Saturday, April 21, 2012

Christian Dogs

    Today’s Reading:
  • Mark 7:24 - 8:10
  • Psalm 41:1 - 13
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Mark 7:24 - 8:10
I have always thought that I had every reason to be entitled to be a Christian.  No one could deny me that, no one could take it away from me, no one could say that I didn't belong.  While I've always thought that way, and until I started this bible study I didn't understand the significance of this.

Throughout the Old Testament, our faith was one that belonged solely to the Jewish people.  God became the Lord of the Abraham and all of his descendents.  I didn't really realize the significance of being a Christian of a non-Jewish line until I started reading the New Testament, where non-Jew Gentiles were referred to as dogs.

In chapter 7 a woman came to Jesus and asked her to cast an evil spirit out of her daughter.  Jesus replied with a question that, although it sounded harsh, I believe was instead meant to test her.  He said in verse 27:
First I should feed the children -- my own family, the Jews.  It isn't right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.
In verse 28 the woman replied:
That's true, Lord, but even the dogs under the table are allowed to eat the scraps from the children's plates.
To which Jesus replied in verse 29:
Good answer!  Now go home, for the demon has left your daughter.
What I get from this story is that the lines between the Jews and Gentiles began to blur as soon as Jesus entered the picture.  Sure, he tested the woman here, but only to see if she had faith in the Lord.  I know there will be more verses throughout the New Testament that I've yet to read where Jesus will affirm that we are all God's people, as long as we believe in Him and live to please the Lord.

I thank the Lord that He is here for all of us who believe in Him and receive the salvation of Jesus Christ.  I thank the Lord that being a Christian is not an exclusive club that requires a birthright to enter.  It is here, waiting, for all of us.  Thank you Lord!

Psalm 41:1 - 13 
This Psalm of David tells us that the Lord rescues those who are kind to the Lord.  That the Lord protects them, keeps them alive, gives them prosperity, rescues them from enemies, nurses them when they are sick and restores them to health.

I don't know about you, but those are all things I would love to have out of life.  Protection from the Lord, long life, prosperity and health are great promises in return for being kind to the poor.  But I know it's hard to let go of money in your pocket, let alone the hold that money has over your life.

My post yesterday talks about how money takes a hold on our lives and can come between us and the Lord.  While I'm not going to rehash that again today, I just want to point out that there is true blessing in helping others, in honoring the works of the Lord with what wealth we have.  I have posted about tithing and charity and I also remember writing about a parable in Matthew where we are told about servants to whom the Lord entrusted with a sum of money.  Those that multiplied it were given more, while the third was not.

I think by the time I'm done with this two year project I could probably write a book on the topic from all the mentions the Word of God gives us about money.  But the bottom line is, use your money to spread the blessings of the Lord unto others and you will be blessed in return. 

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