Tuesday, March 17, 2015

No need to lie (Acts 5:1-16, Matt 6:9-13, 1 Tim 6:10, Hebrews 12:1-2, Prov 16:18-19, Mark 12:29-31)

"May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun fall warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of His hand."

Irish Blessing
"If I have any worth, it is to live my life for God so as to teach these peoples; even though some of them still look down on me." - St. Patrick

I was just telling my husband it would be nice to go to Ireland so I can do a photo shoot.  I believe I am part Irish and Scottish.  I've loved all the photos I've seen so far of Ireland.  Today my husband dressed up like a giant leprechaun for work in the Nursing Home!  I just got the report that all the elderly folks totally loved it and had a good laugh.  Laughter is good medicine you know!  It's great to think of those who've gone before us like St. Patrick.  We have so many great believers in our today and history.

After I wrote my last post I got to thinking about "looking out for the needs of others."  I realized when I look out for others, I'm not worrying about myself.   "Am I going to succeed?  Will this headache ever go away? Is this a hot flash?"  I remember days of ministry in Nursing Homes that felt like sitting with the angels.  When I help others, I feel good.  I don't worry.  God is pleased and I sense it in my heart.  It's just like a great Father would do, allow us to be His hands and feet on earth. Then help us out when we need it.

29 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is:‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. ’ This is the first commandment. 31 And the second, like it, is this:‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.
(Mark 12:29-31 NKJV)

Acts Chapter 5

1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. 2 And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. 3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? 4 While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.
This was after the great revival with the disciples who had just received the Holy Spirit.  One of the gifts of the Spirit is discernment.  Some of us can sense when we are lied to.  The Spirit helps us understand the truth.  His gifts go to different individuals for different reasons.  For example, I have been near people who brought a cold chill over me.  The room was warm, the people were not it's a creepy feeling. So I stay away.  

In this story, Peter is confused as to why Ananias decided to lie about how much money he would bring to the group of Christians.  He said he sold everything, but really kept some of it.  Peter is mystified.  He didn't have to give it all.  So both Ananias and Sapphira lied to the disciples and the Holy Spirit.  Not such a great idea.  You can't lie to God, He already knows everything...  I've always loved this verse.  It's great at keeping my feet on the ground and my pride outta the way (most of the time). We all struggle with pride.

18 Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before a fall.
19 Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, Than to divide the spoil with the proud.
(Proverbs 16:18-19 NKJV)

5 Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things. 6 And the young men arose and wrapped him up, carried him out, and buried him.
7 Now it was about three hours later when his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 And Peter answered her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much?”
She said, “Yes, for so much.”
9 Then Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out. 10 Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. And the young men came in and found her dead, and carrying her out, buried her by her husband. 11 So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things.
It's so sad isn't it? In today's world it's the same.  We are afraid to admit we are afraid financially.  It's hard to let go of what we've worked so hard to save.  If Ananias and Sapphira had just told the truth no one would've been upset.  Being a Christian doesn't mean we don't get scared.  It doesn't mean we're standing on gold, it means we are standing on faith and hoping in the Lord.  Some Christians do have lots of money.  What a great thing to be able to help out others.  Even those who aren't wealthy financially can give and be rich in heart.  

1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
(Hebrews 12:1-2 NKJV) 

I was at an art store one day and a woman stood by me and touched everything on the rack making strange noises.  It was really weird, so I turned and said, "Hi do you need some help?  I'm an artist."  

Then she told me she had been diagnosed a second time with breast cancer and she wanted to do art to help stop the anxiety.  Ok here's the tears again...  I told her I'd pray for her.  She told me I didn't have to.  I told her it's free, I love to pray.  I will pray for you.  I did.  We can pray and God heals.  I never saw the woman again but I'm so glad I prayed.  We have so much to give to others.

10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
(1 Timothy 6:10 NKJV)
12 And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon's Porch. 13 Yet none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly. 14 And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, 15 so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them. 16 Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed.

When people need help they usually appreciate prayer.

Dear Heavenly Father, 
I pray nuclear weapons won't destroy the middle east.  Please bless us with wisdom as we elect a new president.  Help us to consider what we have learned in the past years and seek to improve things in the USA and for our allies.  Please be close to those in Ukraine and Europe, protect and bless them.    I thank You for Your light that shines brightest in darkness and the fun we can enjoy.  Comfort those who mourn, and renew a right spirit within us.

Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
10 Set the world right;
Do what's best––
  as above, so below.
11 Keep us alive with three square meals.
12 Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
13 Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You're in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You're ablaze in beauty!
  Yes. Yes. Yes.
(Matthew 6:9-13 Message)

In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen   

(Acts 5:1-16 NKJV)

Casting Crowns “Praise You in this storm (link)
I also pray for Mark the lead singer in Casting Crowns, he's heading home today from the hospital.  He's going to be fine, they caught the cancer early enough.

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