Thursday, 27 February 2014

Why is family history so important to the Jews?

Matthew 1:2-26 and 1 Chronicles 9:39-44

This is a questions I have always wondered (and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one) why in several places in the scriptures there are so many verses and chapters about there ancestors. I understand a little bit about why its put in Matthew, So the Jews would know that Jesus Is the literal king of Israel descended from David, But I still had no idea why it was all over the old testament as well until recently when I learned a few things about Jewish culture.

Its only really in modern history that people have developed the mindset of life is what you make it, in many generations past who you where and what you were like was very influenced by who your family was. If you could prove you were from a certain family of people then that would immediately prestige in the community where you live. As a result many Jews would know a long way back into their family tree just from memory and any record of there family trees would be precious and very well kept. They would either be meticulously copied after several years or if you were rich enough then you would have it engraved in metal plates so that they would last a very long time. 

Partially because of this culture of being what you ancestors made you they had some great respect for their ancestors. This leads me onto a second reason why their family history was kept so carefully. Something called being baptised on behalf of the dead. I don't have the time or the space to finish this topic you guys know what to look forward to in my next blog but for those who are interested of have questions I'll give you a few scriptures to look at: 1 Peter 3:18-191 Corinthians 15:29 and John 11:25

Thursday, 20 February 2014

under the mask (dreams and desires)

1 Samuel 16:7

In the scriptures Christ often taught people not to take things at face value. With the widows might he taught his apostles that even the smallest act on the surface could be a great sign of love and obedience to God. On the other hand Christ continually talked with religious leaders (Pharisees and Sadducees) who on the surface were upright men before God but inwardly they were trying to catch his out and prove him to be a liar. "wolves in sheeps clothing"

What made me start thinking about this is a phrase I found which really made me stop and think.

"If you give a man a mask, he will show you his true face".

This really made me think; people are able to hide so much of what they think and who they are. They have dreams, desires and troubles that more often than no-one will ever see or know about for a whole host of reasons, most of which involve how they think the people around them will react. There is so much that we are unable to see that it's impossible for us to be able to judge one person from the next.

This is why I am so grateful that I have the lord looking out for me. I am in the same boat as anyone else in this, I have fears and things I hide from people, but I am very grateful that I know I have a Father in heaven who knows me perfectly and be there for me and all the dreams I'm too afraid to express.

Friday, 14 February 2014

And awayyyyyy we go (Commitment)

Matthew 8:18-22

Sometimes people just don't quite realise what they are getting themselves into.... I feel so sorry for this lady in pink. She looks absolutely petrified. I can only imagine what she is thinking right now.

I will be honest thought, I'm very impressed at the same time. I could not do something like this. My fear of being up high wouldn't even let me think about doing something like this. In short, well done for sticking too it lady in pink.
For those of you that have read the title or the scripture you will know where this blog post is headed. 
If you start something, finish it!

From the beginning of the scriptures, God has been giving rules for his children to live by. Theses commandments weren't always easy to live by, in fact in some cases they were incredibly difficult to live. In the law of Moses part of keeping the Sabbath holy was not working on each 7th day and also every 7th year as-well. Can you imagine how hard they would have been to work  the rest of the time to be able to get enough food to live for a whole year? Why did they live that way? Because they knew that they could trust God and they were committed to following him.

I can be just as difficult following God commandment for us today, sometimes we just don't want to "love our neighbours as ourselves" (Matthew 22:39) but that is the command God has given us for our benefit. As we are committed to following God as best we can we will receive the blessings he wants to give us but only if we are committed.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Testing 123 testing (using talents)

Mattew 25:12-29

jsdssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssThere are thousands of tests in the world that are all tryign to tell us somthign differnet. There are tests in school to tell you how well you are learning the subjects being taught. IQ tests that tell you how logical you are and how well you use that logic. Personality tests that tell you how you should react in certain situations and how you could change for the better. Are all these tests really needed in the world?

When Jesus christ was also on the earth he talked about tests and the outcome of tests as well. Its usually know as the parable of the talents. In this parable, a man needs travels into a far off country; so while he is gone he tests some of his servants to see how useful they are to him. He gives them each a different sum of money and expects them to have put in time and effort to gaining more (you can see this in verses 24-25 when the servant is apologising for only having the one talent he was given) 

In this parable the man is testing each of them to see what they are capable of and as a result he rewards each of them according to what he has done. He gives the same reward to both the servant that made him an extra 5 talents and to the servant that only made him 2 talents. He doesn't mind that one made more money than the other only that they both worked hard for him. That was the purpose of this test. However with the 3rd servant he is unhappy because he says in verse 26 (I will modernise it a little) "You knew I would come back and ask for more"

The kingdom of heaven is the same. God has given each of us talents, abilities and influence and he expects us to develop them and improve on them. otherwise "The number one rule to an amazing gift is: use it or lose it"

Are we developing what gifts we have or are we simply putting our heads in the sand and waiting for our master to come home?