Sunday, June 28, 2015

June 28, 2015-Live by Faith, Hope, and Love

Table Talk for 6/28/2015

I have had experiences, like I am sure many of you have had, especially over the past month or so that have tested my ability as a child of God to have faith. 1st John offers much to help us understand today's world and our struggles in it, this is 1st John 5:4;

“For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith.”
I have spoken before about handing things over to God and relieving myself of worry through faith. And, this is something I have gotten better at but at times it is still a challenge to overcome the pressures of this world and do it every time! This is the same challenge we all face as mortal beings up until our last breath.

It seems as though every day we are challenged in our faith and in what we believe, worrying about worldly things or feeling as though we are pushed towards judging others. It is especially in these times that we should turn to the Word as our guide and then to prayer as our answer.

Several things have seemed insurmountable to me and my family lately, like Spencer's unexpected complications when he was to be released from the hospital last week. When we face something that seems like a roadblock and something likely to bring us down, bring it to God in prayer and let Him help us, just as Jesus said we should do in Mark 10:27;

“Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.”
This past week has revealed changes in the world around us that make us examine our belief in what we feel is right and wrong. We need to remember our role and our place in this world. There is scripture which tells us that Jesus is the only one who can judge us, as in John 8:7;

“They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!””
And in Matthew 7:1;

“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.”
Sin is a reality we all face and based on scriptures and early church teaching, all sins are not the same. There are The seven deadly sins, also known as the capital vices or cardinal sins, which have been used since early Christian times to educate and instruct Christians concerning mankind's tendency to sin and these sins are: wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony.

And scriptures that tell us that certain sins can keep us from God, such as those mentioned in Galatians 5:19-21;

"When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God."

And those things that God hates in Proverbs 6:16-19;

"There are six things the LORD hates— no, seven things he detests: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family."

So what should we do? These deadly sins are things we see all around us and they are obviously are wrong in God's eyes, but all sin is bad. One answer is found, again in 1st John, this is chapter 5 verse 16;

“If you see a fellow believer sinning in a way that does not lead to death, you should pray, and God will give that person life. But there is a sin that leads to death, and I am not saying you should pray for those who commit it.”
The objective and the power of prayer is often overlooked but I believe the most simple answer to worldly issues that we are uncertain about is to remember the words in 1 Corinthians 13:13;

“Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.”
In the bible, Love always wins, and faith and hope can help us move mountains!

Mark‬ ‭14:22‬ ‭NLT
“As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take it, for this is my body.”

As we bow our heads in a prayer for the loaf let us remember the connection that Jesus made to His disciples between the bread and His body. The body which was broken for all of our sins.