Growing pains “Osgood Schlatters”

In life we find ourselves working or associating with people whom many a time we prefer not to be near. And, we wonder where in the world do these behaviors come from that these people are portraying. No matter how bad people are we have been planted around them for a purpose. And, if God moves us or moves them; because we are knitted together, someone will be negatively affected. We are where we are with a purpose and because God loves everyone and cares for all, he has allowed us to grow next to them. A spiritual truth is that we can grow in any circumstance and in any place; the downside is that it can take place in unwanted places. It is only for a period of time; Growing pains. Teens go through a time in their lives where they get growing pains and the only way that these pains go away is through time.

Matthew 13:36

36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.
29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

Jesus was finishing three parables to the multitude. The parables were without interpretation to the multitude, but when the disciples asked Jesus about the sayings he explained them to them. One particular parable the disciples were interested in was the one about the wheat and the tares. They were interested in this parable because of the idea of the two distinct plants having to grow together, similar to us having to deal with others. It seems that the disciples remembered when Jesus spoke about loving your enemies (Mt. 5:43-48) that they picked this parable. It was a trend of having to deal with growing pains for man. Again, Jesus tells his disciples that eventually pain would go away and that there is a reward awaiting (Lk6:35). Now, a seed either grows or dies. When a seed is planted it first has to die before it can grow (Jh12:24).

Peter tells us that growth comes through the milk of the word of God (1Pt.2:2). In order to deal with our growing pains we must grow via the nourishment of the word. Growth goes along with the word and the more we speak of the word the more we grow (Ep4:15). But, when we cease speaking of God growth stops and it is like when we age that our bodies stop growing and begin to age and get old (Ps32:3). How can we tell if a person is growing in God? Growth is noted by the speaking of God. Growing pains come because growth is forcing it way through, and in God you will have to experience those pains; you will have to let those tares in your life where your pains are from.

Appressed in every way

Being around people for some is not an exciting place to be, but as the population on earth grows we are finding ourselves feeling a bit congested. There are 7 billion people on earth and the number continues to grow. During the rush hour one wonders where do so many people come from; the feelings of tensions, stress and frustration becomes apparent. The fact is that people themselves make us oppressed and sometimes we need a little ship to take us away kind of like what Jesus felt near the beach.

Mark 3:9

And he spake to his disciples, that a small ship should wait on him because of the multitude, lest they should throng him.

The people were ecstatic with the power and words of Jesus. People were being liberated and healed each time Jesus came to a place and so they were eager to see him even to touch him. For example, there was a women with an issue of blood who when heard about the Lord made her way through the crowd to touch him and was healed (Mk. 5:25).  Like in many instances Jesus was pressed by so many people. Metaphorically, pressed is related to oppression and to be oppressed is to weigh down or burden and people tend to do just that. It is to have rule or power over someone else just as the enemy continually tries to do.  Now, God is in the business of relieving the oppressed. He does not leave us in oppression beyond what we can handle (Ps. 103:6). The Psalmist assured us that God would not allow us to return from oppression in shame (Ps. 74:21).

Jesus’ mission included liberating the oppressed from their oppressors. When there is someone in oppression something or someone is the cause. It is a feeling that that thing, situation or person has a sense of power over one (Ecc. 4:1); a sense of captivity.  And, Jesus came to set the captives free (Is.61:1), but because of the continual progression of man and the quest for power many continue suffer oppression.  Jesus had the disciples prepare a boat for his escape from being pressed on by the people and in order for one to escape oppression he or she needs to have a plan of escape. Sometimes our plan of escape will require others to help just as in Jesus’ case and in the man paralyzed who was carried by his friends (Mt. 2:2).  Other times in order to become free from oppression it will take a personal effort. Isaiah says that through fasting oppression leaves (Is. 58:6) and that might be the boat that is waiting for you.

The Cornerstone

Plastering is a trade that goes back centuries it is what keeps our homes together. The walls inside your house are held together with plaster and depending the type of plaster you can experience cracking of the walls or beautiful finishing. Plaster decorations in ancient times dictated the entrances of ancient buildings importance. The disciples drew Jesus’ attention to the temples beautiful composition (Mt. 24:1-2), but He depicted the frailness of the earthly composition. Earthly compositions of what is supposed to be good and strong is not compared to the strength that comes from Christ.

Job 38:5-7

Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?

Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;

When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
Jobs refusal to accept his condition of weakness over strength caused God to challenge him and bring him to the realization that maker of all things is the one who strengthens the weak and that it is not of our selves. Paul told the church and today’s Christian be strong (1Cor. 16:13). But, the question that comes to many people’s mind is how can we be strong, and the answer is quit simple by not refusing the corner stone (Ps. 118:22). Now, there are some amazing and artistic cornering for our material homes, but there is nothing like the cornering that comes from God; smooth and polished (Ps. 144:12). You see, the strength that comes from the Lord binds tighter then the best plastering that are earthen.  Unfortunately, many believe that they can handle everything that comes their way and for some things they indeed can handle, but with Christ as the corner stone; the sure foundations (Is. 28:16), a more secure feeling occurs.
Jesus Christ was tried in everything and passed. He is as Isaiah said a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation and he that believes shall not make haste. As a corner stone we can trust him to stand firm when other foundations are falling apart. No other foundation has endured so long a test of time as Christ. He has never failed, nor wavered when hard times came. Luke in the book of Acts says that he has become the head of the corner (Acts 4:11). He is no longer just the molding that keep the families and our lives together, but he is the head of the corner meaning that he supports the entire molding; the apostles and prophet, molding (Eph. 2:20).

New Years Day

New Years Day is an awesome time; a time to begin a new. A chance to create resolutions to try to accomplish those things we couldn’t the past year is the new year. For many it is not welcome, the new year, but for those who are looking for the opportunity to have a fresh start it is a welcoming time. If every day would be a new start it would be awesome, in fact, it is; every day is a chance to start new. God’s promise is for today to be a starting chance for someone. Many of us forget that newness is not only for the new Christian, but for all of us; Every day is New Years Day.
Revelation 21:3-4And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

The purpose for God to send his Son Jesus Christ to earth to day for our sins it was and is to establish a relationship with men. A relationship of worship and adoration where men can come to God with their needs and God can bless man is the tabernacle he established. Jesus said that he would not leave us as orphans, but would give us the Holy Spirit, the counselor and guide. No matter what we go through in life there is always a new beginning in the horizon of hope. The human spirit can encounter and endure tremendous tension if the mind believes its capacity for survival will not be stretched ad infinitum. Sometimes we live not by what we have but by that for which we hope. Heaven is our ultimate hope. That hope supplies stamina during stress (Ashbury Commentary). Hope is as a garment that we can either put on or take off, but we cannot mix it with other things like doubt (Mt. 9:16-17).  When we try put something old like doubt after hope it only makes the situations worst; it tears the skins.

Paul encourages us to put away the old; those things that brings down our hope. To be unleavened bread is a state of flatness no variation, and Paul makes all of us as a new lump (1Cor. 5:7-8). Something new and afresh are those who follow Christ. We need to be in a celebration mode because of the newness in us.  Newness deals with two essential factors, the past which carries pain, tears and sorrow and the new of which Christ promised to come (2 Cor. 5:17), a new creature erupts or is evolved. The new is always ready to come when we are ready to allow the old to wax away (Heb.8:13).

A petition within a prayer

Prayer is composed of a serious of dialog additions. Within prayer there is a time to praise the Lord and worship. There is a time for repentance of asking for forgiveness and within prayer there is that moment when we are free to ask. At the moment of asking is known as the petition time where we think of the things that are important; the things that worry us and make us afraid. During the petition time we remember scriptures and accompany them with our requests. During that petition time is when we exercise our faith the most, we believe that those things we ask we will receive. For those who feel that they do not know how to pray there is no special chemistry to it. Automatically, when we pray our spirit leads us to the appropriate format of prayer. Our needs lead us to pray. If it weren’t for our needs and our surrounding situations there would not be any reason for prayer.
Habakkuk 3:1-2
3 A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet upon Shigionoth.
O Lord, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.
Now in Habakkuk awoke a reason for prayer. The people of Israel were waiting for deliverance and it dawn on Habakkuk at that moment of prayer to present that before the Lord. The work of God was there, but it was neglected. People became accustom to their state of spiritual dryness; death. It took an acknowledgment of Habakkuk of the condition to finally present it in petition to the Lord. Paul stated to the church of Philippians that while the need might be great do not be anxious (Ph. 4:6).  Habakkuk felt an anxiety for the work in God’s people yet his petition surfaced; it became known unto God. Cornelius’ prayers and petitions came unto God for which God sent and angel with the response (Acts 10:4). Jesus said that who ever asks he shall receive (Mt. 7:8). The people of Israel were liberated from their oppression after Habakkuk prayed, in fact, their liberator came, Jesus to set the captives free.
Something needs to happen before the petitions receive an answer sometimes is a matter of waiting, but other times is a matter of relationships. In Jobs story his loses were great, his pains were beyond comprehension, but main issue God wanted to deal with was that of relationships (Job 42:10). While job was down his friends ganged up against him and tried to make sense out of something that was beyond their comprehension instead of praying for him and stand next to him they turned against him.  Petitions are not answered while one has something against someone else. Job’s condition did not come to a close until he prayed for his friends, his petition could not be answered until he petition for someone else. When you pray, Jesus said, if you believe you will receive them (Mt. 21:22).