Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Words of Life -- Lovely Little Tidbits to Ponder Straight from the Mouth of Jesus

Today's Reading:
  • Luke 6:39 - 7:10

Luke 6:39 - 7:10
Jesus gives us quite a bit to ponder in these few verses of Luke.  It's a hodgepodge of great verses to evaluate our lives against, so I'm just going to address these lovely little tidbits separately. 
39  Can one blind person lead another?  Won't they both fall into a ditch?
It is a great thing when a person manages to find faith and salvation with another new Christian.  But it is also important that we find a seasoned teacher to guide us along on our journey.

40  Students are not greater than their teacher.  But the student who is fully trained will become like the teacher.
Even though we need a teacher at first, we can study so that we can be trained to help others.  I started this blog with the intention of becoming trained so that I didn't feel so clueless about my faith.  Along the way I am learning so much that I feel confident enough to help others in some situations.  I still have so much more learning to go, and no one can ever know everything there is to know about the bible because new things are revealed each time you read it -- even in verses you've previously read over and over.  Regardless, I love that I am able to apply the bible to my everyday life, and at least point others to sections of the bible that are pertinent to their questions and/or struggles.  If my faith has opened up to me so much in such a short time, I can't imagine what it will be like when I've studied the entire bible through for the first time!
41  How can you think of saying, 'Friend, let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,' when you can't see past the log in your own eye?  Hypocrite!  First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend's eye.
 What is interesting to me about this verse is that Jesus doesn't say that we can't help others remove sins in their lives.  But he is saying that we will be unable to do so if we can't deal with our own problems first.  This reminds me of the post I wrote a few days ago about the dangerous "holier than thou" mentality.

45  A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart.  What you say flows from what is in your heart.
I've seen a lot of references to how your words can bring life or death.  I believe that a big part of this is because the words that come out of your mouth reflect what is in your heart.  If your heart is filled with hatred, anger, despair, lies, revenge, faithlessness, etc -- then the words you speak simply reflect what is already there.  You have death in your heart, and therefore it is death that comes out of your mouth.  If you speak hope, love, faith, fellowship, friendship, compassion, understanding, etc -- then you have life in your heart, and the words of life will come out of your mouth. 

But what if we have a good heart, yet still say some bad things?  We all say things we don't mean at some point or another, but when something we think we don't mean comes out of our mouth, we need to truly our heart to see why that thought lingered there in the first place, and why it was so easily released from our mouth.  I don't think we are judged for any thought that comes through our head, but instead judged on those thoughts we act upon.  We are told in more than one place that it is better to cut off a sinful part of the body than for us to let that part sin.  That includes our tongue.  I believe sin is in our actions and in the things we say.  So just because we stifle a thought we know shouldn't be there doesn't mean we are evil.  It just means that we are human in nature, and there is always room for us to improve ourselves to become more Christlike.  

What if a person has an evil heart, but manages to fool the people with his words?  The words that come out of our mouths reveal the person's nature to man.  Man can be fooled with words.  But the Lord knows our heart, so in the end these people will be judged for what is in their heart, not for what they have done or said on this earth.  It's hard for our human nature to sit back and see the unfairness.  But in the end the righteous will be celebrated, and all who fail to judge themselves before the Lord in this life will be judged.

49  Anyone who hears and doesn't obey is like a person who builds a house without a foundation.  When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins.
 I certainly don't want to collapse into a heap of ruins at the first storm that passes by.  That is why I am finally making a very detailed study of the bible, so that I can learn how to build my foundation.  Everything the Lord has to say to us is in this book, yet how many (including myself) have never read it through, let alone studied it thoroughly?  I thank the Lord for calling me to do this!

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