Tag Archives: doctrine

Truth or Lie? Give and it Will Be Given to You…

Last night, when I wrote the introduction to the Truth or Lie? category, in which I will address the importance of knowing God’s Word, and some of the lies that we have been taught, I already knew what my first topic would be.

“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
(Luke 6:38 NKJV)

 

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I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve been in a church service and heard this scripture quoted before tithes and offerings are collected. Nor can I tell you the number of times I’ve heard this same scripture verse quoted by televangelists as they urge their viewers to give to their ministry, if you want to receive a blessing. To be very honest with you, I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve felt pressured to give money that I don’t even have, in order to receive God’s blessing according to this scripture verse… that is, until I actually read the scripture in it’s entire context.

Let’s read this verse in the proper context, and see what Jesus was talking about when He told us to give and it will be given to you…

37 “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” 

39 And He spoke a parable to them: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch? 40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher. 41 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye? 42 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye.
(Luke 6:37-42 NKJV)

To help put this in context, you need to understand that this was part of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Look at this scripture passage again. Did you see any mention or reference to money in this scripture passage? Did you see any mention or reference to tithes and offerings here?

As you can see, in this scripture passage, Jesus was telling us not to judge or condemn anyone. Instead, He instructed, “… Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” 

My friends, this is important. Read that passage again. Do you see what Jesus was telling us to give? Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give (forgiveness, mercy) and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. Do you see it? As you give forgiveness, forgiveness will be given to you, my brothers and sisters, so much forgiveness will flow into your bosom that that it will run over… 

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Have you ever seen what happens when your sink or bathtub overflows? The water soaks everything it comes in contact with. The same happens when we forgive. As I forgive those who have harmed me, God pours His mercy and forgiveness into my bosom – a good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, so that it begins to spill over onto others that I come into contact with… You see, when I am merciful and forgiving, the same measure of mercy and forgiveness is measured back to me…

Brothers and sisters, do you see why it is so important to examine the scriptures for yourselves? There are so many men and women preaching and teaching false doctrine, and living lives contrary to the will of God, that many people are deceived, and I don’t want you to be deceived. Study the word of God. When you hear a sermon, take the time to prayerfully look up the scriptures and read them in context, so that you will not be deceived.

And now I make one more appeal, my dear brothers and sisters. Watch out for people who cause divisions and upset people’s faith by teaching things that are contrary to what you have been taught. Stay away from them. Such people are not serving Christ our Lord; they are serving their own personal interests. By smooth talk and glowing words they deceive innocent people.
(Romans 16:17-18 NLT)

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Daily Prompt: This Is Your Life

If you could read a book containing all that has happened and will ever happen in your life, would you? If you choose to read it, you must read it cover to cover.
Daily Prompt: This Is Your Life

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What a great prompt! What if I was to tell you that there really is a book written about me, you, and every other person who has ever existed, including those who don’t yet exist?

You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in Your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.


(Psalm 139:16 NLT)

Before anyone is even conceived in their mother’s womb, God already knows us, and has a plan for each life.

“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as My spokesman to the world.”

(Jeremiah 1:5 NLT)

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It really amazes me when I think about it. And for those of you who may think that this allows us no opportunity to make our own decisions, think again. You see, God in His Sovereignty has indeed created each and every man, woman and child with a specific purpose, tailor made just for that person. He has placed longings and desires within each one of us, and given us dreams and visions for what could be.

He has gifted each and every person that He has made so that they are equipped to accomplish all they were created to accomplish in their lives, but then, He throws something else in there, which has the potential to either fulfill or destroy our destiny, depending on what we choose to do with all that He has given us. You see, man, who was created in God’s image, has been given a free will, by God, so that we can choose our own destiny.

“Now wait a minute,” I can hear some of you saying. “You just said that He recorded every day of our life in His book, and that each moment of our life was laid out before a single day passed, so how does that account for free will?”

Thank you for asking. Just because God, who is omniscient (all-knowing), knows what you are going to do before you actually do it, does not mean that He has rigged you to do something. For example, have you ever watched a television show, and known what was going to happen, before it happened? Did your foreknowledge cause that to happen? Of course not.

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In the same way, God knows our hearts, better than we ourselves know them. In fact, before the foundation of the earth was laid, He knew us, and just like you knew what would happen on that television program, He knows every breath we will take, every move we will make, and every thought we will think. When He created us, He had already recorded our life in His book, because He had foreknowledge of what we would do, and what would be done to  us by others. Some of us will fulfill the destiny we were created for, while many others, will fulfill their own destiny, that they create for themselves, and because of His great love and respect for us, God will allow each one to choose which destiny they fulfill. 

