This is so important, that Jesus declared in Matthew 22, that ALL of the Law and the Prophets depend literally on this concept, and that the greatest Commandment of all, is to Love God, and to Love God is to Love your Neighbor;
We’ve all heard or asked the question, “How do I know if my prayers were answered?” Some of the simplest answers that come with built-in checks and balances are to see if you have at least two of the three responses spoken of in this article.
Let’s digest this verse, found in Luke 14. This is important because I personally know families that have been torn to shreds over denominational stances, with players in the story using this verse as justification for why they can Biblically separate and tear their families apart with justification. The reality is, Jesus gave us a beautiful verse that has been abused, misused and made ugly.
Too often prayer is me complaining. Sometimes, prayer is me wishing for something else. Sometimes, prayer is me wishing God would change so and so. Sometimes it is me wishing God would change me. Sometimes it is me wishing God would do something for someone else. Sometimes…
No wonder that when Jesus spoke of the parable of the wedding feast in Luke 14 he said, “Go out into the hedges and the highways and compel them to come, that my house may be full!” I spent 15 years of my life in Christ believing and being taught that God wasn’t anywhere to be found except at 1145 Wallace Road. You couldn’t go to the beach, the mountains, the park, the bar, and find Christ, and most certainly, you couldn’t be a light for Him in those places – your work, His work, ALL the work, was in Church.
I’ve known people, with no religious connection at all, who said their ‘calling’ in life was to do X, or Y, or Z. Feeding the homeless? To be a counselor? To write? To be a lawyer? Your calling is YOUR desire. Your desire is what you were made to be!
And finally – we know that early historical Apostolic and Church fathers still very much believed in moral purity, holy (righteous living as directed by the Spirit of God) and, what the conscious tells you, which we know was a valuable tool, otherwise there would have been no need to talk about having a seared (immune, dormant and ineffective) conscience. (1 Timothy 4:2)
The Jewelry thing (the abstinence doctrine) is a very implicit argument that requires the believers to ignore the entirety of the Bible, and even the words of Jesus, the culture of the people in question and the documented and archeological history of the audience to which this was written, and re-interprets the explicit meanings and statements therein to fit their implicit narrative.
One of my favorite moments of Scripture is arguably one of those that is in question whether or not it is in the original manuscripts. Regardless of its historical veracity, it’s principle is without a doubt indicative of the nature of Christ (and the nature I want to mimic) and […]