Four Ways to Exercise True Christianity – Matthew 5:39-42

Jesus in His Sermon on the Mount gives us four ways to exercise His true teachings by dying to self. In D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ fine exposition of Matthew 5:39-42, he emphasizes that before we make any effort to follow Jesus’ teachings it is important to have an attitude and a mind that is prepared by the Spirit.

1. Instead of resisting an evil person that slaps us on the cheek, we should turn the other cheek also (v. 39). As a Christian we are not to be concerned with our own personal injuries or comfort. We are to be indifferent to self, believing that God will care for us. However, if we believe that the man who struck us is out of control and has a problem with anger, or a drug problem, or any other thing, it may be good to show him his problem and try to restrain him for his own good. This is the Christian response.

2. Don’t insist on your legal rights if someone is trying to sue you for a shirt. Instead, give him your coat also (v. 40). Again, God wants us to lay down our life for others. He wants us to trust Him for whatever we need. We are not to expect an evil (unchristian) person to do anything good to us. But if we have an opportunity to help them in any way and put them on the path to God, do it. Do it not for your good but for theirs—for their salvation.

3. If someone compels you to go one mile, go with him two miles (v. 41). Jesus here is speaking of the custom of the Roman government to compel any Jew to carry baggage from one place to another. They had the presumed authority to do this because they had conquered the Jews and had control over them. We are not in the same situation as the Jews were in that time, but the teaching holds for us also. If someone is trying to make us do something for them, we are not to resist them, but we should gladly agree to do it and more. That glad attitude is of Christ, and it will speak loudly of our Christianity.

4. Give to anyone who asks you for a something or wants to borrow something (v. 42). We should give with the attitude that all we have is from Him. We must be willing to give it away if God so desires it of us. We must hold it with an open hand and be willing to let it go. On the other hand, we should be wise and discerning. There are many swindlers and professional beggars our there. Give only to those who have real needs. And to the swindlers, try to lead them in the right way if you can.

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When Am I Most Believable?

Stephen Nielsen

If you’re like me, you hate it when people don’t believe what you say. There is no worse feeling than when you share an important bit of information with a friend, and he or she immediately turns to someone else to get a different opinion—to check the validity of your statement.

I hate that. Why don’t people just believe me? But then I ask, what makes me unbelievable? Maybe it’s the way I look. Do I look like a dork? A crazy person? An imbecile? Uneducated? Not confident in myself? What is it?

Or maybe it’s more than just the way I look. Maybe it’s the way I come across. The way I act. Maybe I don’t come across to people with confidence. Or maybe they just don’t know me well enough.

Maybe the question I should be asking is, when am I most believable? That’s easy. I am most…

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Ten Foot Tall Flower

Stephen Nielsen

I saw this huge flower from a distance. There were none others like it around. I walked over to it and it was at least four feet taller than me. I’ve never seen anything like it. I know sunflowers are tall, but their middle is big, to hold all the seeds, This one is not..

It is about as tall as Goliath. He was 9 foot 9 inches tall.

It’s stem is a good inch in diameter. And its branches are over a quarter inch in diameter.

What a flower. What a monster of a flower. I counted about 30 flowers growing off of this one stem. Anybody know what it is?

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Yellow and Purple Flowers

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Why So Much Rioting?

Stephen Nielsen

We saw the riots start just a few days after George Floyd was killed by Derek Chauvin, a bad cop in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It began by protest marches, protesting abusive policeman against black people. Almost immediately Black Lives Matter got involved and then also members of Antifa arrived from many locations and paid by rich people like George Soros and others. But BLM and Antifa are not the only groups involved. There are many others.

Where did these radical groups get their start? What is their belief system, and what motivates them?  I suppose many are motivated by money, a lot of it. They work as professionals. And I suppose they are trained and educated too, but I don’t know where. I do know that they (the main trailblazers) have been around for a long time, as long as Communism has been around. They have had a plan for Russia…

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My thoughts on Covid -19

Stephen Nielsen

I just finished my last posting on My Life Story entitled Retirement: Last Things. If you have been following along, I’ve been basically telling my story, as much as I remember of it. If you look at my categories, I have 62 total posts with ten different subcategories. Now I plan on making it into a book; that was my plan all along. So, next I will go through it and edit it, then write a short intro, and then I will go through the process, with Lulu, of making it into a book.

So, anyway, since I needed to write on something else, I thought I would let you know what I am thinking about Covid-19, and also the riots. I’ll take one at a time. Today it’s Covid-19.

Where Did It Start?

We know it started in China, probably in one of their labs. But the big question…

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Retirement: Last Things

Stephen Nielsen

I think it’s always wise to plan the end of one’s life—to make the best of it. I’m almost 70, so I figure that I may have close to 20 years left, or at least 10. Of course, the Lord may return before then, so I’m all in favor of that. My doctor just told me that I was doing well, except that my cholesterol is high and she wants me to take something for it. I tried to talk her out of it, to just eat better, but she wouldn’t budge. She really recommended it. Since I talked to her this morning, I talked to a friend who is my age; and he has been taking cholesterol medication, and seems convinced that it’s doing him good. Well, I’m glad I talked to him, because now I feel better about going ahead and taking the medicine—I’m not sure what the…

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Down by the River

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Retirement: TV, Movies, Walks

Stephen Nielsen

I debated with myself as to whether I should include this section, because it might make me look bad. I know there are some bad programs, but I try to just watch the good ones. I do it to relax and for something fun to do. Here are the TV programs that I especially like:

In the morning I watch Fox news on channel 9 (in Minneapolis). It’s mainly local news and weather, but they have a little U.S. and world news too. Every once in a while, I will also flip over to MeTV and watch Leave It To Beaver. So funny. I love all those old shows.

If I’m not working and I’m home at noon, I like to watch Gunsmoke, also on MeTV. Call me old fashion, but I love it. Matt Dillion was the best lawman ever (on TV). He knew how to keep…

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Retirement: My Daily Routine

Stephen Nielsen

Since I have a lot more time off now, I find that it’s helpful to have a daily routine—so I don’t end up wasting my time, and spending too much time on the couch. First of all, I’ll give you the morning routine; its so important to get a good start on the day. The first thing I do after waking up and getting my feet on the floor is to take my meds: eye drops for glaucoma and my little pill for my thyroid condition. Then I turn on the set to the news. I just mainly catch the weather, the news highlights, and to see the friendly faces. And if it’s Monday, Wednesday, or Friday I will do my floor exercises, mainly just a few leg lifts, which I do to keep my hips in shape, since I had surgery on one, and the other I hope to…

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