At times it is easy for many to fall into the habit of being racist or discriminating against others.
Not many of us would like to admit it. But in our quieter moments we might think “certain things” about “certain groups” of people.
I have three things that I try to remember if I am ever tempted to fall into wrong thinking patterns about others just because they are different to me.
- Every person is made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26)
- God knit them together in their mothers womb (Psalms 139:13-14)
- Jesus came and died on the cross for them (Romans 5:8)
When you keep these three things in mind, you quickly realise how important each and every person on this earth is to God. It also helps you to see people a whole lot differently.
The Bible says in Romans 12:18 that we should do our best to live at peace with everyone. It says that as much as it depends on us we should try to do it.
One thing I have found over the years is that sometimes people are just not going to like you or I. It doesn’t matter what we do, they will just not like us. Sometimes we may have unknowingly done something that has offended them or sometimes we might not have done something they think we should of. There can be many reasons for people not liking us. Because of this they chose not to be nice towards us or ignore us all together.
This reminds me of a situation at work years ago. One lady just didn’t seem to like me and no matter what I did she was just cold towards me. At first I thought oh well that is just how it is and left it at that. Then I remembered the words of Romans 12. It made me think maybe I had done something to offend her without knowing.
Becasue it was in a work situation and it was effecting other people too, I decided to do something about it. I couldn’t speak to her openly so I sent her an email. I explained that she seemed short towards me and it was effecting our work relationship. I then offered an apology in case I had unknowingly offended her and I hoped we could get on better in future.
Within a few minutes of sending the email she came around and spoke to me. After talking we found it was a simple thing that I said which she took out of context. After a short talk the problem was sorted and we had a good working relationship from then on.
Now this is just one situation where I could have just ingored and hoped it would go away. However, once reading Romans 12 I knew there might have been something I had done wrong and perhaps I could sort it out. As much as it depended on me, I tried to make peace with the lady. Of course she could have just ignored the email and things could have gone on the same, that would have been her choice. However, I would have played my part in trying to live at peace with her.
How about you? Is there someone in your life that you could apply Romans 12:18 to? Is there someone you could go and talk to so you can live more peacefully together?
My house is all quiet. This is because my wife and two girls have just headed off down Great Eastern Highway for a Perth trip. They will be gone for four days. They are off to see Grandma, Grandpa, Nanna, some other homeschool friends. They will also be doing a big shop up and going to the movies etc. I am sure they will have a great time.
For me it is very weird to be in a quiet house. Being a homeschool family and my studying externally at home, we are together pretty much 24/7. There is always something going on that one or more of us are involved in and we are always within coo-wee (a shout) of each other.
I guess it will be a good chance for me to have a break and catch up on some lectures and assignments? Whatever I do, it sure is going to be strange without my girls around all the time.
One of the things I am happy about is that in an ever changing and uncertain world, we have certainty and direction from God’s unchanging Word in the Bible.
Every day we hear news stories that tells us about different foods that are good for us. Then the next day on another channel they are suddenly cancer causing and should be avoided at all costs. We also hear of murders, home invasions, old people being mugged for their pension money, terrorist attacks, wars, genocide. Then add to that the global catastrophies that threaten our very existance on this planet. Global warming, rising water levels, droughts, floods, famines, earthquakes, financial markets in meltdown, retirement savings lost. It would be easy to throw your hands up in the air and give up.
When I am tempted to be overwhelmed from all of the trouble and strife in the world I often turn to God’s unchanging Word for comfort. I simply sit, pray and read the Bible. It brings me a sense of peace and comfort. It helps me to remember that God is in control and that His plans will come to pass.
Yes things might not look good at times, but God is still sitting on the throne in heaven. He has a plan for this world, He has a plan for mankind and He has a plan for you and I. His plans will come to pass and when they do it will be far better and more amazing than any of us can really comprehend.
When you are tempted to be overcome by the stresses and struggles of this world please remember the words of Revelation 21:1-4. These words talk about a time when there is a new heaven and new earth and when God will dwell amongst His people. When this happens there will be no more pain, mourning, death or suffering.
