Welcome to the P.J. (Pastor J) Sound Theology Blog

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What's the difference between Sheep and Goats?

Matthew 25:31-46 (NRSV)

"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left.

Then the king will say to those at his right hand, 'Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.'

Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?' And the king will answer them, 'Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.'

Then he will say to those at his left hand, 'You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' Then they also will answer, 'Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?' Then he will answer them, 'Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.' And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

I heard a minister preach from this text once about the difference between sheep and goats, while very similar they are also very different. Sheep are timid grazers who are easily corralled into a flock and stick together. Goats are scavengers who easily roam and eat whatever is in their path. Theologically speaking Jesus was on to something discussing two similar animals in look, sound, touch and over all description, with very different habits and personality's. This text yells the question which are you ? A sheep or a goat?- YOU DECIDE?

God help me to be a sheep in your pasture, and leave behind any goat-ish wasy, in Jesus name. Amen!

Friday, May 27, 2011

To be chosen by means what?

What does it mean to chosen by God? Many Christians don't fully understand what it means to be chosen by God. In short it means that when we accept Jesus and not reject his love, God then forgives and redeems us offering us eternal salvation. Our goal then is to live holy lives as a sign of our acceptance of Jesus acts on the cross. Are you living a chosen life? Others who don't believe reject Jesus and encourage us to do the same, they have hard hearts and have NOT YET allowed themselves to see the move of God nor hear the call of Jesus. By our life and our love we are to help them feel the Holy Spirit inspiring them to open their lives to God's will.

1 Peter 2:4-10 (NRSV)

Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God's sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in scripture:
"See, I am laying in Zion a stone,
a cornerstone chosen and precious;
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame."

To you then who believe, he is precious; but for those who do not believe,

"The stone that the builders rejected
has become the very head of the corner,"
"A stone that makes them stumble,
and a rock that makes them fall."

They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
Once you were not a people,
but now you are God's people;
once you had not received mercy,
but now you have received mercy.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Pain and Pleasure of ENDURANCE!

Sometime waiting can be painful, stressful, even harmful. Other times waiting can be pleasant, promising. We must remember that it's in the preparation that all good things are made ready and completed. Even though I know all of the above I still have endurance issues in every aspect of my life from exercising to saving money- therefore James was speaking directly to me, and if you are anything like me to you also! I pray you fund strength in these words.

James 1:2-5 (NRSV)

My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sitting on you TALENTS?

Today's reflection is self explanatory coming from the parable of the talents. God gives us all gifts and talents, the question for the decade is are we using them best or burying them keeping them from the church? I recall the song Stirr Up the Gifts, and say yes God yes!

Matthew 25:14-29 (NRSV)

"For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away.

The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money. After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them.

Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, 'Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.' His master said to him, 'Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.' And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, 'Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.' His master said to him, 'Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.'

Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, 'Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.' But his master replied, 'You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.'"

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Limitless Love...

God's love is indeed limitless, but God also calls us to love the same way. With Limitless Love! What or who do you love without boundaries? Today's reflection reminds us that everything can and indeed will pass away eventually except LOVE! As A child I remember telling my sister and family "I LOVE YOU THISSSSS MUCH " with my arms extended as far as possible and thinking how my love extends as far as the eye can see. I know this is how God loves us in-spite of our faults. The truth is in my life I have not loved enough people with the same limitless love. Rather I have held grudges, been angry, and put limits on my love, being careful to place persons in certain areas. Now I realize how that type of behavior is flawed, God calls us to love and let God take care of the rest. From now on my love know no bounds! How about you?

1 Corinthians 13:8-12 (NRSV)

Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.

Monday, May 23, 2011

There is nothing like God and No Place Like the Church

Psalm 149:1-5 (NRSV)

Praise the LORD! Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise in the assembly of the faithful.

Let Israel be glad in its Maker; let the children of Zion rejoice in their King. Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre.

For the LORD takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with victory. Let the faithful exult in glory; let them sing for joy on their couches.

Today's scripture above reminds us that we are to love and praise God just as God loves us. What better place to see this love and praise lived out except in the CHURCH, the Black Church especially. Yesterday at Mandell our worship experience was evident of the various ways a group of Christians praise and love God. From the emotional prayers, self emptying praise dancing, heart filling singing, Holy Spirit led preaching, prophetic scripture reading and the ever-loving all invited opening of the church doors call to commitment: ALL Give thanks to God while showing love, giving praise and adoration. Time and time again the church proves itself as a place where you can enter empty and leave full. Sunday after Sunday around the world the church provides a place where the hopeless can find hope and the lost a home in Christ. Yes indeed there is no place like the CHURCH, and there in NOTHING like God! See you Sunday - God is expecting you!