Happy Monday! Hope everyone had a good weekend. I spent my weekend in bed after I sprain a muscle in the left side of my neck on Saturday morning. How did that happen? Well, I was wrestling with JJ and he decided to swan drive on head, forcing it jerk a little bit too far to the right. As if that wasn't bad enough, Moo hopped right on top of the pile added even more pressure and discomfort.
I knew immediately it was sprained when I tried to turned my head to left and felt this really sharp pain shoot down the side of my neck. Having a neck sprain sucks big time, especially since I was already sick. Thankfully, I started to feel better and my nausea went away on Sunday. I have definitely learned my lesson about wrestling with the kids. And I finally, saw my ghost neighbors! I'll post more on that later on this week.
Anyways, in Week 37, a lot covered in the short readings we had. We read about the disciplines, Jesus predicted his own death three times, he cured two blind men and brought a girl back to life. Can't forget about how he fed over 4, 000 people with 5 fish and two loaves of bread! So, what else did I learn in Week 37?
Well, you know how people say strip clubs are harmless? God has a much different opinion. "But I say to you that whoever LOOKS at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell" (Matthew 5:28-29). Adultery isn't just the act of having sex outside of your marriage, but also includes lusting for someone other than your spouse.
I was little bit familiar with this verse because a few years back T. D. Jakes preached about how couples get caught up because they let their eyes get them into a hole they can't get out of (i.e.-cheating). Also, last week there was a conversation on Twitter about whether or not if spouses who didn't believe in going to strip clubs were comfortable with their wife or husband going. A few people actually sited this verse as to why they nor their spouse went to strip clubs and true form, they got called out as using religion to hide their insecurities.
That kind of rubbed me the wrong way because it shouldn't be hard to believe that there are couples who take their faith seriously. Just because a person is trying their best to live right and follow God's commands shouldn't equate them to being insecure! If anything, the people calling those who aren't afraid to stand firm on their beliefs are probably the ones who are insecure, especially in the faith department. At the end of the day, we all have to live the life that WE think is most pleasing to God and we shouldn't insult each other for that.
Now days divorce rates are through the roof. Matthew 5:32 says there is only 1 reason why we can divorce our spouses: "But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever married a woman who is divorced commits adultery." If this command/law was enforced today, I think some of us would think long and hard before jumping the broom if we knew that only way we could get out of our marriages was through adultery. Too many people marry for the wrong reasons and end up missing out on the one that was meant for them in the first place.
Don't forget to love and pray for your enemies! Matthew 5:44 tells us to "love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,..." Trust me your kindness will throw them for a loop. And eventually, when they see that their evilness isn't phasing you, they'll move on to the next.
"Therefore, I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?" (Matthew 6:25). This verse puts it all into perspective for me. There is more to life than what we do and don't have. Life is about enjoying and making memories with my family, finding joy, serving God, living out dreams. God will provide for us if we just trust in Him and not worry. We saw this proved true with the Israelites. When they believed God came through. When they doubted, God let them fend for themselves for little bit.
And lastly, remember that "...for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you" (Matthew 17:20). Don't give up! It's by faith that I've been been keeping up with my Bible 365 Challenge week after week. There were times that it felt like it was going to be impossible for me to get in my Bible study, but I trusted God to give some quiet time and here I am 37 weeks later almost to the finish line!
How do you keep the faith? Have you ever been labeled insecure because your religious beliefs and/or practices?
Week 38 Readings
9/16: Matthew 19-20
9/17: Matthew 21-23
9/18: Matthew 24-25
9/19: Matthew 26-28
9/20: Mark 1-3
9/21: Mark 4-7
9/22: Mark 8-9