But he grew up with mostly female friends and got bullied by the guys his age, so he grew to hate his masculinity.
“I just took out my insecurities with lust towards men,” Emmett says on a Tucson Door Church video. “I medicated myself and pacified myself and drowned myself in homosexuality because I hated myself as a man. I didn’t feel like a man.”
But in 2015, somebody talked to him about God and gave him a little booklet to read.
“I read it because I wanted to see if God hated me,” Emmett says. “But I found out He didn’t. It said, all sins are bad; they’re all worthy of death, including homosexuality. But that same sin was covered by grace.”
So he gave his life to Christ.
At that a time, a pastor prompted him indirectly with a question: Did God ever say you were gay?
Because she was sickly, little Satabdi Banerjee was consecrated to Kali, the revered Hindu goddess who would bring healing.
But when Satabdi got older, she read the Bible to appease her conscience. All was going well until she hit the Book or Romans, which shattered her view that all religions lead to the same godhead.
“If you read the book of Romans with an open heart, you will see God talking to you,” Satabdi says on her own YouTube channel. “I used to look down on Christian missionaries because I thought they do not understand one very simple concept: All the rivers are ending up in the ocean.”
Satabdi Banerjee was born to a Bengali Brahmin family and took pride from her high caste birth and her family’s devotion to the Ramakrishna brand of Hinduism, the belief that no matter what the religion, they all provide salvation.
Her family members prayed hours every day in a dedicated prayer room at their house. They had lots of Hindu idols, decorated them for holidays and invited relatives over for special meals on those holidays.
They also celebrated Christmas — with gifts in the name of Santa Claus and a birthday cake for Jesus, whom they took to be one of many valuable gurus.
“We used to celebrate everything — Christmas, the birth of Buddha. But at the same time, we thought it was all the same thing,” she says. “We celebrated everything. We used to do carols and cut cake for Jesus.”
Satabdi had a strong desire to please the deity.
“We were so dedicated. I was so dedicated,” she says. “I just had one goal. I wanted to please the gods so that I could meet the gods and be with the gods. I thought I was very close to the gods.”
But she was also painfully aware of the sin in her heart.
“There was this other side of me. I had committed so much sin. Nobody knew my inner heart.”
Satabdi was an avid reader through her childhood. But she refused to read the children’s illustrated Bible because it was Christian, and her mother, who had purchased it at a high price, complained that it alone sat neglected on the bookshelf.
“I did not care about what Christians thought,” Satabdi says.
But the in 11th grade, she met a Catholic girl and flipped through the Bible just to be friendly and to report to her friend that she had read it. There was one problem though: she knew she hadn’t read it. She lied. Read the rest: Satabdi Banerjee couldn’t be helped by Hindusim.
Backslidden Jesse Holguin was going to avenge the shooting of his cousin, but as he was kicking down the murderer’s door, the man fired at him from a side window.
“I got shot; I didn’t know I was,” Jesse says on a Prager U. video. “I didn’t hear the gunshot and I didn’t feel it or nothing. I just I was on the floor, and he was trying to shoot me some more and I was trying to pull myself with my arms.”
He fell into gangs because “every single member in my family, every single male was a gang member,” he says.
From a young age, Jesse was involved in shootings.
“As other kids wanted to maybe grow up to be an athlete or wanted to be a movie star or something like that, my goal my whole life since I can remember I was wanting to be a gang member,” Jesse says.
Every weekend, he, his brothers and his homies were getting shot at.
“My family had a good reputation around the neighborhood I was in and all that,” Jesse relates. “I tried to earn my own respect.”
It wasn’t long before he wound up in Youth Authority jail, “our worst nightmare.”
“My first night, I go in the shower and some guy runs in the shower with me with a shank (a knife),” he says. “I’m in the shower a little kid naked. He’s gonna stab me in the shower, and I was scared. But I told him, ‘What? Go ahead, stab me. What’s up? I ain’t scared. What’s up?’”
The front of fearlessness worked. The threatening kid backed down.
“That was just my first day,” he says. “They called it gladiator school.”
Jesse was released from the Youth Authority to a hero’s homecoming. In thug life, serving time is like earning your stripes in the military. Upon release, he was named leader of the entire gang.
“I ended up achieving the greatest that you could hope for in that lifestyle,” Jesse says. “I ended up being the leader of my gang and my gang was a big, powerful respected gang. I had respect. I had women, I had everything. But I still wasn’t happy.”
