"Follow me and I will make you fishers of men." Matthew 4:19
I used to believe this meant we had to follow Jesus by making him an idol and worshipping him and, therefore, make our mission to get other people to also follow him the way I was.
I see now that this is not what he meant at all. Jesus was constantly telling people how to make their lives more peaceful and loving because they were asking him. Why did they ask him? Because he was the epitome of love and peace. He worried about nothing. He loved everyone. Being around him, just made everyone feel so good. So they asked. How do we do what you do? How do we make ourselves able to attract to us only peace and love like you do?
He said, "It's simple. Follow me and I will make you fishers of men." What does that mean? It means that people will notice you. They will be attracted to you. You will be able to show them what Jesus was showing everyone he came across.
Okay. We get it. We watch how you live and you will show us how to live.
Isn't that what we are doing with our children every day. We are living and they are learning how to live by watching us.
They wanted the answer to be harder. They wanted steps on how to be like Jesus. He refused. He knew they didn't really want it like that, they just thought they did.
Who doesn't want to be like Jesus? He wanted for nothing and got everything he ever wanted. He had a connection to his inner spirit like nothing the people in those times had ever seen. He was a freak and yet, they wanted to be just like him.
How do I get to live in the peace and love that Jesus did. Follow his example. Live like him. Notice how he handled situations. And, if I do that, and learn how to live just like that, people will be asking me.
How do you do it???
The question: Is there a sin God will not forgive? What did Jesus mean by these words?
In Mark 3:28-29, Jesus says, “I promise you that any of the sinful things you say or do can be forgiven, no matter how terrible those things are. But if you speak against the Holy Spirit, you can never be forgiven. That sin will be held against you forever.”
I remember preachers saying things like, “When the Holy Spirit seeks to lead you into repentance from your sins and you continue to reject the Holy Spirit, He will withdraw, leave you alone, and, at that point, you have sealed your eternal destiny…you’ll never be forgiven,” by which these preachers meant, you’ll not go to heaven when you die. You’ll go to hell instead.
Is this what Jesus meant by “speaking against the Holy Spirit?”
I suggest a different reading, one I think is closer to the meaning Jesus wished to convey.
Shortly before his death, Jesus sought to comfort his troubled followers. As he spoke of leaving them, they spoke of going with him instead. Peter went so far as to promise he would defend Jesus to the death.
Jesus reminded them, however, where he was going they could not come. But he would be with them nonetheless, because the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, would come after Him and be that Presence in them and among them and all would be as before. (read the entire section of John 13 – 16 to get the full import of Jesus’ words).
What is this Holy Spirit?
Isn’t it the voice within? The inner impulse you feel? The Presence of God guiding you…leading you…prompting you…enabling you?
You’ve heard his voice before, observed his messages, however subtle they may have been.
Can you remember the last time, for example, when you needed to make a decision and, in that moment, you knew what you should do but, for some reason, you did not do what you knew you should? Instead of taking the hint right before you, you ignored the message from beyond and did something else entirely.
The consequences you’ve never forgotten. Maybe have never forgiven either.
The promise of Jesus is that you will know what to do…what to say…how to respond…the choice you need to make…what’s the right thing to do…at just the right time. Maybe not long before the decision has to be made but, when it does have to be made, you’ll know what to do in that very moment.
The Holy Spirit is not some “hound of heaven.” He’s more like a “hint from heaven” instead. Not the wine but the aroma that hovers just above. The Holy Spirit provides just the right reminder, at just the right time, and, as you pay attention to these subtle messages from beyond…the tiny impulse and so “take the hint,” you know you have made the right choice and that you are creating what they would call in the east “good Karma.”
When, however, you ignore the impulse, the inclination, the indicator, the invitation and so, do something differently than that which the message from beyond is quietly reminding you to do…that is, when you ignore the path to follow and so continue following your own path, you more and more silence this inner voice and you create “bad Karma.”
It is not that God’s Spirit leaves you or that you damn yourself to some eternal hell. That is to miss the point altogether. It is ignore and so create the conditions within your life that are not favorable, sometimes even hellish and unforgivable. When you ignore the prompt, the promptings becomes less pronounced over time. The Holy Spirit is like a prompter just off stage who gives you the word you need to pick up and go on with the play of your life. If you ignore the prompt, the drama becomes drama indeed. The consequences more and more profound, too.
The Boston bombers are an example. The irony in their choice of bombs cannot be overlooked. Pressure cookers…the kind my mother used for the Sunday roast, potatoes, and carrots…these became filled more and more with the pressure associated with wrong choices and, as a consequence, when the pressure became too great, the cookers became weapons of destruction.
I cannot but wonder how many times those two young men ignored the messages from beyond…the impulse to take courses of action differently than the ones they chose to take? In extreme instances, what is clearly wrong can even look right. Or, justified. Each time they ignored the subtle impulses to make better choices, the pressure inside the cooker of their own consciousness grew dangerously explosive.
The choices you make today may not turn you into some criminal or damn you to an eternal hell but they do create the conditions, the circumstances, even the climate within which you live out your life. Sometimes, these conditions can become intolerable, perhaps even unforgivable, if by no other than yourself.
The choices made by the two bombers in Boston have changed reality for many people forever. The consequences unforgivably altering. But, before we judge them too quickly, perhaps it would be wise for us to examine more closely the conditions inside the pressure cooker of our world that results in intolerable acts of violence. Think of our culture as that pressure cooker. Is there a message here our culture might receive? Or, ignore?
Train yourself to listen to the messages from beyond. They will not scream at you. But they’re there. They are everywhere. Everyday, too. Perhaps even now through this little blog. You’re reading this and you are saying to yourself, “I know. I know what I am supposed to do, even though I’ve been trying to ignore it.”
You must remember that God is not “out there, somewhere.” God is here. Right here, even in these letters on your computer screen.
You have read this for a reason. And, you know what that reason is.
So what is God saying to you?
Read more: http://blog.beliefnet.com/yourbestlifenow/2013/04/is-there-an-unforgivable-sin.html#ixzz2RbRSiCGo
In a mother's womb were two babies. One asked the other: "Do you believe in life after delivery?" The other replies, "why, of course. There has to be something after delivery. Maybe we are here to prepare ourselves for what we will be later. "Nonsense," says the other. "There is no life after delivery. What would that life be?" "I don't know, but there will be more light than here. Maybe we will walk with our legs and eat from our mouths." The other says "This is absurd! Walking is impossible. And eat with our mouths? Ridiculous. The umbilical cord supplies nutrition. Life after delivery is to be excluded. The umbilical cord is too short." "I think there is something and maybe it's different than it is here." the other replies, "No one has ever come back from there. Delivery is the end of life, and in the after-delivery it is nothing but darkness and anxiety and it takes us nowhere." "Well, I don't know," says the other, "but certainly we will see mother and she will take care of us." "Mother??" You believe in mother? Where is she now? "She is all around us. It is in her that we live. Without her there would not be this world." "I don't see her, so it's only logical that she doesn't exist." To which the other replied, "sometimes when you're in silence you can hear her, you can perceive her." I believe there is a reality after delivery and we are here to prepare ourselves for that reality....
My name is Michelle. I have six children and 7 grandchildren. This blog is about what I have learned in my 52 years here. So far, it's this simple - I thought I needed to figure out everything - turns out I don't.