Sunday, January 23, 2011
I had a test this week and while I did not pass it perfectly, I’m passing it much better than I ever would have prior to this. Thank God for growth!
1 Timothy 6:16-21 (Amplified Bible)
As for the rich in this world, charge them not to be proud and arrogant and contemptuous of others, nor to set their hopes on uncertain riches, but on God, Who richly and ceaselessly provides us with everything for [our] enjoyment.
While people may notice my frugality, I am very blessed and rich by most standards. I have no doubt that I would fit in the category of what Christ calls Pharisees. As you may know, he had pretty harsh words to say about Pharisees. These are just a few:
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous.
Christ made it a point to gather disciples and hang out with people who were not valued by society’s standards . . . fisherman, shepherds, prostitutes, tax collectors . . . you get the picture.
As a Pharisee, I have an ever greater responsibility to see to the needs of those who are not as lucky as me, or people (widows, orphans, homeless, poor, etc) in need of help. I am blessed with a several wonderful faith communities that allow me to be an active participant in just such a ministry.
God give us many tests to pass throughout our lifetime. If we don’t pass them, I believe we get the test over and over again until we get it right! I had a lesson this week in giving up a possession (full-size family car) that I held a little too close to my heart. While this could have put me in a mild depression for weeks, I knew better and took prayerful steps to keep my joy without this possession. Making “joyful” my one word (www.oneword.org thanks to MrsPrincipal) continues to be a great source of comfort.
In other areas of my life, I will need to be tested on this over and over again. While I don’t see a move in my immediate future (like that of my friend Shelley, who found the opportunity recently to be a blessing to her Salvation Army or Goodwill), I definitely need to clean my house. Prayers welcomed . . . please, please!
Changing the subject a bit, I had more opportunities to see God’s handiwork in action while visiting with my father and hometown.
My Dad and I drove by an oredock and played some games after taking care of business.
Amnicon Falls opened up a little more (even though our temperatures are that much colder . . . figure that!).
Have a great week! May you work successfully towards reaching your goals.