Get up and Walk

There is more than one way to lead someone to Jesus. My way is not the only one, it is the way I am best at. Your way is not the only way, it is the way you are best at.

Yes, Jesus is the only way to Heaven, but there’s lots of paths to get to Jesus.

Matthew 9:2-8 and Mark 2:1-12 talk about the paralytic that was healed because his friends cared for him so much they lowered a couch through a tiled roof (not straw like most pictures depict). They must’ve been really determined friends and their faith led to the man being forgiven and healed.

The first thing to notice is that Jesus’ first concern was the man’s sins. He forgave them first. God is concerned with the state of our heart above all else. He wants us to be in Heaven with Him one day, but that won’t happen if our heart is corrupted by unrepentented sin. So Jesus forgave the man’s sin before healing Him to put the emphasis on the importance of how sin affects us.

Jesus did NOT say “I love you. It’s all ok. You are beautiful in God’s sight. Go be happy and joyous.” He said “You’re sins are forgiven. Now get up and walk.” And do you think that man repented from his sins? I’m willing to put money on it. If I was paralyzed (and many people believe it was because of his sins that he was paralyzed) and God incarnate walked by and said “You are forgiven, Go walk home.” you can be sure I wouldn’t ever go back to the sins that had paralyzed me. Repentance is one of the most important parts of a true faith. Without it, you are not following God. It’s like people have stopped realizing that it is something that is required if you actually want to follow Christ. Your sin is NOT ok. My sin is NOT ok. We must repent.

Then Jesus heard and felt people questioning His authority, so Jesus healed the paralyzed man and told him to walk away. But the sin had to be dealt with first.

The scribes and the Pharisees (you know, all the hypocrites and people who would later crucify God in the flesh.) talked amongst themselves saying “Who is this? Only God has the power to heal and forgive sins.” We look back at them and say they were dumb to not see who Jesus was, which they were, but it’s because they were so stuck in what they believed and what they were taught and what they FELT was right, that they didn’t let the Bible change their mind. Jesus was constantly quoting the Old Testament, He even pointed out which prophecies He fulfilled. The Pharisees refused to be open to the answers in the Bible that they maybe hadn’t found yet.

Now, I’m not saying I have the power of Jesus (No way) but I do have the power to voice my thoughts and beliefs and speak up for what God has shown me is right and wrong. God doesn’t talk directly to people anymore, He talks through them. I pray that He talks through me and my blog and believe He is doing just that. He gives me the verses to use, the passages to focus on and I am so thankful. I have learned so much from blogging for Him.

Flipping Tables

One of my favorite parts of the Bible: when Jesus got angry.

I’m actually going to start with  John 2:1-11, which is  Jesus turning water into wine. That was his first miracle. Also look at John 7:6.

An important point is that Jesus knew when He was supposed to do things. He said it wasn’t His time to perform his first miracle. That being said, I don’t really know why he did it if it wasn’t His time, but He must’ve had a reason.

Yay, now it’s time for flipping tables! Read John 2:12-25. It’s awesome. It makes me happy.

Jesus went and cleansed the Temple because a bunch of idiots were turning it into a business. Jesus walked in, saw all this happening, and made a whip.

He made a whip.

He didn’t walk through calmly saying “You really shouldn’t be doing this, friends, but if you feel like it’s the way you were born, or if you just love everyone, it’s ok.”

No. He went through driving people out with a whip and flipping their money changing tables over. He yelled at them to get out because His father’s temple was not a place of business. He had some really awesome righteous anger.

Jesus was not meek. He was not always gentle and kind. I do not know why people paint him that way. He took action, he was aggressive, he was physical..

One of the verses says something about zeal for his Father’s house consuming Him. The Greek word for zeal translates into jealousy. He was jealous for His father’s house because it was not what it was meant to be. It had become taken over by the world. It was no longer a place of reverence. People were changing money and selling doves.

This brings me to a concern about today’s mega churches. A lot of the times they have coffee shops, stores, something. They are selling things in their church, and I don’t know how they justify that.

