Lifestyle

Are you the sheep among goats?


English: An image showing Ovis aries in field ...

English: An image showing Ovis aries in field with goats. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The parable of the sheep and the goats that Jesus told in Matthew 25:31-46 seems to convey a simple message. And why not. Jesus was and is known to make things simple. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that Jesus used this parable to clear up any ambiguity in an earlier point that He made: “Love your neighbor as yourself”.

As you read through the parable (the sheep and the goats), you will notice that as Christians and as a society in general, we are charge with the responsibility to care for the less fortunate. Further, according to the parable, every crying voice for help that we ignore will be held against us when we stand before the righteous Judge.

 Matthew 25:31-46

New International Version (NIV)

The Sheep and the Goats

 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, He will sit on his glorious throne.  All the nations will be gathered before Him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

“Then He will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.  For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,  I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Perception does not equal reality


002In our work environments, it is easy to hear—or speak—unkind things about managers, coworkers, customers, people in other departments as though it is indeed the truth, when, in fact, it is just a perception, and often it’s an incorrect perception. What harm is done to people’s careers, reputations and feelings because of these deadly opinions so freely expressed!
Have you noticed how easily we gravitate toward these negative opinions and perceptions—ours as well as those expressed to us by others? Our old nature just seems to love to hear and believe the worst. And yet, Christians should be just the opposite. When the love of God is spread in our hearts, our new nature will cause us to discount the unlovely things we hear.
First Corinthians 13:6 says that love—true agape love— does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. A child of God should have an unmistakable trademark of this kind of love, which doesn’t gleefully indulge in these careless expressions of unkind and negative opinions and perceptions, either in their own minds or from others.
Why don’t we simply make a decision to be skeptical of negative perceptions—other people’s perceptions expressed to us and our own perceptions formed in our minds?      Let’s ask God to give us discernment so that we can see past the flippant opinions expressed and understand the truth. When you find yourself forming a negative impression of others, stop and put yourself in their shoes; ask yourself if you really have adequate input to form this perception; become skeptical of your own opinions.
The Psalmist said, “I have resolved that my mouth will not sin” (Psalm 17:3). And he prayed, “Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips” (Psalm 141:3). I try to visualize my mouth as having two guards on either side, carefully screening the words I’m getting ready to say.
Once I started to give my reactions and opinions about another organization, and that guard at the door of my lips quickly reminded me that my opinion was not needed, and it would not build anyone up or bring about any good. So, the words were screened before they came out. Join me in asking God to teach us to remember that our perceptions do not necessarily equal reality.

Why do you worry so much?


images[4]Worrying seems to be part of our lives. We cannot not worry about something or the other. Some of us worry about our kids, and rightly so. Those of us who are employed worry about our jobs. We worry about financial security, health and safety and whatever else we can find to add to the list. Still, worrying never solve anything, so why worry.

Worrying is an addiction for some of us. Often we worry about things over which we have no control. Mind you, there is a difference between worry and concern. Once we zero in on something to worry about, we put up barriers making it difficult for family and friends to convince us to do otherwise. Jesus had His hands full convincing His disciples not to worry, when He told them that His time had come to return to the Father.

“Let not your hearts be troubled”, He said. “If you believed in God; believe also in me” (John 14:1). That, however, was not enough to convince the disciples not to worry. After all, these men had given up everything they owned to follow Jesus. Furthermore, it was only three years in, so they were not about to let Jesus off the hook until He did some more explaining.

Obviously, the disciples had good reasons to worry, but worrying is not a good thing. Worry is a tool of the devil, and when worry gets out of control it can have a devastating effect on health, family and even your Christian life. Jesus warns against worrying (read Matthew 6:32-34). And the beloved apostle Paul, admonish us in the following verses: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

Therefore, brothers and sister, the next time you get the urge to worry about something, ask yourself the following questions. “Why do you worry so much?” “Do you not know you are a child of a King?” Then take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.

 

Happy Mother’s Day, Mothers


English: Mother's Day card

English: Mother’s Day card (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Once a mother, always a mother. Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers around the world, but most importantly, to my mother. Thanks mama for the nine months you have carried me. Thanks for all the sacrifices you have made. Thanks for the love, the warmth, and the care you have given us. I can still remember cuddling up in your lap when we were at church or at one of our neighbor’s house.When I was hungry you fed me. Even when we were down to the last slice of bread, you would break it in halves, one half for me, one half for Errol and nothing for you. You were my eyes when I could not see. You carried me when I could not walk. Thanks for the values you have passed on to me.Thanks mama, for making me feel special. Words cannot express how grateful I am that God had chosen you to be my mother. I am not much now, but I am who I am because of you and I am proud..Thanks