Please be encouraged and look to God and His unchanging Word.
One of the things I am progressively noticing is the freedom I have in Christ. I no longer feel like a slave to many of the things that used to have a hold on me. I feel like these days I am living a lot freer and living lighter as I go about my daily life.
Three things in particular have helped me to experience this freedom.
1. Studying the Bible – John 8:31-32 tells us that if we hold on to Jesus’ teaching, we will be His disciples, that we will know the truth and this truth will set us free. I have found this to be true in my own life. The more I have read and studied the Bible, the more it has transformed and changed me. This change has brought a freedom and trust in God. I know my future will be ok, because the Bible tells me that God is control of the future.
2. Having Jesus in my life – John 8:36 says that if the Son sets you free, you shall be really free. Knowing Jesus and having Him in my life has given me freedom in so many areas. I no longer carry much of the guilt I had for the wrong things I have done. I no longer feel like I have to impress people by being the best at everything. I no longer wonder if I am good enough to go to heaven when I die. I know I have been forgiven, God accepts me as I am and I trust Jesus for my salvation. These things give me tremendous freedom.
3. Having the Holy Spirit in my life – The Bible tells us that when we come to Christ the Holy Spirit comes to be our helper and comforter (John 14:26, 15:26). Knowing the Holy Spirit has been my ever present helper and comforter has given me a lot of freedom. At any time of the day or night, I can just pray and ask for help, guidance, strength, wisdom or assurance and the Holy Spirit will answer.
For me, living free is about knowing Jesus personally, relying on the Holy Spirit and studying to Bible and allowing it to transform my heart and mind.
If you would like to know and experience this freedom, why not put your faith and trust in Jesus today? You can visit my “Peace with God” page to do this right now.
I was reading through some of the healing miracles that Jesus performed in the Gospels recently. It is interesting that many of Jesus’ miracles not only restored the person to health, but also restored them to community life.
Here are three examples:
1. A man with leprosy (Mark 1:40-44) – In this miracle Jesus healed the man with leprosy. Someone with leprosy was treated as a social outcast as they were considered unclean. When Jesus healed him He told him to go a be checked by the Priest. In the culture of the day the Priest could declare someone “clean” and then they could be restored to society.
2. A woman with bleeding (Mark 5:25-34) – This woman was also considered unclean due to her continual bleeding. When she heard Jesus was coming by she reached out and touched His cloak and was instantly healed. Like the man with leprosy her healing restored her to society as she was now considered clean.
3. A man born blind (John 9:1-12) – This man was considered an outsider to society as many thought that he or his parents had sinned and he was blind as a punishment. When Jesus healed him he said he was blind to show God’s work in his life and to teach about spiritual blindness. As a result of his healing his neighbours accepted him back in to society.
As we can see from these examples Jesus healed out of compassion for the person and to relieve their suffering. But He also healed them so they could become functioning members of the community they lived amongst and no longer outcastes.
I recently got asked the question “Why do we need the Holy Spirit, when I already have Jesus?” It was by someone who was a new Christian.
It was a good question and one that I asked myself a number of years ago. I decided to pull out some Scriptures and see what the Bible said in my answer.
The verses paint a broad picture and give us a number of reasons why we need the Holy Spirit in our lives.
1. Jesus promised to send another Comforter to help us (John 14:26)
2. He dwells in us as Christians (Romans 8:11)
3. He shows us when we are not living right (John 16:8-11)
4. He give us a new life in Christ (Titus 3:5)
5. He empowers us to tell others about Jesus’ love and salvation (Acts 1:8)
6. He helps us to pray and connect with God (Romans 8:26)
7. He makes us more Christ-like in the way we live (Romans 8:5-9)
8. He gives us gifts to serve God and serve others (1 Corinthians 12:4-11)
9. He encourages us in our faith (Acts 9:31)
10. He reveals the secret things of God to us (1 Corinthians 2:10-16)
These are only 10 of the reasons why we need the Holy Spirit in our lives. There are a lot more when you search through the Bible.