In addition to being the leader of the gang, Jesse also worked a job. His boss happened to be a Christian and would talk constantly about Jesus.
“I never heard it the way he was sharing it with me,” Jesse says. “So he was sharing me telling him about Jesus and things like that, and I told him, ‘You know what? That sounds good. Maybe one day, if I ever get married and stuff like that, maybe maybe I’ll go to church.’”
First, Melissa T got into anime to escape from the depression over her parents’ divorce. Then, she began role-playing and assumed the attributes of a gay person with a person she met at a cosplay convention. Dipping into a bisexual lifestyle came next with her role-playing partner.
“I slapped God across the face that night and told Him I didn’t need Him anymore,” Melissa said on a 2012 YouTube video. “I went out with this girl. I turned bisexual for her. It lasted a month. A month down the road, I was really depressed. I was dealing with everything else, and I ran away from home.”
When the police apprehended her, what followed was a painful interrogation. Returned to her dad, she lost her phone privileges, was prohibited from using the Internet and was banned from talking to her lesbian friend.
“I made a stupid decision to go against my morals,” she says. “In that time I was isolated, I slowly but surely returned back to my normal self. I was no longer this character. I just threw away his personality and stopped being him. I started going back to church.”
At first, she begrudged the church attendance her dad forced on her. But one day while she waited for her family to come out of Target, she was alone in the car and had a strange urge to pray.
“I was ashamed of what I did. I felt guilty for what I did. I turned away from God. So I felt that, ‘Why would God accept me after what I did?’”
The devil and the Spirit were battling for her soul, with the devil telling her she really had nothing to say. She relented and started talking about school and slowly made her way to the deeper issues.
“I was pouring out my heart to Him and telling Him how much I was hurting and what I was hurting about, and for the first time in my life — FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE — I admitted through my mouth that I wanted to be happy.
“For so long I was so comfortable in my sin. I was so comfortable in my depression. It was my comfort zone,” she says. “Because I experienced so much change in my life, I felt change was bad, that change was something that was gonna hurt me. So I didn’t want change.”
In her prayer, she realized she really wanted the change God would bring.
“I was pouring out to Him, and I told Him, ‘I don’t want to be like this anymore. I don’t want to be depressed. I don’t want to be crying every single night. I don’t want to feel like my family’s ashamed of me anymore. I want to feel accepted. I want to feel loved,’” she says. “I bawled and cried to God for two hours in the car.” Read the rest of From cosplay to bisexuality to God.
One of things they hate the most about us Christians is we pretend to be better than we are. God hates that too; just look at when David condemned a rich man for stealing his poor neighbor’s sheep when David had slept with Bathsheba and killed Uriah.
Really, we’re no different than people in the world: they like on their resumes, we in our testimonies.
There are forces that push us to insincerity. One is that we cannot deny the Word even while we are not living it. The world says: I don’t criticize your sin; you don’t criticize mine. Even if Christians are in sin, they can’t verbally embrace it. To do so would be to renounce Christ. It’s better to be a failed Christian than not a Christian.
Another force is the pressure of ministry. A standard of conduct is required for any job. When we hedge that, it’s too easy to cover up. This is a universal tendency. “Hypocrite” is a quick and easy way to bash Christians. But in the Greek, a hypocrite is an actor. I live near Hollywood, and when a person calls himself an actor, it’s a compliment. Everybody on the planet is a poser. Not even Socrates was so sincere.
But having explained why Christians are insincere, I want to state that a push for sincerity will attract people. Ultimately, we are saved by grace, not by works. We are just as messed up as people in the world. We experience temptation and fall. We get back up, ask for forgiveness and try to serve Jesus again. A sinner has no one to turn to. We turn to Christ from the holes we fall in.
If you make an effort to be sincere, people will relate you. If all you do is brag about how good you are, you’re turning people off to you and the gospel. Not even Jesus bragged about how good He was, and He was sinless. To the contrary, he cracked down on the Pharisees pretended to be good in front of society but wanted to kill Jesus — now that’s what I call “hypocrisy.”
I got stuck at Isaiah 40 and following. The prophet shifts gears and focuses on the future when Israel is exiled and comes back to the promised land. They have punished for more than 70 years of captivity for idolatry and rebellion. The consequences of sin is enough to drive them to despair. They are ready to obey God now. And God speaks tenderly to them.