Therefore, if you could read a book containing all that has happened and will ever happen in your life, would you? If you choose to read it, you must read it cover to cover. My answer is yes, because as I said before, there already is a book written about me, and in order for me to read that book, God would have to open it up for me and reveal it. I trust God, so if He wants me to know what will happen, He must have a good reason for it, and I will gladly read it.

Actually, there are times, when He reveals things that are about to happen to me, things that He’s recorded in His book about me, and then there are many other times, when I am completely surprised by what is happening to me or around me, and that’s okay. Whether I know in advance what is going to happen, or whether I’m taken completely by surprise, I find it comforting to know that God is never surprised or taken off guard by what is happening, because He had already seen it happen in His book about me.

In the end, when it’s all said and done, I’ve decided to fulfill the destiny that God created me to fulfill, rather than my own destiny, because there is abundant life in Him, and my plans just can’t measure up to His. My plans will eventually kill me. And just look at the plans He has for us:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

(Jeremiah 29:11 NLT)

As long as I stick with the plans that He has for me, even without reading the book He has written about me in advance, I know how it will end… 

And she lived happily ever after.

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Daily Prompt: Call Me Ishmael

Take the first sentence from your favorite book and make it the first sentence of your post.
Daily Prompt: Call Me Ishmael

As long as there has been God, there have been God chasers. ~ Tommy Tenney, “The God Chasers”

Christianity, in its purest form, is nothing more than seeing Jesus. ~ Max Lucado, “God Came Near”

Okay. I know I was instructed to take the first sentence from my favorite book and make it the first sentence of my post, but the truth is I have a lot of favorite books. Therefore, I looked through my collection of books and chose two (I couldn’t choose just one) of my favorite first sentences.
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Cover of "The God Chasers (Special Editio...
Cover of The God Chasers (Special Edition)

As long as there has been God, there have been God chasers. In fact, Christianity, in its purest form, is nothing more than seeing Jesus. So many people are searching for that one “thing” that one “person” to fill a void that has been gnawing away at their very souls. “There must be something more to life,” they reason, and yet they struggle to figure out what that “something more” might be.

Many people look to other people to lead them in their quest to find “something more,” and when other people fail them, they become disheartened. Because of this, some struggle with depression, while others may become cynical and bitter. Others may continue their quest for “something more” by turning to religion.

Now, when I say “religion,” I am speaking of just that. Religion is not only Christianity. Religion can be Hindu, Buddhism, Muslim, Mormonism, Judaism or any number of other religions, including Atheism. Sadly, religion cannot bring that “something more” into focus either. Again, as before, some will struggle with depression, and others will become cynical and bitter.

god-came-nearHowever, there are a few who will not be satisfied with depending on another person to lead them to “something more”. There are a few who will not settle for what religion has to offer. These are the people who will determine in their hearts that they must not stop until they have found the One, their reason for living. They cannot, will not stop until they find Him.

These people realize that He will not be found in rotes and rituals, so they don’t bother looking for Him there. They understand that it’s not enough to have what someone else has — they want NO they need to find Him, to see Him for themselves. You won’t find these people chasing after televangelists or gurus. You won’t find them doing the same things that other “religious” people do.

You may not find these people in “church” as you know it. In fact, you’re more likely to find these people in the bars and the prisons, and street corners, ministering to the homeless, the tired, the afflicted, the criminals and derelicts that everyone else has written off as worthless, because it was in these unlikely places that they found the God they were chasing after. It is in these places, that they see Jesus.

So, for those of you who have become disgruntled and discouraged, I have a word for you. Do you want to find GOD?  Do you want to see Jesus?  Do you really, really want this? If so, He’s easy to find. The Lord says to you today, “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13 NASB) 

Isn’t that awesome? I want everyone to understand this, because people and religion make finding God much harder than it is supposed to be. People and religion often times make finding God, and seeing Jesus impossible. That’s why it’s best to see what God has to say about it. He didn’t say you have to get your life straight first. He didn’t say you have to memorize and obey the 10 Commandments first. He didn’t say you have to stop drinking, smoking, swearing, and fornication first. (Mind you, He commands us to stop those things, and we will want to stop those things when we find Him) God simply said we will find Him when we search for Him with all of our heart. 

Jesus said pretty much the same thing, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8 NASB) Do you see? Jesus doesn’t ask us to jump through hoops. He doesn’t tell us to dress a certain way or follow a bunch of rules and regulations. He just says,  “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NASB

Friends, there is something more” out there, and His name is Jesus, and He wants you to find Him. There’s also a whole lot of charlatans, who claim that their way is the way to find Him, but don’t believe any of that bologna, because Jesus Himself said that He is the only way to the Father. If you want to find God… if you want to see Jesus, just seek Him with all of your heart, and you will find Him.

Many blessings to all of you, and I’m praying with all of my heart that you do find Him!

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers