Tag Archives: christianity

Lamp on a Stand

(14)“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. (15) Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. (16) In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. – Matthew 5:14-16

Small acts of kindness, big acts of kindness, smiles here, compliments there, etc. Everything we do throughout our lives represents who we are (whether we’re believers or not). We all want to come off as our image of a good person. However, most people are selfish, self-centered, hypocrites. They want other people to view them how they want to be viewed even if they’re terrible people on the inside.

“(21) He said to them, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand? (22) For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open.” – Mark 4:21-22

In this parable, Jesus tells how people view those who act Christlike. When you are in Christ and do as He does, there’s a light that shines through you. Others will always wonder what it is about you that is different from them. What is your reason for why you are the way you are. When we live in Christ, we’re supposed to act like Him and tell others that He’s in us.

“No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light.” – Luke 8:16

A lot of the time, we hide our light. We stay quiet when we should have spoken up, going along with the crowd, denying the idea that there is anything special about us, letting sin overwhelm our light, not telling others the reason we are who we are, and ignoring the needs of others. In my job, it’s hard not to let my light dim. I deal with the public very personally and it isn’t always easy to be patient and understanding.

I have to consistently remind myself to not let the situation get the best of me. I’d rather others view me as Christlike than the alternative (Even though I’m terrible at it sometimes). Look at it this way. If you’re on your first date with someone, do you hide all of your great qualities from them? No. You show off your humor by making them laugh, you show your intelligence, communication skills, smile, etc. The point is for them to get to know why they should continue to see you and potentially pick you as a partner.

The date may never go to a second one, but they’ll always remember the girl/guy that made them go, “Wow.” That’s how I view being Christlike. That person may never see you again, but they’ll remember the person that made their day better, stopped them from making a terrible decision, helped them in a time of need, or some other situation.

Jesus wanted us to know that when we choose God, we now represent Him as our Father just as we represent the overcome of what our parents made us when we go out into public. We’re the voice of Christ through our actions and what He’s done for us. We’re the light of the world.

“No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light.” – Luke 11:33

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Beatitudes: Sermon on the Mount

“Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them.” – Matthew 5:1-2

Considered one of the most famous sermons of Jesus, the Sermon on the Mount are found in Matthew 5. Even though Jesus performed miracles and taught everyone, He had special teachings that He gave His disciples. Jesus considered them His friends. They walked with Him, talked with Him, and became very personal with Him. His sermon in this chapter tells of what Jesus wants all of us to be. It’s what being “Christlike” is.

The “Beatitudes” is what we call these eight characteristics. Each one is the complete opposite of what the world expects us to be. In this section, I’ll be talking about each one in-depth. This is the list of them below.

1. Matthew 5:3 – Poor in Spirit
2. Matthew 5:4 – Mourning
3. Matthew 5:5 – Meekness
4. Matthew 5:6 – Righteousness
5. Matthew 5:7 – Mercy
6. Matthew 5:8 – Pure in Heart
7. Matthew 5:9 – Peacemaker
8. Matthew 5:10 – Persecuted

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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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