How does that work? Scripture tells us that we have to believe it first (Mark 11:24). hmm. I don't know about you, but I can't seem to control the degree of my faith just because that's what I want to be able to do. I know I want to be all that God would have me to be, though. At least I think I do. Therein, a theory is born. It's a natural progression. First you follow God's commandments (because you love them and you love Him)...or at the very least...try your very best (and I mean very best) to follow God's commandments. Not short term, mind you. Long term....committed. Incrementally your faith is increased. At that point, though, what do you think you would be claiming? A new car? Prosperity? Somehow, I don't think so. Surely, you'd be claiming things a lot more righteous than that.
Matthew 17:24-27 ¶ After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax came to Peter and asked, "Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?" "Yes, he does," he replied. When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. "What do you think, Simon?" he asked. "From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes—from their own sons or from others?" "From others," Peter answered. "Then the sons are exempt," Jesus said to him. "But so that we may not offend them, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours."
I love that scripture. I giggle when I imagine the collectors going with Peter to the lake, Peter catching a fish (the first one, mind you), opening it's mouth and pulling out the coin! Can't you just picture the look on the collectors faces?
Jesus did some amazing things (miracles). Things that cannot be explained via the natural no matter how creative you attempt to get. Miracles like walking on water (John 6:19), controlling the weather (Matthew 8:26), turning water into wine (John 2:7), raising the dead (John 11:43, Mark 5:35), giving sight to the blind (John 9:6), casting out demons (Matthew 17:18), feeding the five thousand (Matthew 14:15), etc, etc, etc.
Jesus is Lord.
Can you imagine what the world would be like if God had not set eternity into the hearts of men (Ecclesiastes 3:11)? If the human race believed that there were no rewards and no punishments and no having to give an answer to anyone? If the human race believed that they only had this one life to live, and no matter how they lived this life, the only thing they could anticipate was the finality of death? What kind of race would we be? What kind of a world would this be? Do you think the suicide rate would increase or decrease? Do you think the murder rate would increase or decrease? Do you think violent crimes would increase or decrease? My Christian Interpretation would be that life on planet earth would take a nose dive.
Thank God that heaven and hell do exist! Thank God that He has put that knowledge in our hearts, and given us His Word to help us in our understanding. Thank God for the gift of His Son and the forgiveness of sins.
A few posts back I spoke a bit about the wisdom of God. God tells us not to show favoritism, that He doesn't show favoritism, and that showing favoritism is, in actuality, a sin. If you have ever been discriminated against, you probably understand why favoritism is a sin. It's a potential breeding ground for all kinds of negativity. It can cause division, hurt, anger, insecurity, depression, vindictiveness, bitterness, hatred, etc. Does God want you to suffer that? Does God want you to create an atmosphere conducive to generating those kinds of feelings and emotions? My Christian interpretation would be....nope...He sure doesn't.
I guess one question we have to ask ourselves is....are WE showing any favoritism? Do we treat one of our children a little better than another? Do we show one of our employees more respect? Do we treat a race or gender better than another? We may be making one person feel special, and without realizing it, causing someone else to feel insignificant and unloved.
The other question we might need to ask ourselves is....what is our responsibility if we are the subject of favoritism? If showing favoritism is a sin, what about willingly, knowingly, accepting favoritism?
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