The art of making feel people guilty has been used since the beginning of time. Throughout history we have read and heard of stories of people made to do things using this art of guilt. Guilt is the feeling of wrong doing that a person realizes after it is done. It is an innate feeling placed there by God when we are being packed into an embryo. In the spiritual battles we face, Satan uses the false guilt, which is the feeling of wrong doing even after we have repented and have been forgiven, to continue to make us feel unworthy. But, the bible tells us that our sins though they are red as scarlet they will be made white as snow(Is1:18). It tells us that God takes our sins and casts them to the deep of the sea (Mic7:19). The feeling of guilt is ever present in us, but it is up to us to listen to it. We can become callous to it, which is what is happening in today’s day and age.
12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand 14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: “‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.15 For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’[a]
Now, God knows that this mechanism of guilt is in us and that we have become masterful in tuning it out, so he set some ordinances for sacrifices towards it. But, before anyone could offer sacrifices they had to ad heed to their conscience’s guilt(Lev4;27-28). Sometimes we sin or make mistakes unconsciously and we offend, and it is not until we recognize and accept that we have done wrong that the blessing will return. These people whom Jesus spoke about intentionally covered their ears and closed their eyes against their guilt. The purpose of guilt is to draw us unto God for healing and that of the conscience (He10:22). Once the conscience is healed then the rest the of the body receives healing.
As Christians we cannot live without each other. Surrounding ourselves with people of faith is vital to the survival of our faith. In order to maintain a healthy relationship with God we need to have a growing relationship with those of the faith. The bible teaches us that we are members of the same family and that of God (Eph2:19). The relationship we are to carry out with those of the same faith needs to be the same as with our biological family. Jesus displayed this same type of relationship with his brothers when his brothers and mother were inquiring of him as in Matthew 12:46-50 and he told the listeners that those who do the will of the Father are his siblings and parent. Being part of the family of God is highly regarded by God. In fact, the psalmist says that God sets the lonely in family and that of great families (ps68:6, 107:41).
Luke22:7 Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. 8 Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.”
9 “Where do you want us to prepare for it?” they asked.
10 He replied, “As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, 11 and say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 12 He will show you a large room upstairs, all furnished. Make preparations there.”
13 They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.
The time of Jesus’ ministry was coming to an end and he was going to go the way the scriptures had prophesied. Isaiah said that he (Jesus) would not have any form and that he was going to be reject and despised filled with sorrows; and it pleased the Lord to bruise him (Is53:5 &10). The last supper initiated the hardest thing Christ was going to go through to save man kind. Jesus sent two of his disciples to prepare the place for the supper. The owner of the building was some how forewarned that his facility was going to serve a purpose for the Messiah and so the time was now. Jesus was going to leave his disciples physically forever, but still was going to be with them. So, he told his two disciples to follow the man with the jar of water, and go where he would go; to the upper room. That jar of water was for the washing of the disciples feet it was an act of Christ that the disciples needed to practice in remembrance of him (Jhn13:14). Jesus was going leave his disciples, but he was going to leave to actions to which going to freshen their memories of the Lord. The washing of the feet is a symbol that reminds us Christ in you (1Cor1:21-22). Each time the disciples would wash each others feet they would see Christ in them.
The idea that things can become a strong hold and a place of comfort is part of everyone’s life. As we go through life we learn to confide on things and people and trust them. And, some of those things or people help us to become who we are. Jesus met this guy who was rich. He was a very moral person; good in every aspect, kind of like many Christians today. He knew the basics of the bible (Mk10:18-23), but something was missing; he did not feel complete. But, when he was confronted with the price he needed to pay in order to be complete, he could not do it. This state of being is called calloused. Jesus warns of this state of callousness in Matthew 13:15 when he said For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them”.
