God placed me in a situation this week that keeps coming back to haunt my mind. I heard a true story from an evangelist who was traveling with his family out of state and it was late at night (1:30 am) when his van broke down. While checking under the hood, he noticed 2 men wearing black hoodies staring at them from a dark color van as they slowly passed his breakdown. The van went only a short distance and stopped on the side of the road while the two men continued to stare. This filled the evangelist with all types of fearful and evil thoughts. However, when those two men approached him, they sympathized and helped the evangelist get to the nearest town to get the part needed to repair the broken van. The evangelist openly admitted his mind was on them being demons when in actually they came with angelic purpose. After a time of sharing Jesus with each other, they parted ways, each blessed by the encounter. Only God can orchestrate such divine appointments! Romans 11:33 (NIV), Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!
God has been busy reminding and showing me (through my own past experiences) how unproductive and dangerous it was to box my attitude toward others. I look back at those years of living with a boxed attitude and today can see the utter stupidity involved with that type of thinking. My box was made up of categories for each person that I met, smart / dumb, pretty / ugly, fat / skinny, popular / friendless, wealthy / homeless and my list of personal preference had no end. There was always a personal mold which I had created to be used for culling or accepting and the results would regulate just how much of contact and commitment I may or may not make available. God warns of this in Galatians 5:13 (NIV), You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.
I think I can better simplify my subject with question I’ve ask myself before; How many times have I failed at blessing others with the love of Jesus, through my inattention to His direction? Then, on the flip side, how many blessings have I missed, in missing those divine appointments God set up in advance for me? This boxed attitude of mine has kept Jesus at arm’s length for a lot of years and robbed me of a lot of joy, peace and love. I went through the motion, jumped through the Christian hoops, did what I thought the church expected of me only to discover I knew of Jesus but never knew Jesus. Jesus later revealed, as long as I carried this judgmental attitude and there is no way I could ever bear “good fruit”. The bible says, 2 Peter 1:20-21 (NIV), 20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. I don’t have it within me to not judge (pick and choose) those that I will invest my talents in. The ugly truth is, most of whom I would pick to associate with are the very one’s of whom I don’t fit their boxed attitude or mold! Ain’t life crazy!
This subject bothers me a lot, because I still have some of this petty junk that I deal with at times. I think worldly evolution, life lessons and simply being a lazy (untrained) self-centered human is what God is warning all of us against in Matthew 18:2-4 (NIV), 2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. A small child has few preconceived assumptions toward others and are much more trusting than adults. Most children find pleasure in their obedience to follow instruction and love as unconditional as a human possibly can. You see children example all the attributes of which God foreknows is within each of us adults.
Through my talking and working with God over the years, He gave me a scripture to humble and help me. 2 Peter 1:20-21 (NIV), 20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. My spiritual life is so much more important than my physical life in every way. My physical life (flesh) thrives on negativity and self-preservation which leads a Judgmental (boxed) attitude that God can’t use. The bible tells us in Hebrews 13:2 (NIV), Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. We just never know how far Jesus will take us when we are obedient with a kind word, a listening ear, a welcoming spirit and an open heart. Just as in Ephesians 4:2 (NIV), Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. And all of this is made possible when we live Luke 10:27 (NIV), He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.
I pray we all live out, Matthew 25:35-40 (ESV), 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you? 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me. Amen
HAVE A BLESSED WEEK BY BEING A BLESSING TO OTHERS!
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