Know God Better
Jesus tells a kingdom story and the person symbolizing God in the story states, "AM I NOT ALLOWED TO DO WHAT I CHOOSE WITH WHAT BELONGS TO ME? OR ARE YOU ENVIOUS BECAUSE I AM GENEROUS?" One of the ways we learn about God is through Jesus' stories, like last week we learn from a different kingdom story that God may punish people who are unforgiving. Have no doubt that although we are created in God's image, God is above the rules for people. We cannot hold accountable or evaluate God based on human standards. Perhaps a classic example is when God killed Ananias and his wife. They lied to God and God's justice was quick. A main reason we need to know and understand God is as Jesus shares, "The only people who will enter the kingdom of heaven are those who do the things that My Father in heaven wants". How can we do what God wants if we do not know what God wants? Since every thing Jesus says is what God told Him "to say", we can learn about God from listening to Jesus. Learning about God is not just an intellectual exercise as some of what Jesus teaches, including His stories, may require Jesus' help as He chooses "to reveal" His father. 1
One kingdom story that can be confusing refers to proper clothing or garments for a wedding feast. Sometimes clothing or garments are used in scriptures as referring to personal attributes such as "garment of praise" or "garments of salvation" or "clothed with righteousness". When Jesus talks about a "wedding garment" He may be referring to attributes of doing what God "wants". Many are "invited" or "called" and some respond pretending to be good Christians, who are often convincing hypocrites, yet very few are living the choice or "chosen" life of doing what God "wants". Just like God's gift of His son Jesus is available to everyone in the world but only everyone who "believes in Him" will benefit from the gift. In the same way those invited or "called to the marriage supper of the Lamb" will have to meet God's expectations or be clothed spiritually with the appropriate "wedding garment". Some teachings from Jesus are hard to hear or understand, so it may be good to pray for help and Jesus can "reveal" His truth. 2
In addition to learning from what God tells Jesus to say or do, we can learn from what God actually says or does in the only bible Jesus ever had which we Christians call the Old Testament and Jews call the Tenakh. Reminder, Jesus quoted or referred to the Old Testament close to a hundred times. In that part of the bible, we can read what God says hundreds of times by the phrase "the Lord says" or "the Lord said" etc. Although the word Lord may be a mistranslation, it will work if context is carefully considered. An easier way is to use a study bible called a Rainbow Bible that has the words of God and Jesus underlined. Even if a person is deceived by a manmade doctrine claiming the whole bible is "the word of God", they will still benefit by knowing the words God actually spoke. The important thing is to know God better.
1. Mt 20:15 (NRS); Ac 5:1-10; Mt 7:21; Jn 12:49 (IC); Mt 11:27 (NI)
2. Mt 22:2-14; Is 61:3,10; Ps 132:9; Jn 3:16; Rev 19:9 (NKJ)
note: click here for bible verse and translation abbreviations
A Psalm for reflection "Let your priests be clothed with righteousness, and let your faithful shout for joy". Ps 132:9 (NRS)
Understanding the Teaching: What I share in the teaching is what I believe God wants me to share. All the direct quotes from God are highlighted in royal purple. Of course the words of Jesus are in red. Rather than follow some made up doctrine, remember that Jesus said that every thing He said (Jn 12:49) and everything He did (Jn 14:31) comes from God. All teachings and all opinions should be supported by what we learn from God or Jesus (see the scripture referred to in the footnote).
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MARRIAGE WORKSHOP MOMENT
To refresh what you have learned in our Workshop or entice you to experience our Workshop
"Remember, all marriages can be better, if you use what you learned."
Last week we talked about how events can trigger issues resulting in an argument. For example if money is an issue and the event of a bill coming might trigger an argument. There are also hidden issues. Many years ago I knew a man who grossed over a million dollars a year and yet had money issues with his spouse, including taking her credit cards away. There could have been a hidden issue of controlling. Wanting to control the money or control his spouse. Hidden issues can be powerful issues that partners are unaware of, unable to talk about, or unwilling to talk about. Spinning your wheels in a conversation, avoidance and trivial triggers can reflect hidden issues. Hidden Issues often respond best to open, safe, and clear communication as found by using the Speaker Listener Technique. As a spouse, being sensitive to possible hidden issues such as controlling, caring, acceptance, integrity, commitment, recognition, etc. can help you in your relationship. For example, if acceptance/rejection is a possible hidden issue, you can be careful not to say anything that might trigger this hidden issue, like threaten divorce.
The Better Half "When your partner won't support your efforts to make your marriage better" Without your spouse's support to improve your marriage, you can still pray daily for God's will to be done in each of your lives and your marriage ("all things are possible with God", Mk 10:27 NI). Although in this situation, with hidden issues, communication is difficult, as a spouse, being sensitive to possible hidden issues such as controlling, caring, acceptance, integrity, commitment, recognition, etc. can help you in your relationship. . For example, if acceptance/rejection is a possible hidden issue, you can be careful not to say anything that might trigger this hidden issue, like threaten divorce. If you aware of a possible hidden issue like acceptance/ rejection in your relationship pray for God to guide you what to say that might make your spouse feel more accepted. Also you may pray for God to guide you regarding any hidden issues in your life and help you overcome them.
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