A few weeks ago, I was at church and the preacher was talking about various things we hear when reading the Bible and how we should, or would if we could, react to those messages.
This is what I hear and should do or would do if I could:
- I hear forgiveness. If I could, I would be more forgiving of others and show mercy to others.
- I hear love. If I could, I would be an example of that love and teach others about the love of God.
- I hear hope. If I could, I would rely on that hope and not suffer from anxiety attacks.
- I hear commitment. If I could, I would finish what I start and be dedicated to the task at hand.
- I hear freedom. If I could, I would live as a person free from sin and condemnation.
This message was part of a series and the basic points of the series are:
- Put your faith into action
- Don’t show partiality, love others, love equally, and love freely
- Freedom from legalism is freedom to love
- Don’t be a slave to sin, instead be a slave to righteousness
- Don’t be a salve to the law, instead be a slave to the word of God
In Matthew 18:15-35, Jesus teaches his followers about forgiveness. When I was reading this passage I thought of Dylan Roof.
The family members of those murdered by Dylan Roof, spoke of their hurt and the pain he caused by taking away their loved ones. However, they also offered forgiveness.
This is a great example of how forgiveness works in the real world. Dylan Roof was forgiven, but he will still pay for his crimes. He still owes a debt to society and will be punished.
Dylan Roof may never feel remorse for his actions, but the willingness to forgive still benefits the family members. It allows them to let go of the hate and anger they feel inside of them. The family members are free to heal, because of their willingness to forgive.
Forgiveness can be difficult, but it can also bring healing.
I can never get enough books. When I walk into a bookstore or a library, I feel a sense of wonder and awe. I am surrounded by so many stories, so much information, and so many things that I can learn. Where do I begin? How can I pick just one or two books?
The book salesman should be honored, because he brings to our attention, as a rule, the very books we need most and neglect most. (Confucius)
Finishing a book is like leaving a good friend. (William Feather)
Don’t judge a book by its thickness either. (Craig Bruce)
If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking. (Murakami)
Great books help you understand and they help you feel understood. (John Green)
There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them. (Joseph Brodsky)
Once you learn to read you will be forever free. (Frederick Douglas)
Worrying about what other people will think about us can rob us of our freedom to be a unique individual. Constantly comparing yourself to others will only lead to dissatisfaction. Allow yourself to be free from the superficial ideals of other people.
Last Sunday, I went to The Brook church. The pastor, Brian Mayfeild, is preaching a series on the book of Galatians. The first chapter of Galatians is a warning to believers. Paul tells the church to avoid those that preach Gospel distortion.
The main points of the sermon were:
- Distortion of the truth leads to perversion. Ultimately, perversion leads to death.
- In the Gospel, we find forgiveness and freedom.
- To reject the salvation Christ offers is to reject Christ.
I enjoyed the sermon, but I have a question.
There are so many denominations and cults that use the Bible, how can you be sure you are not being deceived? How do you know if you are being taught a distortion? These groups can look at the exact same scripture and come up with completely different interpretations. It all seems so confusing.
I used to work in the cubicle world; however, I am not suited for such an environment. It was a great job, good pay, and had excellent benefits.
Working in a cubicle made me feel like an animal trapped in a cage. I realized that I could not get over my depression and anxiety as long as I stayed in the cubicle world. I decided to resign from my job.
When I turned in my resignation, I felt like I escaped the cage. I felt freedom.