My family and I love going to local events. Every year here in Saginaw, TX we have what is called “Taste of Northwest”. It is a vendor fair that hosts the local restaurants and businesses and is similar to a carnival. This year was a little less exciting but it is still good to eat dinner from all of the samples.
One particular booth was from a local church. I usually pay particular attention to the church ones to see how they evangelize or recruit for members. This one had a punching buddy (a punching bag that looks like a person) with a red cape around it and horns on his head. When a person would pass by they would say “Hey, take a shot at Satan!” “Punch him out!” Then they would give out some pamphlets about their church. I didn’t have any contact with them so I do not know if there was any evangelizing going on.
In today’s passage Jesus prayed to the Father and thanked Him for revealing who He was to the people. Then he says something like; “Come to me all who are tired and weary and I will give you rest.” Does this mean that after a hard days work that we go to Jesus and He will restore us? Well, He could but in this context Jesus is referring to those that have been battling the BONDAGE of Satan. You see many people think that they have to CLEAN UP THEIR life BEFORE making the decision to follow Jesus. But Jesus says in this passage that it is HE that can and will free us of the bondage and we can REST.
I do not believe that we have to battle Satan at all. Yes the Bible says that we have power over scorpions and snakes but the source of this power does not come from us. It comes from Jesus but I do not think it is actually us but rather Him working through us. Remember when the disciples came to Him and said that they had a hard time getting rid of a demon? What was Jesus’ reply? “This type can only be done with prayer and fasting.” Prayer and Fasting are the two acts that we can do to refocus our source of strength, God. So is teaching people to hit or battle Satan biblical? I do not think so. I believe that our job is to “GO” and “TELL” people about Jesus. The fight between Satan and God is handled by God. Although we can be used by God to do this it is not our mandate.
Kind of freeing huh?
Today’s Reading Matthew 5:1-12
8 Habits of Highly Effective Christians
Christians today are often mistakenly observed as being intolerant, and overbearing. Partially this is correct. Many take a stand on certain teachings but forget the focus of Christianity; love and humility. Jesus starts his famous Sermon on the Mount by presenting the ideals and traits he was looking for in His followers. Each beatitude contradicts society’s typical way of life. Jesus even showed us how to live by each of these by Hid own life. If our goal is to be like Him, the Beatitudes will challenge the way we live each day.
Benjamin Franklin kept a journal throughout his life and recorded his time management technique. It’s modeled by businesses and time managers worldwide and popularized by Stephan Covey in his book Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. When Ben Franklin was asked about what was important to him his answer was to upkeep a virtuous life. To do this he would list out the common virtues and out to the side he would rank them in the order he felt that he was proficient. He would then pick the virtue at the bottom of the list and concentrate on that one for the day.
In the Life Application Bible (NIV, 1986), the graphic illustrates what I have dubbed 8 Habits of Highly Effective Christians.
Take time to look up and read the references listed and concentrate on the Beatitude that you are weakest in, then move to the next one similar to the method of Ben Franklin.
||Old Testament Anticipation
||Clashing World values
||How to Develop this attitude
|Poor in spirit (5:3)
||Pride and personal independence
||Kingdom of Heaven
||Happiness at any cost
||Comfort (2 Corinthians 1:4)
||Psalm 51, James 4:7-10
||Inherit the earth
||Isaiah 11:4, 5; 42:1-4
||Pursuing personal needs
||John 16:5-11, Philippians 3:7-11
||Strength without feeling
||Be shown mercy
|Pure in Heart (5:8)
||Psalm 24:3, 4; 51:10
||Deception is acceptable
||1 John 3:1-3
||Isaiah 57:18, 19; 60:17
||Personal peace is pursued without concern for the world’s chaos
||Be called sons of God
||Romans 12:9-21, Hebrews 12:10, 11
||Isaiah 52:13, 53:12
||Inherit the Kingdom of heaven
||2 Timothy 3:12