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A List of Consequences

Newton’s third law of motion states:

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

He was, of course talking about physics and forces; the push-pull concept. What goes up must come down.

summer 2

When humans are involved the reaction is not always equal. Sometimes we feel the consequence for action is too severe. Other times our reaction to the actions of someone else is extreme. When emotions get involved our instantaneous  reactions can be so severe we wish we could take them back. We even find consequences to our reactions!

However, consequences are not always bad.

In the gospels we find a list of consequences in what we know as the Sermon on the Mount:

1. When we are poor in spirit,
   we gain the kingdom of heaven.

As we become more interested in holiness – in what the Holy Spirit desires for us we will be rewarded with eternity in God’s perfect Heaven.

2. When we mourn,
   we will be comforted.

God’s heart breaks for us when we mourn. Not only when bad things happen in our lives, but when we mourn over our wrong attitudes and actions, or when we mourn for others’ misfortune and a world that doesn’t know the love of God. He will comfort us and strengthen us to go on and shows us how we can make a difference in our world.

 3. When we are meek,
    we will inherit the earth.

Our society would have us believe that the strongest and most forceful people are the most influential and will go the farthest in this world. That is the opposite of God’s plan. As we follow Jesus’ example of being meek and putting the needs of others ahead of our own desires we will gain influence that money can’t buy not only in God’s kingdom but here on earth as well.

 4. When we hunger and thirst for righteousness,
   we will be filled.

It is the desire of God’s heart for us to be like Him. When we desire honesty, integrity and goodness we will be filled with blessings beyond measure. As it says in Luke 6:38:

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

5. When we are merciful,
    we will be shown mercy.

Our human tendencies are to treat others the way we are treated – to do unto others the way they do to us. But God’s kingdom is the opposite of this. Matthew 7:12 tells us:

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you…

Showing mercy, not retaliation is God’s desire for us. As we show mercy to others we will be shown mercy and goodness in return.

6. When we are pure in heart,
   we will see God.

Ah to be pure in heart all the time. I long to never think the wrong think or act or speak badly towards anyone. While that is my desire sin gets in the way. But when the desire of our hearts is to be pure and when we come before the Lord with confession, repentance and crave His will in our lives we will see all that He has for us and will be rewarded with a glimpse of His kingdom.

7. When we act as peacemakers,
    we will be called children of God.

Holding our tongues, allowing someone else to have their way, being the neutral buffer in the middle of a disagreement – all of these things help keep the peace. People will notice when we are peaceful in the middle of a tumultuous world and ask us about our actions. Then we can point others to God, our Father and perhaps see them become children of God as well.

8. When we are persecuted because of righteousness,
    we are given the kingdom of heaven.

No one likes to be made fun of for being different. When we act righteous in a world where people revel in sinful ways we most likely will be. In extreme cases persecution may even lead to death. We may not see the reward for living right here on earth but one day will be given the reward of the kingdom of Heaven.

This is a tall order, a list we cannot achieve on our own. But through the Spirit of God and His power we will see glimpses of perfection and the consequences will always be positive!

Blessings and peace to you,
Paula

 

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Week #4 ~ Words Worth Remembering

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Hebrews 4:16 NIV

I grew up on a dairy farm where there was always work to be done. As a child I was fascinated by the equipment my dad & uncle used to accomplish it all, but the Bobcat skid-steer loader was one of my favorites. It was used for many tasks around the farm but its daily role was to clean the free-stall barn housing the milk cows with open stalls and wide aisles. Every day the aisles were scraped and the dregs scooped up and dumped into the manure spreader parked outside the door. It wasn’t difficult but could be tricky to maneuver around the corners. The stall railings were tall enough that the bucket had to be raised to get around them, but not too high.

I’m not sure what fascinated me about that job but as I watched Dad & Uncle Ken I wanted so badly to be trusted to do it myself. When the day finally came I was overjoyed. Dad felt I was finally old enough and experienced enough to take on the task. I boarded the Bobcat, started down the first aisle and carefully began the cleaning process while he milked inside. Things were looking good and I was pretty proud.

Freestall Barn

Then it happened. Rounding the corner I lifted the bucket, cleared the railing, and was home free…almost. As I manipulated the levers to get to the next aisle I turned…in the wrong direction. The crunch I heard announced the tearing of steel as a corner of the bucket went through the wall of the barn. I was devastated. I had messed up big time!

I don’t remember how long it took me to go into the milking parlor to confess to my dad. I don’t even remember exactly what he said. But I do remember he didn’t yell or berate me for being careless. He forgave me and told me to be more careful in the future.

I was blessed with parents who disciplined me but were always there no matter how badly I screwed up. Perhaps you did too, or maybe not. Maybe you avoided facing your parents when you did wrong, unsure of their reaction and fearing the consequences of your confession.

For me confessing to God was not so easy. I could somewhat predict my parents’ reactions because I knew them. I felt secure in their unconditional love even when they were upset with me. But I didn’t have the same security when it came to God. I knew Him mostly as a judge who gave us rules to follow and was unhappy with us when we failed. It was difficult to face Him with my wrongdoings, especially when I messed up the same thing over and over. I didn’t think He would keep forgiving me.

The more I’ve gotten to know God and learned from His Word I realize how much more He loves me than anyone here on earth. God created each of us and is proud of His creations. He knows our hearts even better than we know our own. God sees the motives of our hearts and when we confess our sins we can be certain He will forgive us and then forget the sins.

grace_heart

His grace will help us to pick up the pieces of our mistakes and move on, leaving our sin behind us and moving forward in His grace. 

It takes a measure of faith, but remember if it’s in the Bible it’s true!!

I encourage you to hide this word in your heart throughout the coming week so you can bring it to mind when you need God’s grace and are reluctant to stand before Him.

blessings and peace to you this week!
Paula