Tag Archives: bible

Wise and Foolish Builders

(24) “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. (25) The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. (26) But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. (27) The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” – Matthew 7:24-27

The lives Jesus is describing in this parable sound a lot like people in today’s world. On one side, you have the Christian that hears the teachings of Jesus and applies them to his/her life. On the other side, you have a Christian that hears Jesus’s teachings and doesn’t apply them to his/her life. These two people can look the same. They’ll have a job, families, and even go to the same church.

The Storm

The real differences will come to light when life happens. For example, we know that life isn’t easy and doesn’t always go very good for us. The storm that Jesus is referring to isn’t necessarily weather. He is talking about the storm of life which we refer to as “The hard times.” Your house gets tested when a storm comes through your town. Does it stay standing or is it blown away? How badly does it flood? What is the damage caused by the storm?

The Builders

In order to get through the storm of life, we need a good and solid foundation. In this parable, we are the builders. That makes us in charge of whether we have that solid foundation. A good builder isn’t going to build in an area that will flood out, nor will he build with materials that’ll be blown away. The builder builds with the plan to keep these situations from happening.

The Foundation

The best place to build our house is on a rock. Rocks have a good, solid foundation. House stay steady when built on cement. What would happen to your house if you built it on sand or dirt instead of laying out the cement first? Your house would flood at the slightest rain and little critters would find their way inside. No one wants that. Jesus is saying that He is the only firm foundation to get you through life. Jesus is your rock.

Many people don’t build their faith. They think that “Once saved always saved” is real or they just don’t think anything bad will happen to them. These people would rather go with the flow of their friends or rely more on their social status. Whatever the case, they’re the ones that’ll be shortsighted. They’re the ones that can’t make it through the hard times. The question that you’ll hear from them the most is, “Why is this happening to me?”

When everything is okay our foundations don’t matter. We don’t pray or rely on God for anything. Why should we when we are happy, fruitful, and living abundantly? We don’t “Need” Him for anything when we have what we want. However, we’re tested when a crisis happens in our lives. We should always make sure that our foundations are strong and able to withstand anything life throws our way. Your foundation is only as strong as your faith.

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New Cloth on an Old Coat/Wineskins

“(14) Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?” (15) Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast. (16) “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. – Matthew 9:14-16

This parable of Jesus is also found in Mark 2:21 and Luke 5:36. In it He explains to His disciples why He has come to earth.

Before Jesus came to die on the cross, rules and legality regulated faith. It was all about traditions and “Who was more faithful by what they did to show their faith.” Hence, the Pharisees. In 9:14, The disciples ask Jesus why everyone else is fasting, yet His disciples aren’t. His answer references a wedding feast. While the friends of the bridegroom are with him, they aren’t sad. It’s a time of celebration and fun. No one mourns during a celebration. Jesus is telling His disciples that they’re in a time of a wedding celebration with Jesus as the bridegroom.

Then He goes on to help them understand why He is with them. He didn’t come to o away with the law or change it (Matthew 5:17). Jesus came to fulfill the law and add something new. That “New” thing is His teachings (Or the Gospels). Even though there are prophecies ating back to hundreds of years before Him, no one knew the real reason He’d come. They were all under the impression that He’d be a warrior that would lead them all into battle. They weren’t counting on Jesus being a spiritual warrior that is kind, considerate, gentle, and forgiving and telling them to love their enemy (Matthew 5:44).

Jesus goes on to give another example in the next verse. Also found in Mark 2:22 and Luke 5:37-38

“Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” – Matthew 9:17

In this next example, Jesus refers to His purpose on earth to the wineskins of their day. In His time, people stored wine in the skins of goats. People sewed these skins together and resembled what we would call waterskins or canteens. As new wine would age, the wineskin would expand. If someone put new wine into the wineskin, it’d bust. This is another great way of explaining why He came to us.

Jesus came to offer us forgiveness of sins and eternal life with Him. He came to teach us what living a Godly lifestyle is like and to give us hope. Before we have a life in His arms we are nothing more than an old coat or a wineskin with aging wine inside. But when we are born again into a new life, God doesn’t patch up our old coat with new habits or “Good stuff.” He doesn’t mix “Good intentions” and “Holy Will” with the sins of our past. He gives us a brand new coat and a brand new wineskin to pour all of His love into.

His message will always be new because of the acceptance that must take place in everyone that receives it. If you accept Him, there will always be something new to learn, a new way to live, and a new way to serve. Each and every day that you breathe.

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The Upside Down Cross: What Does It Mean?

“(18) Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” (19) Jesus said this to show the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!” – John 21:18-19

We’re taught that the upside down cross is a sign of evil. Since Jesus died for our sins on the cross, wearing it upside down meant that you didn’t have the faith. It also meant that you weren’t thankful for the sacrifice made to be washed in the blood of the lamb. The people who taught me this fact were wrong.

The idea of the upside down cross comes from the legend of Peter’s death. For those who aren’t aware of who Peter is, he was one of Jesus’s disciples. Peter’s remembered for his fantastic way of speaking and for his fantastic way of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time (An example is in Matthew 16:21-23). Insert foot in mouth syndrome here. I’m sure we can all relate to him in that aspect. What you will hear about his death is that it’s an upside down crucifixion. Hence, the upside down cross.

