Tag Archives: Matthew 5:21-22

Tinder Accumulator

Father, as I look out my office window I am in awe of Your creation. Heavy rain and strong winds last night and calm and serene this morning…pools of water here and there and leaves – lots of leaves – everywhere! There is still some green, a little orange, and a lot of yellow. The intricacy of our world never ceases to amaze me. I love every season You have blessed me with in my part of the world. Every one of them has a beauty all its own. Thank You, Father, for the thought and love You put in Your creation!

Matthew 5:21-22 (<<click the green)

tinder /ˈtindər/ noun
    dry, flammable material, such as wood or paper,
    used for lighting a fire.

I must admit, Lord, that I am a tinder accumulator. And that is a dangerous thing. To do what it does, tinder is not a huge thing. It is a group of small things. If you want to start a fire for roasting hot dogs or warm your home, it can be a very good thing. But too much of a good thing can become a problem

Too much tinder can let a fire get out of control and it is easy for us to let a bunch of little things pile up in our lives. Instead of letting things go, we begin to stockpile them. Something said that offends us, something done that hurts us. What is best is to cast those things aside but so often we don’t do that. We prefer to hang on to the tinder – a pile here, an accumulation there. It can become difficult to let them go. We get used to having our own little pity parties and all that tinder is a good place to party.

But, Lord, what happens if a spark comes flying our way? Unfortunately, almost anything can set us off and with too much tender around us, we just can’t control it. We quickly go up in flames!

Today’s passage speaks of not committing murder, and thankfully I am not tempted in that area. But then, Lord, You go on to say that where murder brings judgment, so does being angry with someone. And that is an area in which I struggle. When a little spark flies my way my accumulation of “tinder” – things said and done – can quickly engulf me.

Lord, help me to get rid of my “tinder”. May I rid myself of the little things that can pile up into big things. May the anger that comes my way have nothing to ignite but may it fizzle and float away like a puff of smoke. Instead, may I be an accumulator of love. May Your love pour out of me putting out even the fires of others, showing that love is the answer – that You are the answer. Amen.

Nov 6th, Mon, 7:25 am

RAGE!

Father, I cherish Your presence in worship. I love how all the components of our services have Your touch upon them. I remember times when I have searched for a certain song or whatnot and have finally decided on one, thinking that it doesn’t really fit and, low and behold, in the middle of the service, it does! You truly do make all things work together for [our] good! Romans 8:28

One thing that I struggle with in life is trying to decide whether I should run away or whether I should stand and fight. This can apply to many areas of our lives but for me, one particularly difficult area is driving. Routine driving isn’t usually the problem. It’s when traffic gets snarly and the roads get full. For that matter, I guess it gets to me when someone pulls out in front of me then drives 10 miles below the speed limit.

Running away, for the most part, keeps me from encountering it. But I have to get to work, so it’s difficult to avoid. I could benefit with personal and spiritual growth if I could stand and fight but way too often my fight results in, not a win, but in a sound defeat! I’m not one for cursing but “idiot” and “fool” rise to the surface way too frequently.

Lord, what is the best way to combat this problem? You would handle it much better than I but in the heat of the moment I am all up in arms and – I’m sorry to say – You are the last one on my mind.

How can I say I love others and act like I do while driving? In Matthew 5:21-22, You make it very clear that I will but subject to judgment if I would murder someone, and rightly so. But You go on to say that even if I call someone an idiot or a fool that I am subject to judgment as well.

What needs to happen is that You need to be the first thing on my mind and not the last. The first thing that pops into my head to help me with that is to put a sticky note on the dash of my truck that will remind me of You. Maybe a WWJD? Or just Your name? I need to start somewhere and I best start with You. Help me, Lord! Amen!

Apr 2nd, Sun, 12:08 pm

Levels of “Badness”?

Father, beyond any shadow of a doubt I know I am cherished and loved. But I also realize that I have done nothing to earn that from You. You first loved me before I even knew to love You back. My sin separated me from You but because of the sacrifice of Your only beloved Son and because I accept Your forgiveness, I can come into Your presence and I can live a life of victory over sin and death! Praise Your holy Name!

James 2:10-11 (<<click here)

Why is it, Lord, that we have this bad habit of labeling sins, putting them on levels of “badness”? We have this tendency to think, My sins are not as bad as your sins!” Sin is sin. And as this passage proclaims, if you’ve broken one law it’s the same as breaking them all. There are not degrees of wickedness.

Jesus, You even said this while you lived amongst us. Matthew 5:21-22 tells us, “You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment. But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment.” Later in verses 27 and 28, You equate looking at someone with lust with adultery. If we break one law we’ve broken them all.

Now we’re not to just throw up our hands and give up. Through You, we can be victorious! But, as I said earlier, we have got to stop comparing ourselves to others. Someone else’s sin, no matter how heinous, is in no way worse than mine. Sin is sin. There is no such thing as little sins and big sins. Hating others because they are really bad sinners makes us guilty of sin as well (hate as an expression of our anger = murder).

Lord Jesus, help me to deal with my sin. Help me not to condemn others but, instead, to pray for them that they may turn to you as well.

Aug 24th, Wed, 7:18 am