18 So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’”20 And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.”21 Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”22 But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
Selling everything was a heart breaking blow of which this young man could not bare doing it was one of the things he was lacking; giving till it hurts. Most of us are willing to give as long as it does not hurt our pocket, our relationships or our material values. Jesus makes mention of this poor widow who gave till it hurt her (Mt.12:42-45) unlike the rich who gave of their riches. Jesus’ disciples were profoundly affected with this idea of giving till it hurts (Mt10:23-27). Jesus said that it was harder for a camel to go through the eye of a needle then for a rich person to enter into heaven. But, having riches was not what Jesus was referring too when he mentions the rich entering into heaven, he was referring of those who trust in their riches. Our trust develops in the Lord when we choose to take up our cross and follow him. The bible tells us that we need to trust in the Lord (ps.4:5, ps.9:10), because God does not forsake those that trust in him. The fact is that when we trust in the Lord mercy is abundant in our lives (ps.32:10).
Life is about the things we put into it, it can be satisfying or not. It is dependent on the seeds we sow; life, whether the seed is a good or bad one its effect will in due time give its fruit. Now, we are not the only ones that sow seed into our lives and of those near us, but others do too. In fact, there are so many ways and destinations by which seeds are sown that we might not have much control for the type of seed that comes. The problem that we face with seeds is that once it is sown it will bear fruit and we will have to deal with it when it is time (gal. 6:7). Being alert can limit the growth of many of the seeds sown. The bible tells us that we need to be alert because the devil our enemy is like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1Pt5:8) and the way he devour starts with sowing seeds. He spreads seeds of division, discontent, anger, hate and many other seeds to prepare us for dinner.
Matthew 13:24-2924 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
Every head of their home has the responsibility to watch over their families. The head of the family on our passage sowed a seed but went to sleep and during his rest an enemy also sowed a seed that was not good. Every seed that does is not God breath causes harm, and so is the seed that the enemy sows, because the enemy; the devil came to kill, steal and destroy (Jhn 10:10). So, we need to be watchful else we will be surprised for the outcome of the seed sown. Paul exhorts us to be watchful and not sleep (1The. 5:6). When we sleep we give way to the enemy to sow bad seeds and his seed always leads to leaving one in want (Pro. 6:4). And, when we sleep we are at our most vulnerable state, we become easily bound because we are defenseless like a parable Jesus shared about how to take the goods of a strong mans house in Matthew 12:29. The religious people in Jesus’ time tested his vulnerability when they asked him about paying taxes in Mark 12, but Jesus perceives their deceptive seed and destroys their scheme (Mk12:13-15). In today’s generation there many causes by which sleepiness comes such as the cares of life, drunkenness and over indulging or glutton (Lk. 21:34). So, how do we deal with the tares, those bad fruits that appear when we sleep? What can we do with those bad seeds? As Jesus explains we must grow with it, we cannot temper and try to take out the bad fruit else the good will be weed out and that’s not good.
Though we are but a small population and a shrinking one in this world, we are not without strength or power. For the power within us is enough to over take hundreds. In the time of Elijah the king of Syria and his army came to take captive the prophet. And, in one night Elijah’s servant woke up and saw through the window a massive army surrounding the castle where they were, the prophet prayed and noticed another army greater unseen to the naked eye (2Kg.6:17). Whether we look to see or not if God’s protection is with us, it is ever present. Our victory is not based on the number that may be with us or against us, but on God’s perfect will. Gideon experienced the “Fear not, Little flock” when again the Syrian army came against God’s people and God used he along three hundred choice men to obtain the victory (Jdg 6). But, one thing that creeps upon all of us from time to time is fear, and it puts into question God’s favoring protection on our behalf.
Luke 12:32-39King James Version (KJV)
32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
33 Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.
34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Fear is one of those mechanisms within us that will betray us. It will cause us to at times limit God’s work through us. But, we are God’s little flock and it pleases him to enrich us with the fullness of his kingdom. When we at one time were despised and rejected; outcasts and alone, God passed by us and saw us (Ez. 16:5-6) like he did with the city of Jerusalem. There was a time when this city was abandoned and rejected, and God happened to come by her; he picked her up, cleaned her and restored her. God is always going around and picking up little flock; those forgotten and broken. It is like the shepherd that had one hundred sheep and one left (Lk. 15:4), he leaves the ninety nine and goes after the lost one. Every sheep matters to God, they all have purpose. Solomon the king understood this idea when he wrote this proverb about a little old wise man (Ecc. 9:14-15) who thr0ugh his wisdom saved this small village that was sieged by a great king. The kingdom of God is for the little flock and it is important that we start storing up riches in that kingdom.