I think it’s ok if it’s a fundraiser, but if people are getting paid to work it or it pays for a pastor’s salary or something, it’s a business and it’s wrong. It’s just plain disrespectful.

One more point to draw from His actions was that he spoke out against what they were doing wrong, not against them as people. He didn’t attack anyone personally. I strive to do that in my blog and I think I do a decent job of it. I speak out against sin without involving a certain people group as best I can.

If you look from Jesus CONVERTING water to wine and then CLEANSING the Temple right after, you see what He does in us. After we convert, we are cleansed, we are renewed. Jesus has wonderful power, let Him work it in you.

Fishers of Men and Warning Against Sin

Today we studied Matthew 4: 18-22

In summary, it’s Jesus calling on His first disciples, Simon Peter and his brother Andrew.

These two dudes were minding their own business, fishing with their dad, and Jesus comes along the shore and is like, “Hey guys, want to be fishers of men? Come with me. It’s gonna be epic.”

(I enjoy paraphrasing Jesus’ words. Don’t worry. I’m still respectful.)

Then they just got up and left. Their dad must’ve been so confused.

There must have been something about Jesus that made people want to stick with Him. Think about it. If you just walked to someone already doing something and said, “Hey, you should come follow me.” They would be so weirded out. And they wouldn’t move.

Jesus had to have had this feeling about Him that people knew they could trust, or at least the right people.

Which brings up another question. Why did Jesus need disciples? He could’ve done everything Himself.

Well, Jesus was human. Have you ever gone through a period of your life where you really don’t have any friends? Isn’t it lonely and depressing? Jesus felt sadness and loneliness too. I think part of the reason he had the disciples around Him was for companionship.

However, the biggest reason was probably so that they could continue His work after he died. They were His legacy. They were taught by Him personally so they could carry on after Jesus was gone.

We decided to finish up chapter 4 of Matthew which is about Jesus going through towns and healing people.

What I like about this is that Jesus didn’t keep the power He had to Himself. He helped those that came to Him. I think that’s important. Jesus went to the towns, but he specifically helped and healed those who went to Him. We have to seek His help if we want to get it. You can’t just sit back and wait for God to do all the work.

Also, he raised awareness for Himself and others by doing this. He started building a reputation for Himself.

Which brings up the last portion of Scripture I want to talk about. This isn’t part of my Bible study, but I came across it and it fit my situation perfectly.

Hebrews 3:12-13 AMP
12 [Therefore beware] brethren, take care, lest there be in any one of you a wicked, unbelieving heart [which refuses to cleave to, trust in, and rely on Him], leading you to turn away and desert or stand aloof from the living God.
13 But instead warn (admonish, urge, and encourage) one another every day, as long as it is called Today, that none of you may be hardened [into settled rebellion] by the deceitfulness of sin [by the fraudulence, the stratagem, the trickery which the delusive glamour of his sin may play on him].

And reading this makes me confused as to how fellow Christians can tell me I’m the wrong by speaking out against sin. Where is your Biblical proof that I am in the wrong? Because here is my Biblical proof that I am doing something right.

Getting Started

We’re at the point where Jesus starts preaching! **Excitement**

Today we read Matthew 4:12-17 and Mark 1:14-15. Jesus heads out to Galilee (Fulfilling the prophecy in Isaiah 9:1-2) and what’s the first thing He does?

He says, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”

I don’t really think that this is insignificant. The very first thing Jesus preaches about, proclaims, is repentance.

Hm. Maybe it’s important…..?

So, the definition of repentance: Real penitence; sorrow or deep contrition for sin, as an offense and to dishonor to God, a violation of His holy law.

Just think about it for a minute, really. The VERY first thing Jesus talks about is repentance.

One other thing is that Jesus proclaimed, not just preached. He said things boldly, without worrying whether or not people agreed with Him. He knew the important thing was speaking about what God wanted Him to speak about.

So, did I put enough emphasis on repentance?

The Midnight Society { part 2 }

A little while back I posted the first installment of the Midnight Society. I hope you enjoy this second part.

