Matthew 18:1-20~ (Today's New International Version)
1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?"
2 He called a little child, whom he placed among them. 3 And he said: "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes a humble place—becoming like this child—is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
6 "If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were drowned in the depths of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!
8 If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. 9 And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.
10-11 "See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.
12 "What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off.
14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.
15 "If a brother or sister sins, go and point out the fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.' 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
18 "Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19 "Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."
Having done youth ministry for several years, one of the life events I know -a good teenager with a drug habit - his new friends cleaned out the house during a party. Mostly it was pot with a few chasers of this and that. His new friends when they cleaned out the house - Did Not do this with Mr. Clean, but took all the valuables and ran off. This happened twice, during two separate parties. He went and got clean and tried to tell people about being clean. He was rejoicing in being clean and thanking God.
Yet, he felt a little alone and daunted for trying to tell about the glories of being clean. Usually when we try to change the world around us - the best place to get comfortable with - is our own good changes.
Wow, the courage of telling and continuing to try.
What does the Scripture say - Jesus is the Word of God incarnate - what does His Wisdom say about Marijuana and Legalization.
I'd add this fact in quickly:
Jesus would Not be surprised there is an old substance compared to alcohol.
If you have a glass from a vineyard (Jesus loved to refer to vineyards), you are going to have it out of your system in a matter of hours, Marijuana lasts 28 days. Makes me realize - Jesus drank. And loved vineyards enough to speak of them 21 times in the New Testament.
And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.
1 Peter 5:8
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
Now many people would say, ok, but what would Jesus Say About This?
And he called the people to him and said to them, “Hear and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.”
I've heard the argument hemp makes people only soothed. I'd say that is OVERSTATED. Stoned people can be argumentative. Now if you ask me if I've tried Pot, I'd truthfully say no. However I am alive - go around in many different situations and say I don't see a lot of difference between the words and actions in public behavior of overindulging in alcohol or marijuana. Additionally, I think the decisions made in marijuana tend to fall short of alcohol and see employers with heavy machinery needs agree.
Jesus continues in Matthew 15
Then the disciples came and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?” He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”
So interpreting this:
We shouldn't be offended with facts. Facts tell us knowledge and wisdom. Employers dealing with equipment and marijuana usage say there are more accidents caused by less clear thinking. Root up a plant? Yes, if your life is impeded by a grape vine or a pot plant - root out the plant.
Proverbs tells us that pain causes us to want to dull our pain.
What would God say to this pain life causes?
Luke 12 tells us so many thousands and thousands left their lives to hear what Jesus said they began to trample each other. People have sought Jesus - not for entertainment - but for inspiration and peace. Hope.
Jesus dealt wisely with this multitude:
19 And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came out from him and healed them all.
The eternal words of Jesus say -
In his defense Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working."
Is following Jesus today immediately going to take our pain away?
Yes, for many very first time real believers - yes there is a mountain top experience of tranquility and joy. And then realities will push and shove like the parable of the seeds. Hmmm. Jesus said not to let the cares of life choke out what is truly good. To let our hearts be open. Matthew 13.
Legalization was the topic of conversation recently.
Government looking for ways to support the good things government does with a shrinking economy; the suggestion was ending the war on drugs by having more California Colorado type Marijuana Permitted Coffee Type Places to have more taxable dollars, less crime, more money and fund something already going around. After all, reasoning went, marijuana is just Hemp and grows naturally
Here are some facts dealing with this I agree with. And point out the recent studies by University of Texas only involved 100 people.
"A 1988 University of Alaska survey showed that the state's teenagers used marijuana at more than twice the national average for their age group. Alaska's Failed Legalization Experiment In 1975, Alaskans could legally possess marijuana...until they opted to re-criminalize the drug. Alaska's Supreme Court held that under their State Constitution an adult could possess marijuana for personal consumption in the home. The court's ruling became a green light for marijuana use. A 1988 University of Alaska survey showed that the state's teenagers used marijuana at more than twice the national average for their age group. The report also showed a frequency of marijuana use that suggested it wasn't experimental, but a well incorporated practice for teens. Fed up with this dangerous experiment, Alaska's residents voted in 1990 to re-criminalize possession of marijuana. But 15 years of legalization left its mark-increased drug use by a generation of our youth."
Alaska has now gone back to legalization.
A Texas federal judge I spoke with said the establishment currently in Texas feels the highest pot usage is age 19-31 and they feel it impairs judgment in this age group being over indulgent in the usage. The thought is that if people past their life critical early stages were to use pot, the usage is much smaller and life moves smoother.
If you look at Amsterdam and the effects around Needle Park, in 2010, you would find yourself followed down the streets by the black market drug pushers. These characters don't take 'no' for an answer, they will follow people for city blocks. Legalization has led to an increase in drug consumption. This has led to an increase in drug seekers and a continuing problem for the countries surrounding Holland when the tourist are leaving. And curbing the AIDs epidemic? It has resulted in a 2% decline. Cannabis consumption among Dutch teenagers has increased.
California has seen violent crime around the areas growing marihuana to sell for legal usage.
People in the hotel industries and car rental industries in Colorado report they no longer have the necessity to purchase pot - as the tourists leave ounces of the substance as they return to the states with less liberal laws.
Emotion tends to determine the individual's decision on marijuana legalization.
One could quote facts till blue in the face.
Jesus would say protect the children. Even if it is the children with young fathers and mothers. A man I know well tells me frankly he enjoys a bowl frequently and he explains, being previously married to a school teacher and being a tremendous lover of children and their needs, that school teachers should never be pot smokers.
People tend to make up their minds more emotionally than logically on issues, it is important to see what facts are available from real life situations.
Father God let us be lead and guided by Your wisdom, favor and grace in Jesus. Amen.
♔ Lord Jesus Saves †