Twog #4 (Forgiveness)

Subject: Matthew 18:21-22

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, I tell you, not just seven times, but seventy-seven times!

Let me preface this by saying that the context for this post is an article I wrote earlier titled Loving Your Neighbor.

In that piece I complained about my inconsiderate neighbors. Long story short I recently had to move because the place wasn’t habitable. Moving is very stressful, and I hadn’t been well for some time. I learned on a Monday that I would have to leave, and immediately sat down to pray. Within 24 hours I had signed a lease on a new place.

I’ve moved a lot over the years, and have never found a place so easily. It was amazing, and I thank God. Not only that, the apartment is more than I could have hoped for — it’s below market rent and fully deluxe with laundry, garage and great location. The Lord always provides more than we could even ask (or imagine). His grace is abundant beyond measure.

So how does this relate to our subject verse? Well, the upstairs tenant has a nicotine addiction. I mentioned this in my other post about smokers who move into non-smoking apartments. I have to live in a non-smoking environment because my number one allergy is tobacco smoke.

This guy has been the neighbor from hell. He’s a younger man who stays home all day. Every 20 minutes he comes downstairs for a cigarette break — from 9 o’clock in the morning to 3 o’clock the following morning — that’s 18 hours a day, and 54 cigarettes (almost three packs).

And he moves up and down the stairs like a herd of elephants. It’s driving me crazy. I’m losing my mind. I prayed to God — “Lord, you gave me this great apartment, but …”

I started looking for a new place. I thought about confronting him, but I got the impression from our first encounter that he’s got issues. I started to send an email to the property manager, but deleted it because I don’t want to be tagged as a complainer and have my rent increased.

The tobacco smoke is killing me!

This morning it sounded like Patton’s tanks rolling through Casablanca in 1942. That was the camel that broke the straw — no, I mean the straw that broke the camel’s back. I held my tongue 4860 times — that’s 54 cigarette breaks a day for 90 days (I’ve been here three months).

I bolted outside like the running of the bulls during the festival of San Fermin. There he was … smoking a cigarette at the base of the stairs. But before I could unleash my tongue I noticed that movers were loading his stuff into a moving van.

Hallelujah, Jesus … and pass the butter!

Peter was told to forgive seventy-seven times (or seventy times seven in some translations). I’ve needed the patience of Job to forgive this guy almost 5000 times.

Here’s the thing about that. Some theologians say you only have to forgive a person if they ask to be forgiven — that God’s forgiveness is conditional on our confession and repentance. Also, Peter asked about forgiving a brother not someone who is unsaved. I saw a Christian woman on the news who would not forgive the man who killed her son. What about that?

Pastor and blogger David Murray wrote an interesting article, Let’s Stop Forgiving Those Who Don’t Want Forgiveness.

Then there’s the matter of loving your neighbor. This guy’s nicotine addiction became my problem. That’s not very loving, and it’s in violation of the lease agreement.

I pray that the next tenant will be more considerate.

Answer Key

1 Samuel 25

Copyright © 2017 Eternal Christ

Twog #3 (Healing)

Subject: Acts 14:8-10

Now at Lystra there was a man sitting who could not use his feet. He was crippled from birth and had never walked. He listened to Paul speaking. And Paul, looking intently at him and seeing that he had faith to be made well, said in a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet.” And he sprang up and began walking.

… he had faith to be made well.

What does that mean? So, if I’m not healed it’s because I’m lacking in faith? That’s what the Word of Faith crowd say. I’ve gone a few rounds with those folks over the years as you will note in the following articles.

By His Stripes We are Healed

Does God Heal?

Word of Faith

Word of False Teaching

Healing — Rightly Dividing the Word

Your Faith Has Made You Well (Read first)

Some of the readers of this blog have been sorely afflicted. I don’t have permission to mention them by name, but they have had to deal with great physical challenges including eating disorders, endometriosis, diverticulitis and cancer.

Though not mentioned here I pray for each of them. I, too, have suffered more than a few thorns in the flesh and have not been completely healed.

Recall the story of the blind men who cried out to Jesus, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” — and Jesus responded, Do you believe that I am able to do this? (Matthew 9:27-29)

I encourage those who are suffering to not lose hope. Why do children get sick and die?  In John 9:1-3 why was the man born blind? Why are some people delivered, but not all? Is their faith greater than yours, or is it simply a matter of will?

Consider Job. Recognize that your strength comes from God. I pray that you will endure, and that He will grant you the faith to be healed — and the grace of Paul if He does not.

And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief (Matthew 13:58).

Answer Key

Matthew 13:53-58

Copyright © 2017 Eternal Christ

The Christian Twogger (Twog #2)

Subject: Acts 17:26

(Translated from the Aramaic) And from one blood he made the whole world of humanity to be dwelling on the whole surface of The Earth.

Ken Ham posted this on my news feed:

Quick Quiz

(Correct answers are green — incorrect red.)

To whom did Paul affirm that all the nations of the earth were made from one man? (Choose one)
The men of Athens
The Jerusalem Council
The Judaizers in Galatia
The chief priest at Corinth

Answer Key

Acts 17:22-27

Visit Ken Ham at Answers in Genesis and the Ark Encounter.

Copyright © 2017 Eternal Christ