Life’s Litter Box! Prov. 11:3-6

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Our study this week brings us to the 11th Chapter of Proverbs.  Verses 3 to 6 lead us to a powerful discussion.

3. The integrity of the upright guides them,
but the crookedness of the unfaithful destroys them.
4. Wealth does not profit in the day of wrath,
but the righteousness delivers from mortal danger.
5. The righteousness of the blameless will make
straight their way, but the wicked person
will fall by his own wickedness.  Proverbs 11:3-6

To dive into this portion of the passage, we weighed the benefits of righteous living verses wicked living.  In the discussion, the illustration of the Little Box was introduced.

A “Litter Box” is an invention most associated with cats.  One of our guest shared that the litter box she provides for her can serves as a place where waste is made.  Then further spoke that the box can get to a point of capacity if not cleaned out.  When this occurs, the box can get to a place where the smell of the box makes it unbearable for the cat to perform the duties in which the box was designed to handle.

For discussion, the “Litter Box” was equated to our Living Space or Life Span.  Through our existence, we encounter life’s situations and circumstances.  They can not be avoided, but must be faced and handled.  We must be cognoscente in our encounters that our actions reap a harvest, and leave significant marks on our lives and the lives of those we encounter.  And each encounter has the potential to become a mess.

How is your Box?

The scripture reveals to us a truth about the wages of wickedness.  He will suffer from his/her own mess.  This person will be forced to live in a box filled with the mess that they have created!  How is your Box?  Is your box once that is so congested tkittylitterbox.pnghat each step is a challenge?  Is your life’s challenge to avoid the foolishness of the decisions you have made and the people you have wronged?  As spoke, many of us have lives that just stink!  We have accumulated such mess from mishandled situations and circumstances, that we have become overpowered by the stench of our own existence.

The cat is blessed in that he can mess up the box, and when the smell becomes overpowering, he can find another place to leave the waste.  The shame of this is unlike the cat, we can not avoid our box.  We are forced to live in this box called life.  We do not have the ability to separate our existence.

I asked myself, “What’s in my Box?”  Thus I ask you the same!

“What’s in your Box?”

Are you a desperate cat scratching and clawing to find a place that you have not created a mess in, and now feeling the burden and weight of your actions?  Is the stress in your life a result of your wicked living and loose morals?  If so’ It’s time to clean up your box!  And once clean, we must Keep our Box Clean! 

Keeping your box clean means properly managing relationships from the present point on.  It also means you might be required to seek out strained relationships and to repair and restore them to something that reflects Christ.  This also might require humility and also forgiveness.  Humility could be found in accepting acts of kindness, even for those whom you swore you would never take a sip of water from.  Forgiveness might be your narrative if approached from one who has wronged you.  You might be required to release one from their past actions, and to propel them towards a Clean Box of Freedom.

A Clean Box requires discipline and change.  We must allow the Word of God to change us, and the Holy Spirit to direct us.   Most of us cant live in peace because we refuse to apply God’s Word to our lives, choosing to memorize it, and or find its value in applying its truths towards other, while living a fictional existence of perfection. The Word takes no root in our lives!  Though it is broken down and consumed, it is not digested.  In essence, we are bulimic believers!  We stuff ourselves with The Word, but do not digest and distribute its nutrients to our body. 

Lastly, keeping a Clean Box means being obedient to the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit is to be our teacher and our guide, as well as the power we need to control our flesh.   Yielding to the Holy Spirit will allow us to keep our boxes clean because its will is to please God in every way.  The Holy Spirit gives wisdom on when to walk away and how to respond.  It points us towards the mark of Christ, and serves as a counselor while going through, giving you not only God’s perspective, but helping you keep a proper perspective on yourself and other bringing about deeper understanding.

