The Intent of This Blog

This blog is intended to be a tool for the growth of whoever wants to use it. It is a daily journal intended to help us be more introspective. Every day I will do my best to supply a motivational quote, a Bible verse, a vocabulary word, and a personal message from myself. Use these if you like as motivation to improve yourself. Then, simply answer the daily questions provided honestly and see if it has an impact on your life. Zig Ziglar said, "If you don't have daily objectives, you qualify as a dreamer." Lets not be just dreamers but doers. Remember Martin Luther King Jr not only had a dream, he also had an objective. Thanks for reading, Jake

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Monday, March 3, 2014

What Comes First?

“In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.” - Thomas Jefferson

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.” But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” - Mark 10: 21-23

Idol: “a false conception” - Merriam-Webster Dictionary

When the Israelites were about to enter the land of Canaan, the land God had promised them, God told them to drive out the people who lived there. I know, today it seems a little harsh to think about driving people out of their homes for someone else to take possession. All the countries of the world are supposed to have their borders set. People are supposed to be happy within them. And we’re supposed to respect their cultures and traditions as long as they don’t interfere with human rights, as we see them. Conquering is taboo for us now. However, God wanted the Israelites to fully conquer His promised land. Furthermore, He gave them a warning as to what would happen if they didn’t, saying, “But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall be that those whom you let remain shall be irritants in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall harass you in the land where you dwell.” - Numbers 33:55 God had a reason He wanted His people to conquer the land. The inhabitants were corrupt in just about every way. Among other things, they offered babies as human sacrifices to their idols. However, I don’t want to look at God’s warning through the eyes of the Israelites. Instead I want to see it through the perspective of the rich young ruler Jesus talked to in Mark 10. They both received essentially the same instruction. That is, put God first. God knew that if the Israelites allowed idol worship to be prevalent among them, they would eventually be tempted by it and leave Him for it. Which they eventually did. Jesus also knew, that to this young wealthy man, money and possessions would cause him to stray as well. What do we have in our lives that keep us from God, or otherwise tempt us away from Him? Are they people? Is it a vice? Maybe they’re just the stuff we have that we love? If we can’t get rid of the things that keep us from God, they will always be a pain in our butts. If our money is more important than Christ, than we’ll always be worried about it. If our friends are more important than charity, we’ll always have something else to do besides helping others. If our house is more important… While I write this, I fully understand that I struggle with all of these things. I feel the sorrow of that rich young ruler. I wonder if God can save me despite my selfishness. And I’m thankful that in response to Jesus’ words to the rich young man, the Bible says this. “And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, ‘Who then can be saved?’ But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.’” - Mark 10:26-27 Wherever we’re at. Whatever our vocation. Whoever we love. Let’s remember that Jesus is more important. It’s not that we have to be poor, or that we have to abandon all our friends. It’s that those things should never keep us from Christ. I’m sure there are things we all need to give up to be closer to Him. Maybe we do need to downsize. Maybe we shouldn’t hang out in the same crowd. I don’t know your situation. However, I do know this. We all need to be as close to Jesus as we’ll allow Him to get. If there is something in our lives through which we’re holding Him at arms length, it needs to go. But even still, thank God all things are possible through Him.

Daily Journaling Questions:
How did I help someone in kindness today?
What did I learn today?
What am I thankful for?
Who did I love today?
What am I dreaming of?
What about today do I want to remember forever?
What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thanks for reading,

Jake

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