He offers them comfort.
In verse 4 God says barriers are going to be removed: Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill shall be made low.
The nations, which have served as God’s instrument of discipline over Israel, are no longer to be feared. The nations are as a drop of a bucket, as the small dust of the balance. (verse 15).
The grande finale comes at the end of the chapter — verses that just about every Christian has memorized: He gives power to the faint, and to them that have no might, He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and grow weary. But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall rise up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not grow weary; they shall walk and not faint. (verses 29-31)
Part of the good news? The disappointing time may be God testing you like Job or may be the result of your own sin. But when you get to the end, He brings refreshing, so hang in there.
I was arrested, meditating on what I had stumbled upon.
“Sarcasm” comes from “sarx” in the Greek, which means flesh. It is cutting someone up.
It’s telling someone he’s stupid and you’re superior, more intelligent. You resort to sarcasm to show how obvious something is (but wasn’t to the first person who made the statement or asked the question — hence he’s dumb.) It is a humiliation.
Of course, sarcasm has plenty of attractiveness. It makes people laugh. It makes you look witty. People like to hang out with winners. You’re the winner if you use it quickest and cuttingest. It’s a pride thing.
I’ve cut down on sarcasm because I’ve been cut up by sarcasm. I’ve decided that I don’t need it to attract friends. I’ve realized that true friends are what I want, and they won’t be coming around for my barbs and witticisms. They’ll love me if I love them. The only love the sarcasm knows is self-love.
Don’t place a halo on my head yet. Sarcasm comes out more frequently than I’d like to admit. I’m not totally sincere and humble. I’ve still got my flesh.
Sarcasm is delusional. You begin to believe you are superior to others just because of quick tongue.
From the moment Estella despised his coarse hands and thick boots, a shroud of shame hung over Pip’s life, in Charles Dicken’s Great Expectations.
And that’s how Pip came to despise his dad, Joe Gargery, and his life’s destiny as a country blacksmith. Pip strives to become a “gentleman” but instead becomes a snob and a spendthrift. When his sham of a life implodes, it is the humble blacksmith, Joe, who pays off his bills.
Shame is dynamite to blow up family, loyalty and values. When we live for others, we lose ourselves.
Shame entered the world with the first sin and continues to rage, a byproduct of sin. Paul exhorts us to never be ashamed of Christ (Rom 1:16). Only worry about receiving praise from Him.
Quite unexpectedly I fell in love with sprinkles on the Christmas cake this year. There’s something delightful about the crunch on the soft white frosting.
I usually run AWAY FROM treats. I run TO the gym. But it’s Christmas, a time of celebration of Jesus’ birth. So I’m letting myself go a little bit and enjoying things I usually avoid.
The problem with America’s obesity is the problem with America’s morals. We want too much too often. We can never say no. We cannot stay with what is good for us. God made sex for marriage, for example. And we want sprinkles on everything and all year round.
Here’s the message America needs: we need to enjoy God-given pleasures within God-given limits.
The worst crime is the one done against children because they are defenseless. They are born to innocence and play. They believe in the good nature of everyone and cannot understand evil. To deprive them of love, warmth and goodness, to destroy their innocence is the worst of evils.
Pip has been wronged. Miss Havisham set him up to fall in love with Estella, and she did this only to delight in seeing him be heart-broken. This evil design she perpetrated since his childhood in Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations.
At the end of her life, she begs forgiveness. Her usually air of superiority gets dashed. She abandons all noblewoman’s dignity and shockingly falls to her knees to cry in repentance. Her money, her family, her nobility mean nothing. The only thing now is to be granted forgiveness. She feels the full horror of what she did too late. Pip does not withhold the forgiveness for a second.
We have all be wronged as children. Born with sin in our nature for Adam’s fault, we all wake up eventually to the attractions of temptation and become sinners. Jesus has come to restore the innocence, the beauty, the joy of life.
One good thing about God is that He gives us what we need, not what we want. As human beings, we are destruction-bent. It’s part of our sinful condition that humanists vehemently denied but is being shown more and more in the news (look at the proliferation of massacres in our secular society).
Our generation is one that can’t distinguish want from need. Want is a right. Want is good, justified, unassailable. How dare you question my desires?
As Christians, we sometimes miss God’s best because we interpose our desires. It’s such our pursuit of wants that we miss needs. We pursue blessing more than the Blessor, the creation over the Creator. We miss destiny for dinero.
