What and Who is FIRST 2018-54

What/Who is First  2018-54

We, or most of us, have what is called “living rooms” in our homes! A fact!  I would say that many of us have “dens, kitchens, basement rooms” also. Some people hold dear or reserve the living room as a special place for visitors to sit and mingle with or socialize. It could then be called a “visiting room”, instead of a living room.

Some of us, could say our Lord God is good or an excellent choice for the visiting room in our home. This is where we could invite God to visit us on our terms, perhaps.  If we are any way religious, we could then go on Sunday and visit Him at the church, or visit him during devotional times there, but we do not live with Him on a regular basis, otherwise.

We do not hold God or Jesus Christ FIRST in our lives, but instead hold God just a little close, “in the vicinity”, maybe in the visiting room, but not FIRST.

Do we feel that we do not have time for God, other than, perhaps, the 1 to 2 hours spent on Sunday at church?  And, that is, if we do give Him time then, maybe we have a soccer game that is more important that day, instead? Do we then have a lack of commitment to placing God FIRST in our lives??

Therefore, God and Jesus are not that important for us and we prioritize other things that are more important in our lives, than Them.  Not untypical, somewhat of a fact for many of us.

Being a disciple of Jesus Christ, involves putting Him and God, again, FIRST in our lives. This is NOT easy, but is important. This was asked by Jesus for us to do so, many times as written in the Scriptures.

Throughout scripture, Jesus mentions “FIRST” and nothing less than FIRST is where He belongs in our lives. NOT EASY, because we, and I too, take two steps forward and one backward in our journey of life in getting closer to Jesus or God.

It is easy to call myself a Christian, but much harder to live the life as a disciple of Jesus Christ and to also warrant the title of being a Christian. Could we start taking three steps forward, instead of just two and challenge ourselves to take more and more to become a better disciple and Christian?

I would think so, and I would also think that God would like that to happen. Too many excuses, too many outside influences and things that pull us toward them and not toward Them.  In this modern world we live in things are different than what they were before. Before what!? Before HiDef- TV’s, IPads, PC’s, X-Boxes, Smart Phones, and all the rest of the electronic and Hi-Tech items that now control us in our everyday life. Perhaps they have become our gods to replace the one God of the Universe!????????

 

Peace,
Den Betts            Email:    Bettsden@gmail.com    Blog Site:  thebettsden.com

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Hypocrisy Rules at Times 2018-40

Hypocrisy Rules at Times  2018-40

How many “religious people” have used their faith beliefs as a way to criticize the actions of others?

When you look at what is said by them and compare it with what their faith truly states as a guide, sometimes they conflict. IT comes across as a total different thing and makes that person or group sound very hypocritical.

To me, it makes me wonder if that faith or religious group, in general, is really something to follow or use as a belief system. People or groups that say or even believe one thing and do another, discredit their faith.  Or, they believe in what they say and the faith does too, which is different, but maybe just as bad.

Doing so, turns some people off from that group, rightly so.  It makes an opposite feeling of “how to win friends and influence people” and instead a negative feeling about them occurs.

Being a Centrist (or calling myself one) I try to take a middle ground on what I say at times, and even what I believe in certain subjects.  This is not a good thing to do though.

Hypocrites upset me! They make me think or rethink what I have as an opinion about them. How can a Christian, religious person be so judgmental and unloving towards their fellow man and claim to be a follower of Jesus Christ who touted love for all?

Using Scripture of the Bible and drawing certain phrases from the Bible as weapons in a discussion is an example of hypocrisy; sort of…

I look at the New Testament of the Bible as a guide to the teachings of Jesus, and the Old Testament as stories of the Hebrew people to learn from ln the process. I try not to use any one passage or story to use AGAINST people or their actions, but to use the statement of Jesus as an overall way to make a point in a discussion. I believe there is a difference.

People should NOT throw rocks who themselves live in glass houses, is a great rule to follow. Unless you are perfect in your ways (and nobody is) we should NOT try to come across as better than others and passing judgement on them.

Yet, it is TOO easy to cross the line and come across as a hypocrite.  Too Bad; SAD!!

Peace,

Den Betts                   bettsden@gmail.com    or follow at-  thebettsden.com   

Spiritual Growth 2018-09

Spiritual Growth    2018-

Ever wonder what it would take, or more importantly, what you could do to achieve anything like Spiritual Growth in your life? No, well, consider this anyhow. Yes, then also, read on!

