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Archive for April, 2012

People are not always complementary of us.  Sometimes this is just, but many other times it will not be.  People who lived at the time Jesus was on earth accused him of all kinds of things and spoke lies about his character.  We should expect no different, in fact the Bible says that if you choose to follow Jesus, people will reject us for that fact.  Luke 6 22 – 23 says “Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.  Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets”.  We can learn several things from this text.  People will exclude us.  It might be in the form of friendships or social circles, or work, but in some way or another we may well notice that we are excluded and don’t feel like we are ever part of the group.  We may be insulted and our actions called into question as being intolerant or hateful.  Doing and saying good is sometimes seen as evil in the world’s eyes.  In many ways we and what we stand for may be hated.  However, we need to remember that it is easy to avoid this.  Listen to the news, hear what people say, and watch their actions.  You will soon be able to learn what is popular, in fashion, and what is not.  You can easily follow the world and avoid all this unpleasantness.  The proplem is so many of us are living this way.  We choose to follow the world rather than who we call ‘LORD’.  Jesus is asking us to make a choice to follow him.  That is why, and when, we receive not just a reward, but a great reward in Heaven.

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Psalm 50 – 12 “If I were hungry, I would not tell you,  for the world and its fullness are mine…14  Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High, 15 and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”

God asks us to serve Him.  He will show us in what way he wishes us to do so.  It may be to go, to give or to pray.  We are all called to serve in some way, and usually in many ways.  When opportunities to serve come up it is easy to think that we are needed.  If we don’t respond to the call for help or funding or prayers, who will?  But the truth, as shown in this Psalm, is that God does not need our sacrifices, or service.  He has everything covered.  He has no need of our service, our efforts or our money.  But God goes on to say in this Psalm that this does not mean we should not do these things!  Far from it, God calls us to give, and serve.  The key is our attitude to such things.  We do these things from a thankful heart.  We are giving back to God a little of what he has given us our of our thankfulness for what He has done for us.  It is not because we think he needs our efforts.  God gives us these opportunities to serve Him for our benefit as a method to say thank you and express our love for Him.  Let us not be slow to take up the opportunity today when it arises.

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Rewards

Romans 14 (verses 10 and 12) tell us that “we will all stand before the judgement seat of God…So then each of us will give an account of himself to God”.  Everyone will one day come face to face with God in order to give account for their lives.  For those who have never loved Jesus in this life, it must be a frightening prospect.  Christians however will also take part in this judgement.  Our salvation is not at stake, but God will judge us for how we used our lives.  The Bible speaks often of rewards in Heaven, given on account of how well we used this life.  We will not all be equal in Heaven, in fact our experience of Heaven will be a direct consequence of how we invested ourselves in God’s Kingdom in this life.  In the light of this, how then should we live?  The Bible does not lay down specifics.  There is no list of things that result in reward, and a corresponding list that would loose such benefits.  This is because it is often not so much what we do, as why we do it.  When seeing some people praying in public to show how good they were, Jesus told the people “Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward”.  That is they got their public recognition, God isn’t going to congratulate them for such self-seeking.  It is not only what we do, but why we do it that is important.  Let us ask God to show us what He would have us do each day, and let us also ask Him to give us a pure heart while doing so.

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