God just smiles. We pepper him with petitions, and He gently, patiently demurs. Thank God that He does. We would kill ourselves.
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. — Matt. 7:13-14 NIV.
By “wide” we might understand “permissive of everything.” God exhorts us to a narrow path, not that I or any Christian is perfect. Far from it, we recognize our sin and ask Jesus for forgiveness. But we don’t stop calling sin sin.
Why should we choose the straight and narrow path? Because it and only it leads to Heaven.
Walls are for bad people. They either KEEP OUT wrongdoers (such as thieves from your house) or they KEEP IN wrongdoers (such as prison convicts). But the good person is free to go in or out as he pleases.
When we look at God’s law as walls, we need to keep this in mind. God’s walls are not restrictions on our fun, to keep us pinned in to His boring Kingdom, as some see it. They are protections against all the harm the devil wants to bring on us.
Ask the hopeless drug addict if he could have done it all over would he never touch drugs. Ask the alcoholic if it would have been preferable to never taste liquor. Ask a million and one people destroyed by sin if God’s walls were arbitrary morals imposed upon them by cruel religious people who had no right to tell others what to do. Go ahead, ask them.
Ask the people in Hell.
Don’t chaff at Christianity’s “limitations,” viewing them as a horrible prison to suppress your freedoms. No, you are free to go. You are a good person. Walls are NOT for the good person. They are for the bad person.
Gather in the souls. Each soul is a light to burn brightly for Christ, the Chief and Source of Light. Fret not about the thickening darkness. No matter how tiny your light, no matter how overwhelming the darkness appears to grow, your light will be seen. Don’t run away from the world and hide like hermits. To the contrary, get out more and more into the world and let your light shine.
The easier it gets to get into sin, the more desperate people will become. The more desperate they become, the more they will want Christ. We Christians will be there to rescue them.
Frankly, I don’t get the allure of Hollywood — and I don’t get the stars on the sidewalk. I host foreign students who learn English. They ALL want to see Hollywood. Little do they know that Hollywood is ghetto, with abundance of drugs and grimy streets.
But those foreign students, invariably, like to get a selfie with the star of their favorite performer.
Why anyone would want people to walk all over their name, I’ll never know. It seems like a dishonor, not an honor. But Hollywood is full of such contradictions that go totally unnoticed by people infatuated with this world.
This I know: the darker this world gets — and it IS growing darker — the brighter the light of Jesus. The more that sin becomes “acceptable,” the more people are going to suffer its ravages. They will need a Savior more and more desperately.
Hey, I’m tempted, and I sin, but the attraction of God is greater. I always come back. I keep following God. Because there’s nothing better, nothing like Him. His love is amazing. Freedom is incredible.
Who is Twyla and who is Roberta? Your guess is still only an assumption, that Morrison has pulled you into to making to expose your stereotypes.
Toni Morrison’s only short story, Recitatif, invites you to guess the race of the two main characters, Twyla and Roberta, because Morrison carefully avoids stating it.
I always ask my U.S. Lit students at my Christian school in Santa Monica who is black and who is white. Results are always divided. Then my students begin to argue and pick out pieces of evidence from the story. This is a useful learning dynamic because it forces students to think, to use evidence to support their conjecture, but ultimately it is futile. Morrison’s genius is such that, being a African American writer, she writes about race with grace and gentleness.
The story is completely void of bitterness. As a matter of fact, she doesn’t even accept the conventional wisdom about racism. Both girls (all we ever learn conclusively is that one is white and the other is black, and your best guess is only conjecture) attack a mute, bow-legged “tan”-colored cook at St. Bonaventure’s, where they are housed as quasi-orphans. The picture of racism is simple: there is an almost irresistible urge in all mankind to hurt the powerless.
It is a haunting picture. It is a picture of sin. Left unchecked, sin will drive us to evil. Nobody escapes its clutches alone.
Morrison invites us to reflect about racism. It is nothing innate to whites or to blacks. In fact, it has very little to do with skin color. It has to do with the wicked, very human, innate heart condition to flaunt power over another. And in exercising that power, we humans harm.
Wow, this story explains much more than just racism! It explains why there is war.
But it comes up short in terms of finding a solution. In fact, the ending can seem anti-climatic. Roberta agonizes over the memory. She cannot fix for certain whether she and Twyla actually kicked the cook or did they just want to do it in their hearts.