Maybe you are wondering what action you could do, to enhance any one thing, to achieve more of a closer relationship with God.

There are things like doing meditation with prayer, that could or could not help. Finding a church that suits you is another thought, but it may not work for you either.  Seeking someone to council you is another, but then again, it just may not work.

What would work? There are varied things to consider, but I might make this suggestion, which is a simple (not much of a cost either) thing to consider.  It COULD, no WILL, involve something from you, namely — YOUR TIME!  And, not that much of it, I might add, and even that will be up to you to control. You can put as much time into this as you desire.

So, what is it!  Taking a Bible (any version) and reflecting on the meaning of Scriptures therein, and therefore, it will be like using the Word of God as a mirror to reflect back the truth of Scripture on our actions, decisions and events of our daily lives.  Hmmm, interesting to state…..

Just like exercise is somewhat of a pain and takes up our valuable time, the reading of Scripture requires us to contemplate, and meditate on the Words written. There ARE guides to help us untangle the mysteries and power of God’s inspired Words, such as study guides, Bible primers, devotional books and others, that will enable us to understand the uncertain aspects that are written.

Reflection on Scripture might, just might, raise awareness of the Spiritual benefits and motivate us to adjust our daily routines to continue to do this reflection.  In the process, Spiritual Growth can be the ultimate benefit.

I feel there is NOTHING matters more to us, than time spent on God’s Word for achieving Spiritual Growth. The going to church, service activities, small group meetings, etc, ARE important overall, but, reading Scripture beats all.

We can say we are not religious, but instead, Spiritual!  As a statement that sounds neat or good. It also sounds terrific maybe, but just saying it does not mean anything.  Actions speak louder than words.

A simple action, that has minimal cost other than our time, is the main way of expressing our commitment to God. Starting to read just a verse daily from the Bible and contemplating its meaning, is a large, very large, beginning to Spiritual Growth.

I invite you to begin anew with your thoughts about God and His son, Jesus Christ. Allow them into your life, absorb what is said and become one that God looks at with favor.

Take the time and quit using time involvement as an excuse not to increase your Spiritual Growth with God.

Peace,
Den Betts                            bettsden@gmail.com

Was Jesus a Good Christian? 2017-39

                                                   Was Jesus a Good Christian?  2017-39

Of course not!  He was of the Jewish heritage and most likely WAS a good Jew for his time. That is to be expected, BUT the Jewish leaders did not think so.  They connived with each other, and baited him to expose his thoughts about the Hebrew religion.  They persevered and managed to trap him into a situation where they could take Him to the Roman authorities to be found guilty of a charge they wanted to make against Him.

Jesus was a Rabbi and, as such, was a teacher of the Hebrew Scripture. He KNEW the past writers of this religion and could bring up passages that made His sermons standout. 

I do not know what a “Good Christian” today would be. Who decides? Who dictates to those around them that someone is a good this or that?  If that happens, then those people are being judgmental and that says something about them and not the one they judge.

Being able to quote Scripture at moment’s notice, does not make you a good Christian. Knowing the stories of the Bible does not make you one either.  It shows that you have a great memory at least, but not necessarily a great pious person. 

I would think it takes effort on one’s part to LIVE the life of what Jesus would want you to do, and using his teachings, as a guide to life. It is HARD to live a life like that of someone (Jesus) who was practically perfect. OK, some would say absolutely perfect, but I am sure he had some faults not reported in Scripture.

To strive for perfection or at least betterment of self would be a great goal. To NOT be discouraged in the process is probably a good reality, but the important thing is to try.

Den Betts

The Message  2017-10

            It is far to easy for  people to push religion onto others. Many do and the message is lost to those that can or need the inspiration that the Gospel can give.  Some look at others and do judge and feel they MUST proclaim something to those people, whereas giving information like the Gospels and the story of Jesus is much better done in a loving and caring manner.   

 

                                                            The Message  2017-10

What is objectionable, is not the sharing of the Gospel, but instead the mode or spirit in which it is shared. Do NOT condemn the sinner or judge the unbeliever- Jesus did not do that.

Proclaim the message in a loving manner, to people who need both kindness and truth. It is the goodness of God that leads people to repentance, and it is the truth that sets them free.        

Den Betts