You don’t get to skip it just because it is difficult

9 men (or close enough, 2.0’s) came together on a Monday morning for an easy breakfast and some tough lessons.  How else will you build #Endurance?

Sometimes tough love is what it takes… The big leaps of progress or growth in my life have been the result of the energy transfered from a swiftly moving foot to my sluggish and complacent backside.

Tough love is not something that people want to hear about… We confuse our understanding of who Christ is with who we want Him to be.  Like going along the Christian Buffet, picking the “Love” and “Forgivness (for ourselves, not us forgiving others)” and skipping the “holiness,”  “repentance” and other things that are hard to swallow.  These tough things are what make us better.  Just like the Crunchy frog is the worst part of Mary, we still do them because they make us stronger.  How much more should we be pushing for what should be the most important part of our lives?

So this is what we discussed. The “Hard Scriptures” from Jesus.

Matthew 5:17-18 (OYO): It is nice to think that we don’t need to take notice of the Old Testament.  A quick disclamer… I am not studied enough to elaborate much here.  There are specific examples in the New Testament about what laws can be “rethought” (clean vs unclean foods, etc) but this really needs to come from the revealing of the Holy Ghost and Bible study.  Jesus does, however, address a few of these in the next number of verses in a more strict interpretation. Also remember the 10 Commandments and others that we still observe.  Are we missing any?  What are the greatest commandments?  (Look that last question up)

Jesus explains the statement above further in Matthew 5:21-26. Also in Matthew 5:27-30.  These are tough.  It is easy to NOT murder.  It is also easy to NOT actually commit adultry.  What is not so easy is to battle those thoughts.  This is the standard that Christ sets.  Even entertaining the thought is sin.

Please note here… DO NOT beat yourself up for being tempted.  Jesus, himself, was tempted.  He did not give in to the temptation, and neither should we.  Temptation is not a sin.  Giving in is.  Including sitting around and thinking about it.

Now to jump over to Matthew 7:21-23 (OYO). This one is also tough… Even some the folks who did good work in the name of the Lord don’t make it.  Jesus didn’t know them.  How can Jesus get to know us?  Prayer.

Matthew 10:11-15 – Jesus is talking about raining down hellfire and brimstone on the towns that do not accept his deciples.  What?  I like the hippie Jesus that tells everyone to love each other all the time.  There is more to it than that.  Following Jesus is going to cost you something.  If you have not experienced any kind of funny look, or even hatred, we are having an easy row to hoe.  Just look at Verses 16-23.  Jesus is devisive; even to the point of splitting up families.  Either we are always surrounded by Christians or we are not making our faith known.

Speaking of which, look at Matthew 10:32-33.  It is worth making our faith known.  It is even more costly to deny it when the opportunity arrises.

Now review Matthew 10:34-39.  Again, no hippie Jesus here.  He isn’t holding up the peace sign or waiving a white flag.  He is drawing a line in the sand and letting us know that there should be NOTHING more important than Him in our lives.  Even when it causes trouble.

Lastly, and this might be the toughest but we have to deal with it.  It is in the scriptures.  None of us are qualified to pick and choose which parts of the Bible are for us and which parts can be disregarded (none). Matthew 5:48.  This is the standard.  This is the bar that has been set.  Jesus would not have asked us to do something that is impossible.  With the help of the Holy Ghost, prayer and Bible study, we can have this in our heart, we can work towards this goal.  Just look at 1st Corinthians 10:13.  God makes a way to do whatever it is that we need to do, no matter how difficult or how impossible it sounds.

These are just a sampling.  There are more.  Like I said, it is easy to take the nice and inclusive part of Jesus.  There is more to it.  Sometimes it goes against our initial thoughts or popular culture.  It will challenge our relationships, our minds and ideas.  The words are still there.  They still have to be dealt with and, hopefully, accepted.  It’s up to you.

  • Thanks guys for coming out.  This might weigh heavier than the bacon and grits (or corned beef hash in @othello’s case. You can tell where someone is from by their breakfast order).  I appreciate you all putting up with it.  Great discussion.
  • @UCB, thank’s for bringing the 2.0’s.  I am sorry that I didn’t get their names.  Glad that they could join us.

Banjo Boy