esteem. They lie hoping to gain favor. They lie as it has become their nature because their moral fiber has withered and faded away. Dishonesty eventually destroys the confidence of others and even the person themself.

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Matthew 5:33-37 (NLT)
33 �You have also heard that our ancestors were told, �You must not break your vows; you must carry out the vows you make to the Lord.� 34 But I say, do not make any vows! Do not say, �By heaven!� because heaven is God�s throne. 35 And do not say, �By the earth!� because the earth is his footstool. And do not say, �By Jerusalem!� for Jerusalem is the city of the great King. 36 Do not even say, �By my head!� for you can�t turn one hair white or black. 37 Just say a simple, �Yes, I will,� or �No, I won�t.� Anything beyond this is from the evil one.

There are the words of Jesus as He preaches The Sermon on the Mount. The important lesson Christ is teaching here is not to make promises that might be kept or might be broken. Instead understand your own limitations and boundaries and either say, �Yes I will or No I won�t�.

Good personal boundaries serve a purpose in our life. In fact God had a boundary with Abraham when He was about to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham kept pleading, �What if I find this number of righteous people?� When God said NO that was His final answer. Until then God allowed interaction with Abraham. So God wants us to interact with Him through prayer just as we are to interact with people in conversation on boundaries. It is a part of building a relationship with another person. The Bible tells us to give cheerfully from the heart, but if we are unsure when to say no, then it makes saying yes confusing and leads to resentment, bitterness and anger. Imagine saying YES to every request that comes along. Eventually you would be burned out from giving too much of yourself or broke from giving everything away. There should be a healthy balance where we can give cheerfully from the heart and say NO without confusion. Sometimes people will have differing boundaries, and each should respect the boundaries of the other and compromise when proper and suitable. But always make sure your Yes is a firm Yes and your No is a firm No when you reach a decision. Pray God will help you see healthy boundaries in your life.

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Mark 10:17-22 (NLT)
17 As Jesus was starting out on his way to Jerusalem, a man came running up to him, knelt down, and asked, �Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?� 18 �Why do you call me good?� Jesus asked. �Only God is truly good. 19 But to answer your question, you know the commandments: �You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. You must not cheat anyone. Honor your father and mother.�� 20 �Teacher,� the man replied, �I�ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.� 21 Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. �There is still one thing you haven�t done,� he told him. �Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.� 22 At this the man�s face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

This is the story of the rich young man. The man was seeking the answer to eternal life from Jesus. The man in his heart was good and had worked to obey the commandments since a young age. It was in his goodness where his faith rested. Then out of love Jesus gave him an instruction which he was unwilling to follow.

In the verses above it says about the young rich man that �Jesus felt genuine love for him�. The young man Jesus was speaking with was not someone He was having a confrontation with; but instead Jesus was offering the young man a chance to find faith in God. The young man had a boundary he was unwilling to cross and that was to give up all his possessions. While it might not have seemed an unreasonable boundary to some the boundary was keeping him from faith in Jesus. We know Jesus loved the man and Jesus was willing to help him find what he was seeking, but Jesus also respected the young man�s boundary and did not try to coerce or push him into a decision. Jesus let the young man walk away sad. In life we need to learn to respect each other�s boundaries and realize and individual chooses to follow their own boundaries. The young man had a choice and his choice was to stick to what he had even though it cost him. And Jesus did not waver and say, wait, come back and let me give you another offer. No, Jesus held to His boundary as well.

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Philippians 1:29-30 (NLT)
29 For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him. 30 We are in this struggle together. You have seen my struggle in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of it.

The apostle encourages the church to keep consistent in their profession of Christ to others. He says there are privileges that come with knowing Christ, but there are also times of suffering. The apostle states they should have seen his past struggles and suffering; and even though Paul is still suffering he continues to write and encourage other believers about faith in Christ.

There are those who believe the Christian life is always a smooth road to follow; which is a false belief. Christians are subject to suffering and struggles just like anyone else. There are difficult times they may face. They may be tempted by sin and fall into its trap. They may be persecuted for their belief in Christ. They may be subject to ridicule for trying to live a good and faithful life. Paul reminds us we have a reward in Christ. And while we suffer in this life, we have an eternal life ahead that is will take away the suffering, pain and tears. We must always remember we are standing on a solid foundation when we believe in Christ. We can always turn to Christ, always trust, always share our needs and always know that Christ has what is best for us in store. Also know your fellow Christians stand with you in this suffering and many will reach out in love to help and support you. May God bless each of you and ease the burden of your suffering.

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Luke 9:51-55 (NLT)
51 As the time drew near for him to ascend to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. 52 He sent messengers ahead to a Samaritan village to prepare for his arrival. 53 But the people of the village did not welcome Jesus because he was on his way to Jerusalem. 54 When James and John saw this, they said to Jesus, �Lord, should we call down fire from heaven to burn them up?� 55 But Jesus turned and rebuked them. 56 So they went on to another village.

Jesus had a clear foresight of his eminent death. So he set out with the disciples to travel towards Jerusalem. They were going to pass through a Samaritan village so they sent messengers ahead to let them know of Christ�s arrival. But the people did not welcome Jesus for He was on His way to Jerusalem with many followers including His disciples. Jews and Samaritans were at odds so it many have been the overwhelming amounts of Jews with Jesus was troublesome. James and John heard the reply and expressed their resentment. They were ready to exterminate the city such as Sodom and Gomorrah had been devastated. Jesus turned and rebuked John and James; for even in his confrontation with Pharisees and other Jesus never brought a threat of death to any of them. His was always a message of repentance and love.

In the book Mastering Monday: a guide to integrating faith and work, by John D. Beckett, Beckett talked about a day in a dentist chair when the dental assistant said, You are John Beckett, aren�t you?� The only thing he could do at the time was grunt a yes. �I want to thank you for firing my husband.� There he sat unable to move, unable to talk wondering what would come next. She said, �It happened ten years ago. He was hired then notified he failed a drug test and had to be terminated. You may not recall�, she continued, �but you called him into your office before he left. You said, �You realize I don�t have any choice but to terminate you. But I want to tell you something; you are at a crossroads. You can keep going the way you are, and the results will be very predictable. Or you can take this as a wakeup call�and decide you are going to turn your life around.�� With beads of sweat forming on his head the assistant then said, �I want you to know, my husband took your advice. Today he is a good father, a good husband, and has a good job. Thank you for firing my husband!� Lemon became lemon-aide, refreshing and quenching. It was a rebuke that had to be given, and it was given in love. Sometimes for the care of others we must do what is right even when it is difficult to do.

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