Posts Tagged: reward

Hero or Realist?

1 Peter 3:8To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; 9not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.

Older brother dies in war, younger rebellious brother inherits his dog–insert tears here. Brian, the kids and I went to see the movie Max today. The key transition for the main character: Was he a hero like his brother, or a realist like the man who let his brother die? The realist perspective (according to the bad guy in the movie, mind you) is that there are a lot of bad people (politicians) sending “wide eyed” boys off to war only to hand guns off to the very people that they sent you to fight. He is not wrong about the facts, but he is wrong about the final outcome, and the best response to evil in the world.

Who is the realist, the one who acknowledges that the world can be a harsh, unjust, selfish and crappy place or the one who knows that all have fallen and choses to rise above and bring others up by their example?

I have been wronged and I have wronged others. Does that excuse me to have the “if you can’t beat them, join them attitude”? No, what it does mean is that I have a choice. I have been angry this week, and nursing the anger at those who hurt Jonathan. I am not on autopilot Christianity! I am susceptible to question God’s justice in all of this.

I can choose to be a hero and love my enemies, or I can join the “realists” and be bitter, vengeful and settle for less than God’s best for me and others.

Father, remove this anger from me. Move my soul towards compassion for those who have harmed my son. May I forgive, because you have forgive me. May I be a hero of love and not a realist of hate. Amen

Keeping Secrets: Living for the pleasure of God not Man

Matthew 6:5 And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

What is just between God and I? Developing the sacred, in a world where it modeled day in and day out that everything is lived out in the open, can be difficult. I’m not sure that the Kardashians have much that isn’t public. Because of Jonathan’s death, I am getting the opportunity to share my faith a bit more publically. But, to truly value God and our relationship with him, there must be things that are shared only with him.

So why should I develop the sacred, even as I am being transparent with you as I walk through grief?

1. Am I looking to please God or man? (vs.1)
2. Where do I want my reward to come from? (vs. 6)
3. The enemy is unable to penetrate this bond! (Lord’s Prayer)

When the enemy comes to attack us, and he will, we stand firm because there is nothing that separates us from God’s love! When Satan offers earthly rewards they will seem like nothing, when he offers me food I can say the food I eat is to do the will of my father. When the enemy tries to stir up unforgiveness, I can state that I forgive because I am forgiven! I declare to you that is possible to know the will of the Father, just as Jesus did. Jesus was spelling it out in chapter 6 to us.

Pray like God’s voice and his will are the only that matters. Serve others like they are Christ before you. And know that heavenly treasures are far better than anything we could be given on earth. We develop a relationship with God in secret so that our focus is on him, and that he is a source, not man.

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