Matthew 7:3-5 | Speck vs. Log

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (NIV)

If everyone who reads this verse has a log in their eyes, every brother (or sister I think it’s safe to add) wouldn’t that mean there were no real specks in eyes at all but just logs.  I wonder how many meanings we can come up with for this verse, but if I’m correct it is talking about the problems in our lives.  Don’t go out and judge someone for spending money unwisely if you spend unwisely, don’t tell your brother that they are saying stupid things when you know you yourself say stupid things, etc. First take care of your problems, or “clean your side of the street” first and than go and help your brother/sister clean their side of the street in a way that doesn’t belittle them but lifts them up.  I struggle with this every single day with a guy at work, he just does some things that I see as stupid and I constantly get on him about it, and I know I’m the same exact way and make the same exact mistakes, if not now I have in the past and so part of me whispers in my ear, “you’re just trying to help him not make the same mistake you made” but he’s human…..he’s going to make the same mistakes I make and that’s part of growing.  If you baby a person too much, they are never going to grow and learn how to live for themselves.  Parents do this kind of thing all the time, but a child will only learn if he is left to make mistakes himself and hopefully learn from them. Sometimes it’s a gamble because the kid will never learn and continue to mess up time and time again, but sometimes he does learn and he becomes all the stronger because of it.

Matthew 5:16 NIV | Let Your Light Shine

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Shine your light into the darkest corners of the school, workplace, etc. Let others see your good deeds and point them to Christ when they ask why you do them.  Go out of your way to help another person out and to lift others up in their troubles.  Jesus pulled Peter out of the water when his faith was wavering, I think we should be able to pull others out of their troubles as well. Pull them out of the storms that they are in.

Matthew 4:19-20 | Amazing

19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him.

In the ESV version, instead of “at once” it says “immediately”, just think about these two verses for a while. First of all, “fish for people” kind of sounds funny, what did Jesus want, for them to throw nets on people and catch them? But if you think about it, these guys lived and breathed fishing, this was their identity and profession, they were fishers, that’s pretty much all they probably knew.  So, using that analogy worked for them, they knew exactly what Jesus was asking them. But they didn’t know who Jesus was, he was just some stranger who happened to walk by and talk to them, and yet they IMMEDIATELY left their nets and followed Him. They didn’t say “ummmm we don’t know you, we’re not really interested in that.” or “let us think about it first and then we’ll let you know later if we want to follow you or not” they left at once.  They left everything that was comfortable to them, everything that they had known to follow a stranger.  They didn’t know where he was going to lead them, all they knew was that they were going to be “fishing for people”. How many people these days need to think about it, think about what it was going to do to their lives, how it was going to affect them selfishly, instead of just trusting God with their lives and going for it, giving up the comfortable for the uncomfortable….

RED ROCKS CHURCH | ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING

Another great sermon, this one goes through the Beatitudes.  If you have time or need a way to make your quiet times more enjoyable, look up sermons like this one and watch them, most sermons are at least 30 minutes long so you’ll get a quality quiet time in and it can open your heart to know what God may be trying to tell you.  I’ve been watching Red Rocks sermons lately for my quiet times, but you can check out any churches sermons. Enjoy!

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Q2P | Labels

> Who do you label? Why do we label people?

Honestly, we all label people. Some of the people could include friends, family, co-workers, bosses, and just plain old complete strangers.  The more I think about this question, the more labels I come up with for people and the sick feeling comes into my gut.  Sometimes I don’t give people a chance to even show themselves to me before I start labeling them, which I feel is the worst. Sometimes I’ve known the people for years and the labels I give them are either to keep me from going insane or to put them in a category I can better understand them. Labels like weirdos, nutters, special, fake, hypocrite, “they need me to treat them this way”, etc.  Now there are some good labels like Godly, man of God, awesome, best friend, etc. Those labels are given to the very best of the best though, not to the lowly we find in our paths every single day.  So, who do you label and what are those labels you give them? Are they good labels or bad labels?

As for the “Why” part of the question, I think I label others is, like I said above, to put them in categories.  Even more so, it’s to make me feel superior to certain people, like I am higher up than they are.  I mean more than they do, so I’ll label them like this or like that.

> If you had to put a label on me, what would it say?

> How are we labeled as Christians?

Often, as Christians, we only put on the label of “Christian” when we are at church or with others who we wish to look Godly in front of I believe.  If it’s convenient, then yeah….slap that sucker on and let’s get scripture memorizing, worship singing, etc. But when it’s not convenient, I’ll take it off and hope that no one knows that I’m a Christian so I can fly under the radar and not have to talk about my faith to anyone.  We want the good, but we don’t want to deal with the uncomfortableness of not being able to answer non-Christians questions or fight for our faith.  Can you imagine what would happen if the early Christians lived like a lot of us do? We wouldn’t be around, the message never would’ve reached our ears.

> What are some big negative labels used in the world?

((Some Verses To Check: 2 Corinthians 5:17, Isaiah 62:2, Judges 6, 2 Corinthians 12:9, and Jeremiah 29:11))