Two week ago in this space, the post Your Are That Man explored how God forgives; even when His chosen falls into temptation, adultery and murder.
I invite you to read II Samuel, Chapters 11 and 12; the story of David and Bathsheba covers every human desire a person can experience. The dramatic climax occurs when God’s prophet Nathan confronts Israel’s most powerful man, King David with a difficult conversation. Nathan declares that David is “That Man!” What man? That man, who fell into temptation and sinned against God by committing adultery and murder.
Today, God is requiring us to have that same difficult conversation. We may not have the prophet Nathan to personally deliver the words of rebuke to us. However, we can use a spiritual mirror to reflect upon our own behavior; then, have that “difficult conversation” by asking ourselves the question, “Am I doing God’s will.”
This first month of the year is the perfect time to have those “difficult conversations.” In this post, I would like to suggest four “difficult conversations” that you and I may want to have as we work towards doing God’s will.
Difficult Conversation: # 1 Money
“He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity.” Ecclesiastes 5:10
Money is a resource given to us by God; it affords us to do His will. As with any resource that God provides, it is not given in equal amounts to everyone. However, the amount of money that we are given, God requires us to be good stewards and use it for Kingdom building.
Dave Ramsey, like the Prophet Nathan, has become one of God’s messengers on the subject of money. His Financial Peace University teaches God’s way of handling money. Make some time, to check out his Financial Peace University website to start your difficult conversation about money.
The Difficult Conversation: How are you handling your money? Do you have a budget? Are there more months, weeks and days… than money? Are you at peace with your fiscal situation?
Difficult Conversation: # 2 Health
Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who comes from God and dwells inside of you? You do not own yourself. You have been purchased at a great price, so use your body to bring glory to God! 1 Corinthians 6:19-20The Voice
For me, another the difficult conversation is health and lifestyle. How are we eating? How are we sleeping? Do we exercise? Do we check our health, regularly? The United States of America has the best health care system in the world. However, millions of Americans do not have access to health care; because they are without insurance. The Affordable Care Act, is a gateway to health care. If you are without insurance go to HealthCare.Gov to start the defense of your God given temple.
The Difficult Conversation: How are you taking care of God’s temple? Healthier eating, exercise and regular health examinations should be part of our daily lives.
Difficult Conversation: # 3 Career
“If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.” 2Thessalonians 3:10 ESV
Let’s examine how God instructions about us and work:
God created the concept of work – He worked!
- In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)
- So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)
- On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work. (Genesis 2:2)
God ordained work – He hired the first worker!
- The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. (Genesis 2:15)
- And to the man he said, “Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat, the ground is cursed because of you. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it. (Genesis 3:17)
- And God said to Adam: All of your life you will sweat to produce food. (Genesis 3:19)
God sustained work – In the scriptures nearly all of God’s children worked
- Noah – A boat maker
- Moses – A sheep herder
- Jesus – A carpenter
When God created us, His intentions were for us to work.
The Difficult Conversation”: Are we doing the work that God created for us? Are we doing the work that God called us to do? Too many of God’s children, regardless of their religious beliefs, are not answering the call to work.
One of my missions has been to help God’s people find work. I have written extensively on ways to find work. I am pleased to recommend these posts to lend career help.
Another Difficult Conversation: Are we in the right job? Are we doing the work that God has ordained for us? Are we helping our neighbors find work?
Difficult Conversation: # 4 Relationships
“Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.” Matthew 18:21-22
Without question, relationships are hard. It is not easy to “love our neighbor as ourselves”. In the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10: 30-37) Jesus teaches us that “mercy” is the key to having good relationships. Mercy is defined as “a blessing that is an act of divine favor or compassion; withholding of the punishment or judgment our sins deserve.”
Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:29 “No one hates his own body; but, lovingly cares for it”. Living Bible (TLB) We show ourselves mercy when we care (or do not care) for our bodies; withholding the punishment and judgment we deserve when we sin.
Jesus is simply telling us to do the same in our relationships.
The Difficult Conversation: Are we giving others the same mercy that we show ourselves?
Difficult Conversation: # 5 Faith
“If your faith were only the size of a mustard seed,” Jesus answered, “it would be large enough to uproot that mulberry tree over there and send it hurtling into the sea! Luke 17:6
While our faith does not have to be large to be effective, God clearly expects our faith to grow. Jesus in Mark 4:30-32 picks up on the mustard seed metaphor in describing the kingdom of heaven
Jesus asked, “How can I describe the Kingdom of God? What story shall I use to illustrate it? It is like a tiny mustard seed! Though this is one of the smallest of seeds, yet it grows to become one of the largest of plants, with long branches where birds can build their nests and be sheltered.”
God wants us to take our mustard seed faith and grow it. Without a growing faith, “It is impossible to please God.” Hebrews 11:6 “…..because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
However, we cannot grow our faith alone. Scripture is clear, in order to grow our faith we must first be in constant contact with God through prayer. Jesus gives us a guide for prayer in Matthew 6:5-14. Secondly, we can grow our faith reading the word of God. In Romans 10:17 Paul tells us that “faith comes by hearing; and hearing comes by the word of God”. Thirdly, faith comes by obeying the commandments of God. Jesus told us in Matthew 7:13-14 Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. However, it is through prayer, and reading the Word that we can develop the obedience to find the narrow gate.
The Difficult Conversation: Where is our faith? Do we have the prayer life, and the scripture study required to generate the obedience required of the narrow gate?
The Goodness of the Difficult Conversation
The life of a Christian is a constant conversation with God about the state of our lives. However, this conversation is not in support of selfish, personal goals. Rather, it is about our availability to do His will. It is my prayer that we will do the difficult and have the conversations about the items in this post; so we can serve Jesus. For He said: If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him. John 12:26
©Copyright 2015 Marben Bland │
Marben Bland is a born again Christian studying to become an ordained minister. The intent of these blogs is to spread the gospel in support of the Great Commission: Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:16-20