 

#PastorJDO3

 

 

 

 

 

Neighbor; Proximity or Personhood (McKinney, TX)

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The McKinney Pool party stands atop the social media trending topic, has drawn a wide range of opinions, and shed light an insight on an on going problem that has always been.  Much like God spoke to Cain in Genesis, “Sin is crouching at our door”, waiting for the right moment, to reveal the circumstances that can lead either to God’s approval and favor or a curse and life away from His presence.  Cain, when faced with rejection, was filled with anger and in danger of allowing the rage within him to strike out against his very own brother.

My brothers, I remain concerned about the happenings we face, feeling the pain and anguish of one community, and the confusion of others who are unclear about why anger and frustration exist.  The peaceful protest have revealed many great things, the freedom of speech that should always exist, and the willingness of people to build, support and defend all people void of color or social or economic standing.

I was encouraged by the many non-African American faces I saw standing along side those that had been offended, but still yet aware of the others that celebrated the action of the officer in question.

I began the blog with Cain, because God is watching our response to the event, just as closely as He watched the event itself.  Yes, “Be angry, and sin not” (Eph 4:26)  He would say to us, as we voice our opinions, “let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth” and would continue only that “which is good for building others” (Eph 4:29)

As a backdrop, I was led to look at Luke 10:30-37; focusing on verses 31 & 32.   As not to write forever or to get all preachy, These verses highlight the title of this blog, and what we see from some of our brothers and sisters.  Both the Priest and the Levite, headed towards the man, could have helped him or brought him to someone that could care for him, and chose to cross over to the other side. It was as though they believed that walking on the other side of the road relieved them from the responsibility of helping the man out!  Though there were not the cause of the mans injuries, Jesus uses this passage to highlight the power of neighborly responsibility and healing as it relates to the Gospel.

It should be the response of the believing community, hence the use of the Priest and the Levite, to render aide an to help those who have been harmed.  Furthermore, it is the responsibility of God’s servants to lead by example (Priest/Levite).  When God places a person in your path, focusing and seeing the problem more than the person is not acceptable.  When God looks at us, He looks beyond the offenses we have committed against Him, and looks to restore us, using His own resources to heal us an re-position us for the future.  We should be doing the same!

Imagine the world watch us, seeing travesties happen in situation after situation, and hearing the voice of a portion of our community sounding unlike the man we are called to mirror!  Jesus says, to be fully reflective of me and to fulfill the law, treat this stranger as you would treat yourself.  Yes, “do unto others, as you would have them do unto you” (Luke 6:31).

The Kingdom of God is missing a great opportunity to show compassion and oneness!  We must look at incidents as opportunities to push past our past and our present political disagreements or economic and social standing to realize that our neighbors are not a result of proximity, but a result of ones person-hood.  Maybe before asking one who is a neighbor, we should first ask people to qualify who is a person?  steere

As I saw this man securing this young lady, I thought back to the last time I was at the rodeo watching the cowboy in the Rodeo Rope Steer event.  It was almost as though he ceased to see her as a child, let alone a child of the Lord.  In a dialogue, one said, “she was treated that way because she was disobedient to authority”, and I thought, “powerful words from one who was found in disobedience as an enemy of God, and remains in disobedience!”  Not to say this officer is either a Christian or represents the Kingdom of God, but in our response to his actions, I see a lack of compassion and a lack for a thirst so see other treated with dignity and respect.

Oh that God would lack compassion, and would treat us as we deserve!  Let us not fool ourselves into believing we can close our eyes to what we see!  Let us not hide behind laws and policies that allow for a member of our community that has power to use the power obtained without the responsibility that accompanies it.

God is holding us to a higher standard as His community.  Let us take a step back and not ask ourselves only what Jesus would do, but lets ask ourselves what Jesus sees!  While we are focused on the officer and the young lady, I believe His eyes are fixed fully on us!  What will your response be?  As one that has been the beneficiary of grace, mercy, forgiveness and restoration, will you not offer the same to all that you encounter?  Will you allow sin to crouch, and cause you to act lawlessly or ungodly?  What will you do?