Photo source: I don’t own the rights to the picture, and I’m not making any money on it.
I’m not saying babies sin. They are innocent of the understanding of right and wrong. But the Bible is correct in saying that we are born with sin. This gif is so cute we can fail to miss the important lesson it demonstrates.
Just because Hester Prynne unclasps her scarlet letter and flings it away doesn’t mean disposing of guilt is so easy.
As a symbol of the difficulty of working through guilt, Pearl the brat demands her mother put the fabric “A” back on her dress. On one level, the infant simply can’t accept a disruption in her mother’s appearance. But on another level, for Pearl, the letter is like a wedding ring, and casting it off is tantamount to breaking worse her already broken family.
If all you come away with in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s book is stones to throw at repressive religion, I respectfully suggest you’re not delving past a superficial reading of The Scarlet Letter. That is only one of the themes. Hawthorne’s genius explores the intricacies and complexities of the human psyche, and you’re settling for gold dust and missing the mother load.
To be sure, Hawthorne rains his pen down on failed religion. Arthur Dimmesdale flogs himself and performs excessive good works yet cannot find peace. His understanding of Jesus is deficient. A Christian is neither saved by piety nor charity; he is saved simply by Christ’s forgiveness, which Dimmesdale is blind to.
The book is full of ironies because Dimmesdale’s brokenness makes him the town’s favorite minister. This is eminently keen insight. If you have never suffered, you can’t have compassion on your fellows when ministering the word.
Hester Prynne herself, after her one sin of passion, likewise constrains herself to a rigorous life of charity. She dresses the drabbest colors and constricts her luxurious mane of hair to the insides of a bonnet.
After seven years of suffering, the pair meet in the forest and scheme to run away together back to England. Suddenly, sunshine pours in on them and the feel the exhilarating release of nearly a decade of pressure, scrutiny and condemnation.
It’s a good plan — except that they see themselves a sinners for doing it. Pearl is only the first to ruin it. She insists with a temper tantrum that her mother restore the letter to its rightful place. Then Roger Chillingworth, the evil avenger, completes the fatal stroke by booking passage on the same ship.
In traditional Greek fashion, the story must end as a tragedy. Hawthorne is sounding the dark regions of the human conscious, not writing a treatise on salvation. Nevertheless, the message emerges that only grace, only forgiveness in Jesus, can heal the heart. Religion never works — only relationship with Jesus.
The traditional spin on this book is that society is to blame for oppressing these free spirits. If you want to read the book that way, go ahead. But I can’t help but see deeper. You can’t just throw away guilt so easily. You and I need to come to Christ and be healed of our sin. Restoration works, not repression.
I was watching Ethan for my boss, while he taught class. The 2-year-old loves watching videos of trash trucks! What a funny thing.
As I meditated on why (I suppose he like the big machines with hydraulics), I realized that pastors are trashmen. They are constantly helping people to get the trash (sin) out of their lives.
Trash is a part of life (we are all sinners, the Bible says). But you don’t want to wallow in it; you want to get it out of your home because it poisons. Sermons expose the trash lurking in our hearts. (We thought it was having fun! What a shock to find out that our “fun” was wallowing in trash like the pig loves mud!)
Don’t be offended the inglorious comparison. I’m a pastor too.
We are warned. As sin goes exponential in the end times, it will wear away on the once-sincere love of many believers. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold — Matt. 24:12 NIV.
It would difficult to argue against the explosion of sin we have seen since the 1960s: drugs, free sex, redefining sin, massacres, crime waves in Latin America, terrorists worldwide. Standards are continually becoming looser. What was once the vilest subgenre (snuff movies) is now standard fare on cable TV (True Blood). What’s most disturbing is that nothing is disturbing any longer.
And Christian standards have slid. The line between acceptable and unacceptable behavior has been pushed back. I’m not point fingers though. I myself am susceptible. If anything, I am warning myself (and others) about the dangers of living in Sodom. Let’s not let our heart grow cold.
*I don’t own the rights to this image, and I’m not making any money on it. If you own it, feel congratulated. It is genius. I found it on a design site.
In fact, his essential purpose in leaving his kingship in Heaven and condescending to take mortal form was to suffer. And it started with his birth in a filthy stable.
During his life, He alleviated pain everywhere He found it. Blind eyes were opened. Condemned prostitutes were forgiven. Tax collectors escaped a life of being despised by others. The demon-oppressed were freed.
