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Archive for February, 2014

Shame Shimei

II Samuel 16:5-8 NKJV

Now when King David came to Bahurim, there was a man from the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei the son of Gera, coming from there. He came out, cursing continuously as he came. And he threw stones at David and at all the servants of King David. And all the people and all the mighty men were on his right hand and on his left. Also Shimei said thus when he cursed: “Come out! Come out! You bloodthirsty man, you rogue! The Lord has brought upon you all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned; and the Lord has delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom your son. So now you are caught in your own evil, because you are a bloodthirsty man!”

Shimei should have been ashamed of himself. He confronted David and his men. He went all in. He went all the way off like a mad man.

He threw things.

He cursed.

He called David out.

Imagine what would happen if he had not went off like that. Just think if he had not chosen to go that route.

David was at a low point.

David had lost everything.

David had lost the kingdom.

David had lost the kingdom to his own son Absalom.

The last thing he needed was a Shimei to kick him while he was down. Yet, David exercised restraint. He didn’t take Shimei out. He didn’t allow his men to do so either.

II Samuel 16:11-12 NKJV

And David said to Abishai and all his servants, “See how my son who came from my own body seeks my life. How much more now may this Benjamite? Let him alone, and let him curse; for so the Lord has ordered him. It may be that the Lord will look on my affliction, and that the Lord will repay me with good for his cursing this day.”

What is your Christian response to what others do to you?

Get even?

Get upset?

Go off?

Let the shame be on them. You have to deal with what you have to deal with anyhow.

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. . . For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light – Luke 16:8

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light – Ephesians 5:8

We have to make an immediate decision.

I know that you were just expecting to some read some inspirational post on how to live as a Christian, skim a few pep-you-up verses or passages, then go on and live your life without any other bumps in the road.

That ain’t happening here.

You need to make a decision>  That’s right.   Just like all of the rest of us who profess the name of Jesus Christ as Lord and claim to have His Spirit alive and dwelling within them, you need to decide what you will do for today and from now on.

Will you live as a faithful child of God?

Or, will you live as one of “the sons of this world?”

You need to make a decision.

Are you going to live like the example in the Word or the example of the world?

Are you ready to live like the one who sacrificed everything to have a relationship with you, even while you were still a sinner?

Are you able to  walk as a child of light? If so, then come out of the darkness.  You do not even have to open your mouth.  Just take a step, and then another one and so on.  The rest will begin to come as you adjust to living among the “children of light.”

So what is it going to be?

You have to make a decision.

How will you live. . .?

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Do not wear yourself out to get rich;

do not trust your own cleverness.

– Proverbs 23:4 (NIV)

Riches are fleeting.

If you don’t believe me, just look at how this preceding verse is followed up.

Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone,

for they will surely sprout wings

and fly off to the sky like an eagle.

-Proverbs 23:5 (NIV)

The very money that you worked yourself into an early grave to obtain can “sprout wings” and “fly off.” That doesn’t sound like a solid and prudent investment of anyone’s time and other resources like energy and thought.  It sounds like a waste.  In fact, the Scriptures are not saying that wealth is a waste.  The words relate to the effort that other versions and translations of the Bible consider to be an effort to “overwork.” It gives a connotation and warning not to overwork to become rich.

The Book of Proverbs advises a different approach in chapter 13;  “. . . but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.”

Ask yourself which way you are going about obtaining wealth and riches.

Are you doing yourself a favor by gathering it “little by little?” Or, are you doing yourself a disservice by seeking to “overwork” to get there?

At the end of the day, the choice is yours.  You can work yourself into a frenzy and have little to show for it except for a bunch of stress and agony to go along with an ulcer or panic attacks of anxiety.  You can also see all of what you have saved to go away right out of your own hands and into the hands of another.

 A man to whom God has given riches and wealth and honor, so that he lacks nothing for himself of all he desires; yet God does not give him power to eat of it, but a foreigner consumes it. This is vanity, and it is an evil affliction.     – Ecclesiastes 6:2 (NKJV)

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5 And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” 6 So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. 7 But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.” – Luke 19:5-7 (NKJV)

Let’s just say it like this.  In the Gospel of Luke, we see Jesus engaging in some intimate interactions with some sinners.  Similarly, He goes to the house of Levi the tax collector and dines with other tax collectors and sinners.  What is surprising is not the invitation itself.  What is truly surprising is the response of people to the Lord’s invitation.

In Luke 19:6, Zacchaeus is said to have moved hastily “and received Him joyfully.” In Mark, Levi and his friends sat with Jesus and His followers.  This was in response to Levi (Matthew) following Jesus after His initial invitation to follow Him, leaving all of his tax table and other wares behind.  In Luke, it is reported that the tax collector hosted a large feast; “. . .  And there were a great number of tax collectors and others who sat down with them.” In fact, the Samaritan woman who encountered Jesus at the well went out and shared her experience with others.  And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.” Thus, Jesus’ invitation prompted these people to invite others to join them.  Therefore, the invitation inspired them to take action one way or another.

Others responded with despise for Jesus.  In fact, some exhibited such piety that they despised Jesus more than the tax collectors or others.  Pharisees could not get beyond His fellowship with such defiled people.  Other folks just couldn’t believe that a holy man could have fellowship with sinners.   That was definitely the other side of the coin when it came to such a public invitation.

So what do you think? Could you be part of the joyful reception of the Lord’s invitation to the outsiders and outcasts of your community and social order? Or,  do you feel inclined to indict others for their efforts to get down and dirty among the “least of these?”

Pray about it.

Think it over.

You never know what the Lord may bring your way today.

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