 

After our dance was over though, I didn’t talk to Jason Clyde again that night. I danced with two other perfect gentlemen, one named Justin, the other, Kameron. I saw Phoebe dance with several men including both Branden and Jason. I couldn’t help but wonder why Branden didn’t ask me to dance.

            Around 2 a.m. Branden stepped onto the musician’s stage to make an announcement.

“I believe this has been put off long enough. Those of you who were invited are probably wondering why.”

I felt Phoebe move to my side.

“Well I’m afraid I can’t quite tell you yet,” There were subtle groans from the few in the crowd that had been expecting answers, including me. “But, I can tell you this. As you know already, this is a society. An exclusive one. A dangerous one.” He paused long enough for me to whisper to Phoebe.

“What on earth is he talking about?” She just shrugged, still glued to the ruggedly handsome Branden.

“But if you’re up for it stick around. If you don’t have time, think I’m joking, or aren’t ready for some excitement and danger then I would ask you to leave.”

Someone scoffed in the back. “Are you serious?” A male voice called.

Branden gave him a cold stare. “Deadly.”

I heard shuffling. “Whatever. I’m out of here.” He left and was shortly followed by about a dozen other people, laughing about the ridiculousness of the party.

            Phoebe and I looked at each other. I had a feeling we were on the verge of something fantastic, life changing even. I wasn’t sure I was ready. Branden was a statue up there, the very picture of seriousness.

I saw the sparkle in Phoebe’s eye. She wasn’t leaving anytime soon.

So neither was I.

“Well that was over half our recruits. I guess that means my little speech was a success,” He gave the crowd a smile and there was chuckling from the members of the society, like it was an inside joke. I suppose it was.

“The rest of you will report here tomorrow evening at seven for initiation. Goodnight ladies and gentlemen,” And quick as that he was ascending the stairs.

“I guess that’s our cue to leave,” I said. Phoebe nodded, but she couldn’t take her eyes off the mysterious figure of Branden Gates. I pulled her out the door and to her car. We chatted about the guys we had danced with, the dresses the other girls wore, and we pondered what was so dangerous about the Society I think we had just joined.

I’m not positive I was ready to find out.

The Midnight Society

Here’s a glimpse into one of the many projects I’m working on. It’s really just a concept, not too much more than what I’ve posted. If you’ll kindly look past the grammatical errors and awkward sentences, that would be fantastic. It’s just a rough draft. But please, please, let me know if you like it and want to read more 🙂

 

“Floor-length gowns and four inch heels were not my style. But what else do you wear to a mysterious midnight gala that was by invitation only. We were almost to the antique mansion, and my best friend Phoebe and I could hear the classical music. I touched her arm.

“Are you ready for this? Because, this is super weird. Seriously, think about it. What if we get involved in some sort of criminal activity or something?”

“Lyric, this is the chance of a lifetime. I can smell the adventure. Now come on. We can only take fashionably late so far.” She grabbed my hand and dragged a stumbling me to front door.

            A guy, probably around twenty years old and wearing a sharp looking tux, was at the front door.

“Invitations.” Was the only word that man ever said to us. It wasn’t even a question. It was a demand. We handed the small cardstock squares with fancy calligraphy to him. He simply nodded politely and opened the door for us.

And that was the last time I ever saw him.

            I think it was Vivaldi wafting through the air, but I’m not positive of anything about that night. Everyone looked perfectly comfortable there, probably around fifty people. Young men in suits and women in ball gowns floated effortlessly around the room. I wondered if any of them had been invited the way Phoebe and I were.

            I gently touched my blonde hair, hoping the French twist I had worked so hard on would stay.

“Come on, there’s Branden,” Phoebe led me to the handsome man who had given us the invitations.

“You made it,” He observed politely. I didn’t even know what to say, but Phoebe was already taking charge.

“Did you think we would pass up the opportunity to attend a gala hosted by Pacific University’s elite?”

“Touché,” Branden gave Phoebe a half smile. “Well, girls, mingle, eat, and dance. Enjoy yourself.”

He walked off before I could ask why we had been invited.

            Phoebe turned to me, positively giddy.