Then he died excruciatingly.
If Christmas conjures magical feelings of family and beauty, let us never forget its underpinnings are the Son of God coming to help the helpless, the defend the defenseless, to redeemed the scum of society, to sanctify the sinner and prick the self-righteous to reflection.
He feels your pain. He came to take the pain away.
You can’t “do it yourself” when it comes to earning Heaven. Only what Jesus did suffices to earn your entrance. He lived perfectly according to the law. After he passed sinless on the earth, He took our punishment upon Himself. If you have received Jesus, believing in Him, you possess salvation.
Many have tried to earn salvation. Some whip themselves. Some make huge charitable donations. Others become suicide bombers. It’s all pointless.
It’s good to do good things and bad to do bad things, but all are irrelevant is you are trying to “do it yourself,” to impress God enough that He lets you in. We are saved by grace, not by works.
Shakespeare’s MacBeth starts with good intentions. He defends the king from a traitor. When he’s promised the kingdom, he swears off procuring it himself. If it falls to him, he’ll take it.
But the good intentions soured. Dark ambition took over his heart. When the king visited his castle, MacBeth killed him and made it look like it had been the king’s own guards. As next in line to the throne, MacBeth got the crown.
All his bases were covered except his conscience. He hallucinates that his hands are covered with blood. Then he argues with the ghost of the king in front of his friends. His kingship was short. What’s ill-attained quickly will go up in smoke.
In our through-the-Bible survey of sin, we come to the very interesting case of King Hezekiah, who simply showed off his riches.
Immediately after flaunting his treasures, the Prophet Isaiah came to him with an ominous message: The time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your predecessors have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the LORD. — 2 Kings 20:17 NIV.
When I was a missionary in Guatemala, no one would ever flash their riches. If they did, criminals would strike.
We humans show off our cars, beauty, muscles, figure, clothes, watches, fans, likes, basketball skills, manliness… What do we NOT show off? Christians even show off their righteousness in the church.
It’s pride rubbish.
While showing off might bring you a perverse joy of provoking others to envy, it can bring no real good. It corrupts our heart.
We should accept people and love people. We should never be boastful in our actions.
I don’t own the rights to this photo, and I’m not making any money on it.
Ultimately, the chosen became the rejected. Saul was too rash, too unthinking, too disposed to decisions based on convenience, not correctness. Thus the king lost his kingdom.
When commanded by God to destroy all the riches of the Amalekites, Saul let himself be swayed by the people’s cravings for plunder.
When he was supposed to wait for Samuel to offer sacrifice, Saul unwisely performed priestly duties that didn’t correspond to him.
God revoked Saul’s kingship and gave it to David.
When you are young and immortal (tongue in cheek), you are prone to imprudence. As you grow older, (hopefully) you grow wiser. It’s a good thing to grow out of — if you live through the stupid stunt stage.
The problem was that God had declared His all the loot of the siege of Jericho. It was like an offering to God. After that first siege, all subsequent spoils would be free pickings for the Israelite warriors.
Achan couldn’t wait. He scooped up some silver and a fine Babylonian tunic and buried it in his tent. He knew he wasn’t supposed to do that, but, as they say, he couldn’t resist.
As a result of his greed, 36 Israelites were killed in the next attack. God was no longer with them. This sin first had to be purged (and Achan killed), and then the conquest of Canaan could continue unabated.
A little bit of greed got him into big trouble.
Be careful with the endless lust for more and more and more stuff.
While the rest of the world lives on $1-$2 a day, we Westerners have an insatiable appetite for more and more. Such excess is sin. Be content with what you have! 😀
They crossed the line. One too many times, the Israelites provoked God. After He showed them His goodness by giving them food and water and delivering them powerfully from the Egyptians, they accused Him of being bad. They complained that it would have been better to die wandering in the desert than die by the sword taking possession of the Promised Land.
So God let that be a self-fulfilled prophecy. A generation died in the desert. Forty years later, the next generation of Israelites rose up and possessed the Promised Land under Joshua’s leadership.
That generation was too accustomed to a mouth that constantly b-tch-d — mmm, complained bitterly.
If you dig in your heels and insist on sinning, the consequences could be grave.
The Israelites were five-star complainers. God freed them from 400 years of slavery. He brought them through the Red Sea. He gave them the gold of the Egyptians.