Christian tradition tells us that he chose to be crucified upside down. The reason is that he didn’t feel worthy of dying the same way his savior had since he’d denied Jesus three times (Matthew 26:33-35). This is a very poetic way of dying as a martyr and from it I’ve found a lot of respect for Peter.

The problem is that scripture doesn’t tell us when, where, or how he died. Roman records tell of his death, as well as many letters and other writings of that time. However, I haven’t read these writings yet.

In this scripture (John 21:18-19), Jesus states that Peter dies with outstretched arms. It’s interpreted that he’d be crucified. He also says that someone else will dress him and lead him to a place he doesn’t want to go. This could have meant that the executors would tie him up and take him to his death. None of us want to die (even when dying for our faith).

According to The Story of the Twelve Apostles (A History Channel documentary), Peter’s told of his death once more by Jesus. The church warns Peter that he might be executed so he begins to leave Rome. As he’s leaving, Jesus tells Peter that He’s (Jesus) headed into Rome because He’ll be crucified again. People interpreted this as Peter being told of his own death. If we look back to John 21:18-19, Jesus reveals to Peter that he will die a martyr. If Peter’s time was coming and he was leaving Rome, it only makes sense that Jesus would come to Peter and tell him to turn back.

No matter what happened, Peter’s crucifixion happened upon his return to Rome. The documentary says that this is found in the writing, The Acts of Peter. You can find more information on that by clicking HERE.

Regardless of whether Peter’s death was an upside down crucifixion, the point of this symbol is still the same. There are people in this world who are not believers and sport the upside down cross as a way of denying God. Bands and singers put them in their music videos. Other famous people wear them around. It’s a way of showing how far from God they are, or to defile God in some way that suits their needs to be defiant. They’re misinformed of its meaning.

It means that you are not worthy of God. That you are below Him and His holiness. His mercy, forgiveness, and love. It doesn’t mean you are siding with evil. It means that you are just not worthy. It’s as simple as that. However, if you’ve been saved and follow Jesus I wouldn’t wear them around. While we aren’t on His level, He’s washed us in His blood.

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Was The Flood The First Rain?

I don’t know about you but I can’t imagine an earth where it doesn’t rain. Rain isn’t just beautiful (and sometimes destructive) its beneficial to this planet. It provides water, helps plants grow, and purifies the air. But according to the word of God, when did it start exactly? Let’s take a look at what scripture says.

“(5) Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, (6) but streams came up from the earth and watered the surface of the ground.” – Genesis 2:5-6

We know from this scripture that plant life needs two things to survive: Rain and someone to care for it. Because God hadn’t sent rain down and didn’t have anyone to tend to it, there wasn’t any plant life. God finished creating everything after the seventh day. Beautiful plants and trees decorated Eden.

Let’s talk about the garden for a moment. This was a beautiful and magical place full of peace and serenity. It’s where the very first life began and where it spiritually ended. We can assume that the mist watered the crops in Eden. Especially since Adam is there to tend to the plants. If we do think that the mist continued to water the plants, then we need to question when it stopped.

“(17)To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. (18) It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. (19) By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” – Genesis 3:17-19

Man would fight with the earth to produce the food we need to live. It’s safe to say that this could be when the rain began because it’d be a sign of faith. Adam would have needed to rely on God to give the water for their food to grow. Having the mist during our punishment wouldn’t make sense. It would be like God is saying, “You are on your own except for this mist that waters your plants for you.” I’m not God, but I think it would bring Him more glory if humans had to have faith that He would give.

“Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.” – Genesis 7:4

One of the reasons why this is a debate is because of the Silence. Scripture never mentions rain again until Chapter six when Noah’s story begins. Among the wicked, Noah was a righteous man of God. After God tells Noah His plan to destroy the earth with a mighty flood, Noah builds the ark for a hundred and twenty years.

“(11) In the six-hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. (12) And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.”

There are people who think that these “Floodgates” are symbolic to the first rain. This verse is the first time that Scripture ever mentions the skies opening and it raining. So The “Floodgates of Heaven” opening could mean a huge moment in biblical history where everyone looked up in alarm and saw something they’d never seen before. However, after the flood scripture states that the floodgates closed.

“Now the springs of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens had been closed, and the rain had stopped falling from the sky.” – Genesis 8:2

If this had been the first rain where the floodgates opened, then wouldn’t that mean closing them would cause it to never rain again? I also have a theory that if this were the first rain then it would bring more glory to God. An intriguing thought is that God would wait until mankind’s destruction for it to rain.

It makes sense for scripture to mention it since the bible show’s God’s glory. Of all these evil doings there is a God who is merciful, forgiving, and never-changing. It makes sense to me that scripture would have said, “This was the first rain” or, “No one had seen rain before.”

The point is that there is no real answer. Scripture doesn’t tell us when the first rain occurred. All it says is there was a mist during creation and then it rained six chapters later. God could have made it this way so that we know there was a way of watering the earth before the flood because rain didn’t occur yet. He also might think that He doesn’t need to spell it out for us. My idea is that it isn’t important. Whether it occurred during creation, in Eden, before or after the flood, it doesn’t matter.

God created it. Who cares when it happened?

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