In Joshua 22:10, the story tells that the people of Manasseh wanted to build and altar on the Canaan side of the Jordan. The people of Israel were so displeased, thinking wrongly that they were going to sacrifice to other gods. And wanted to go to war with them. Does the Lord take pleasure in sacrifices and holocausts than he does that we do his will? The Manasseh people perhaps understood this because they said, "This altar is not for sacrifices, but so that our children will have peace with your children, and when they see this altar, they will know that we worship a God who wants peace". So when the Lord said," I want mercy and not sacrifice." Is religion more important than forgiveness? Is musical melody more important than the peace among us? There is a place for melodies, and sacrifices and holocausts, but when I've forgotten the most important part of my religion, like forbearance and forgiveness, well the Israelites told the Manassehites, "Truly now we know that the Lord is among us, and when our children hear about this, they will know that we worship God." So the Israelites had peace with the Manassehites. By this will all children know you're my deciphiles, if you love one another. Amen.
I go to a baptist church but today afer bible study I went to visit the Methodist across the street. Same lovely people so where do we go from here? Do we sacrifice method to make friends? I certainly enjoyed visiting the foreign church, they do thing differently which was refreshing to me. They certainly had goodies and refreshments there. And they too have children who are as childreny as any I've seen.
Do we sacrifice friendship for the truth? That's is certaily an option and many do shun others because they are so mistaken in beliefs. And that certainly an option. But the Lord said that if we only do what's its our duty, aren't we like anyothers? Jesus said that if we only love those that love us aren't we just like the publicans who love their own? Is this clan mentality taking us anywhere?
The most important thing is what our children see through their eyes. What example will they follow? When they fight amongst themselves will we say, go ahear Johnny punch Joey to the ground? What will we tell them when they see us divided? Division is inevitable but what does Jesus really want? What kind of sacrifice does he want on his altar? We could never become one in the church, but what are we doing to make amends for the breach between us?
When was the last time you visited another church and forebore the difference in beliefs for an hour, just as a sacrifice of peace to the Lord? Just one visit so you can pray with them? Do you think the Lord will like that? Look at their children and see for yourself that they are God's creation and need love as much as yours do? We don't have to agree just hold our peace for one hour to make room for them in you little life. I was a stranger and you let me in...I was nake and you clothed me...I was in prison and you visit me...and I was hungry and you
fed me...That's the way Jesus sees an hour of peace with you kneighbor. Love your kneighbors as yourself. Amen. Jesus.