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The Question We Should Ask Ourselves –

Years ago when I was working at a juvenile prison for boys I learned the practical value of asking the right questions. A child psychologist said that if you want to teach boys you walk with them and ask them questions. The quality of the questions will influence the quality and quantity of the answers.  Clearly Socrates knew this secret. So I started walking with the inmates as often as possible and I saw results.

The question we must ask ourselves when we have not moved forward with God as well as in life.
The question we must ask ourselves when we have not moved forward with God as well as in life.

   (Girls apparently work better with          direct information but I haven’t                tested that out.)

    So let’s take a walk. Your life as a              believer is in the mud, or a state of         boredom.  You’ve been doing the             same thing for years. And you are not     closer to God – maybe farther away.         Years ago there was a question going       around.

“If God seems far away ask yourself who moved?”

Perhaps a better question would be, why have you not changed? The Christian religion is about change.  (If we presented Jesus as a change agent maybe we’d have fewer interested people.)

The secret of success is change

God said, “I am the Lord. I change not.” Malachi 3:6. What this means is, if you want to come into the presence of the Lord, you must change.  That process is given in the Bible.

2 Peter Chapter 1 presents a game plan for change.  And Peter, who lived through humiliating change, is the right person to encourage us, and give us a series of goals.

For this reason make every effort to add virtue to your faith; and to your virtue, knowledge; and to your knowledge, self-control; and to your self-control, patient endurance; and to your patient endurance, godliness; and to your godliness, brotherly kindness; and to your brotherly kindness, love. For if these things reside in you and abound, they ensure that you will neither be useless nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But the one who lacks these things is blind and shortsighted because he has forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. (MEV)

Faith, which God provided you at birth. Unto each is given a “measure of faith.”

  1. Virtue
  2. Knowledge
  3. Self-Control
  4. Patient Endurance
  5. Godliness
  6. Brotherly Kindness
  7. Love

God is not expecting us to do everything at once.  You start with faith, in the case of Christians, faith in the written word of God, which describes virtue, then knowledge then self-control.  How many of us start at self-control or knowledge but then we are ahead of the list. So many believers will ask a counselor or their pastor, or even themselves, “What does God want me to do?”

Here is a chance to pull out Peter’s list and apply the list to the problem. Is this an issue where you apply discipline or patience, are you being tested in your character or your concern for others, are you to step back and watch God do it, or enter into the situation? The question as you walk with God is always, not what would Jesus do, but what would Jesus have me do?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus guide us all in your plan for our life. We have so many tasks, so busy lives, so much to burden us we forget what we are all about. Gently remind us each day that we have God’s Holy Do List to guide us as we raise children and answer to our leaders and family. Help us also not to be hyper over the results.  We thank you for giving us a lifetime to prepare for the rest of our eternal journey, In the name of Yeshua. Amen.

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How to Handle Contentious People

You probably didn’t know the Bible had an appropriate passage about this type of person. You know them. You sit down with a group of friends and talk about your recent conversation with someone and she reminds you that she already had a previous talk with her. You say you had a nice trip to San Antonio and she spends 10 minutes telling how she lived there and was such a glorious addition to the community. You note that life has been better and she says, not a bit. Whatever you can do, she can do better or differently.

It is called contradiction which comes from two words, “contra”, against and “dict,” to speak. Contentious people want you to argue and fight. Dealing with contentious people is a test of one’s character and unfortunately you are being tested. Jesus had to contend with people like this.

Hebrews 12:3 For consider Him that endured such contradiction from sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds

Or how about this version:

Amplified Hebrews 12:3 Just think of Him Who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself [reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds.

Or this.

ERV Hebrews 12:3 Think about Jesus. He patiently endured the angry insults that sinful people were shouting at him. Think about him so that you won’t get discouraged and stop trying.

Please note that Jesus calls these people sinners and considering how they oppose you, you are not going to be the one who reaches them in your own strength. Next we note that Jesus did not speak against these folks. He endured them. That is another word for perseverance as noted in this passage.

Endurance is a virtue and one step in a process of gaining wisdom and holiness.

2 Peter 1:5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.

There are many occasions when our only response is to say nothing, and do nothing but endure. Since these people want to argue your refusal to argue puts them out of business.  No argument – no problem.

Personally I had this same situation and I stopped talking to this woman on the phone.  She sent some snarky emails calling me names, positive that those attacks would get me back into her battlefield, but I ignored them for a year. Now when she calls I occasionally answer, but not always.  I am simply not available to listen to her kvetching.

When Jesus was questioned by King Herod He said not a word.  Jesus knew, and perhaps Herod also knew, that his was illegitimate authority. Herod ascended to his throne by murdering his relatives, and just about anyone else he found in his way.

Jesus, and you, do not need to answer to wrong authority, or those who are picking a fight with you. Jesus did not answer and so can we.

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If you enjoy our articles here, please join the discussion by subscribing, and following us on Twitter @ImmaculateAssum and at Immaculate Assumptions on Facebook. Additional background material on the author and her writings can be found at AMAZON where you may purchase her e-book, Immaculate Assumptions: All You Heard about the Bible that Isn’t True.

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