For nothing were they grateful. They b–ched about too hot, too cold, hungry, don’t like this, thirsty, etc., etc., etc. And they kept saying the unthinkable: It would have been better for us to stay in Egypt.
REALLY??? Remaining under heavy oppression is better than freedom?
Complaining is poison to your marriage, poison to your family, poison to your church, poison to your life. It steals your joy. It derives from a sick sense of entitlement (“I deserve better.”) Why do we think we deserve better?
Jacob couldn’t wait. To get ahead, he decided to take matters into his own hands. He took advantage of his brother’s weakness to get his birthright (he bargained it for a measly plate of food). Then he lied to his blind (and probably near deaf) father to get his blessing.
What did all his scheming and lying get him? Twenty years of being lied to, of being deceived, of losing. Well-said the Bible: You reap what you sow. Or as the world says: karma.
Availing yourself of deception only hinders your progress. Because real progress comes from trust. When you lose people’s trust, they won’t want your services any more. You burn bridges, lose friendships. You may think yourself the crab scrambling up to the top of the pile… but you’re just a crab.
So — despite Jacob’s lies, deception, betrayal, disloyalty and other reprehensible behavior, he was chosen because Esau was worse.
Esau despised his birthright. He despised his call in God. He despised the need to separate himself from the world. As difficult as it is to believe, what he did was worse, so God opted for Jacob to carry the line of the raising of the nation of God’s people.
Do you see how bad despising (scorn, contempt, ingratitude) is?
Do you despise God? Do you despise what He has given you:
your family (parents, spouse, children)
America wishes for more, always more. There’s a good side in the drive to better our circumstances. There’s also a bad side when we criticize the good gifts God has given us thinking we deserve better. How many youth abandon the church because they “deserve” something better.
The irony is that Esau, seeking more, got less.
He wanted to eat, so he sold his birthright. He wanted a pagan wife. When that caused problems, he got a second one (which never was the plan of God).
God passed over Esau and selected Jacob to inherit the promises.
(Of course, he had to work Jacob over a bit, make him reap what he sowed for about 20 years to teach him NOT to sin. But at the end of the day, Jacob got the blessing of God.)
I don’t own the rights to this picture, and I’m not making any money on it.
It’s the second sin to appear in the Bible. Second after pride, it’s deadly, even if it’s not counted among the “7 deadly sins.” Carried away by jealousy, Cain killed his brother, Abel.
It kills friendships.
Jealousy is being upset over what others have that I don’t. If I can’t have, then neither should you, is the thought that carries the jealous to extremes. In Guatemala, I have see neighbors burn the cars of their neighbors for jealousy. In the U.S., we defame a person over internet.
Today I’m filled with buoyancy. The Gospel is now going to advance more than ever because apparently it is receding.
Our nation is becoming darker. Every day, there is more sin: the murder of babies, sexual sin, legalization of drug use, etc. But instead of bemoaning this “decline,” I rejoice. The
What’s the message of this pot? People need this message!
deeper into sin people get, the more desperate they become for answer to the anguish of their souls.
So, let us Christians pray and not whine. Let us outreach. Let us purify our message, eliminating hate. Let’s show love to homosexuals; after all, they are just sinners like the rest of us, not any worse than me and just as needy. Let’s stop being Pharisees condemning to Hell a world crying out for God’s love. Let’s stop trying to legislate morality and show people a better path with our testimonies.
We are on the brink of great revival. Do not blog doom and gloom. Bend your knees and pray. Go on outreach. Hug a sinner. Invite him to coffee. Talk to him and show him he’s a human being.
A funny thing happened in Sunday school yesterday. Elder Eli was teaching about being your brother’s keeper from Galatians 6:1: Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.
As he expounded, a lot of us teens kept looking at each other with our eyes wide open, almost laughing, because it’s his kids who are the biggest trouble-makers. Basically, Mr. Eli was teaching us to tell on the youth who are messing up. It was funny because he didn’t show any signs of realizing the irony. He believes his kids are the angels of the church .
The other thing was not so funny though. We can’t tell on HIS kids because they’re bigger than my group of friends AND once you rat out someone you get a bad rap in the church so that no one wants to be your friend. Not that Harry or Phillip are friends of mine to worry about losing them.
I’ve grown up in church, so I’ve heard this lesson before. But you can’t actually apply some of the things of the Bible. You have to sort of filter the Bible and make adjustments for reality, you know? The unwritten rules are what’s important.