“Oh my gosh, I handled that ridiculously well. Did you see his face? I was so cool, too, it was just like BAM response!”

I tried to quiet her down, but I couldn’t help but laugh. “Ok, ok, I get it. Now shall we mingle?”

“We shall.” And it was all I could do to keep up with those strappy red heels of hers.

            She was a sight to behold, completely at home in her attractively cut red dress, and her elegant hair-do. Her alluring smile caught every male’s attention.

Me? I’m afraid I’m just slightly more awkward in social situations. I wouldn’t go so far as to say outcast, or wallflower, but small talk has never been my strong suit.

            There was a single person besides Phoebe there that I knew. A girl named Kira Drake. I had my writing class with her. She was friendly and we talked a second about our creative writing assignment due on Friday. One thing about college is that there was always something due, even worse than high school. Seriously, it kept you on your toes.

            A waltz started about half an hour in.

“May I have this dance?” I turned to my right to see where the voice was coming from. A guy, around my age, possibly older, was holding out his hand, peering at me with piercing eyes. For some reason he reminded me of old black and white movies; the tux, gray eyes, black hair combed neatly in an old fashioned way.

“I’m afraid I don’t know how to waltz,” I apologized, hoping he would take it as a no. Instead he took my hand and led me to the dance floor.

“Nonsense. I’ll teach you.”

“Oh, um, okay.” I tripped after him. He led me in a simple 1-2-3 pattern that became natural quicker than I had imagined it would.

            “My name’s Lyr-“

“Lyric Anastasia Romanoff. I know.”

I blinked at him, but I realized he must be a member of the party that invited us. “That leaves me at a bit of a disadvantage. You know my name, but I don’t know yours.”

“Jason. Jason Clyde.”

“Well it’s nice to meet you Jason,” I remarked. He gave me a quick smile.

“It’s nice to meet you too.”

Were we flirting? I’m 76% positive we were flirting. “

Tom, Becky, and Huck

Since y’all liked my Mad Hatter post, here’s more.

“Tom Sawyer was a lot of things, unconfident not being one of those things. The boy walked with his shoulders back and his head up. The lanky sixteen year old was always dirty. His dingy, olive green hoodie was covered in dirt stains and something that resembled blood on the elbow. The cuffs of the sleeves were stretched out and torn, frayed at every edge they could find.

He had sun-lightened golden brown hair and a permanently freckled face. There was always some amount of mischief to be found in those sparkling blue eyes of his. His grin was easy and frequent, though not to be trusted in the slightest. His faint southern accent made him practically irresistible to the majority of the girls in school. But he only had eyes for Becky Thatcher.

Becky was the kind of a person that made you stop and stare. Her bright blue eyes almost matched her boyfriend’s. All the girls were jealous of her naturally honey-blonde hair that always managed to look perfect. And she had that vintage style that they wished they could pull off like Becky could.

Her laugh was like sun-beams through dark clouds on a rainy day. She really was the sweetest thing and no one was quite sure why she stayed with loud, disrespectful Tom. Some say she brought out the best in him, and that he’s very gentlemanly to her alone. But it remained an enigma the student population.

Then there was the classic third-wheel friend; Huckleberry Finn. Rumors said his dad was a drunk and his mom left before he could remember much of her. But that didn’t seem to put a damper on Huck’s life. He was always laughing boisterously, his grin even more present than Tom’s. He went barefoot whenever possible, not a sight anyone really wanted to see. His favorite clothing was overalls… and nothing else as far as anyone could tell. His hair was a little darker than Tom’s, and his face had less freckles, but they looked very similar, with the straight nose and strong chin.

Huck was one of those friends who could make anything into a dirty joke, but chose his moments carefully, not wanting to overuse vulgarity. There were very few girls genuinely interested in Huck, but the few who had had been sorely disappointed. The fifteen-year-old was still convinced that girls had cooties. His weekends were spent hunting and fishing and every type of outdoor activity that boys dreamed of.

The trio was interesting to observe, with Becky there to balance out the boys. But they were nonetheless entertaining and loved by many.”

Again, let me know if you enjoyed this 🙂