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You reap what you sow

This message is not about money.  This message is about the Word of God and it is very crucial that people learn how to rightly divide the Word of Truth as to not bring condemnation to souls, and bring life into wounded and broken souls.  As I posted in my last blog posting, You are God’s beloved, I mentioned that there is a body and soul and spirit, but God’s perfect design is for the person, body, soul, and spirit to be whole and complete, just like Jesus was when He was on this earth, and just like He is in heaven.

Jesus makes an incredible teaching on the Word that is sown:

Jesus Teaches in Parables

1 That day Jesus went out of the house and was sitting by the sea. 2 And [a]large crowds gathered to Him, so He got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd was standing on the beach.

3 And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, “Behold, the sower went out to sow; 4 and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. 5 Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. 6 But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7 Others fell [b]among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. 8 And others fell on the good soil and *yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. 9 He who has ears, [c]let him hear.”

An Explanation

10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” 11 [d]Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. 12 For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him. 13 Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 [e]In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says,

[f]YOU WILL KEEP ON HEARING, [g]BUT WILL NOT UNDERSTAND;
[h]YOU WILL KEEP ON SEEING, BUT WILL NOT PERCEIVE;
15 FOR THE HEART OF THIS PEOPLE HAS BECOME DULL,
WITH THEIR EARS THEY SCARCELY HEAR,
AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES,
OTHERWISE THEY WOULD SEE WITH THEIR EYES,
HEAR WITH THEIR EARS,
AND UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART AND RETURN,
AND I WOULD HEAL THEM.’

16 But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. 17 For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

The Sower Explained

18 “Hear then the parable of the sower. 19 When anyone hears the [i]word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road. 20 The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the [j]word, immediately he [k]falls away. 22 And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the [l]world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 23 And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.”

When Jesus is revealed through the Scriptures this is what happens:

 

The Road to Emmaus

13 Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles[d] from Jerusalem. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15 So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.

17 And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?”[e]

18 Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?”

19 And He said to them, “What things?”

So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. 21 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. 22 Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. 23 When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. 24 And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.”

25 Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. (Wouldn’t we all like to be a part of that conversation)

The Disciples’ Eyes Opened

28 Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. 29 But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them.

30 Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.

32 And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?”

This burning was positive, and it meant that they were greatly moved because before they were depressed, and sulking, and now their hearts burned within them.

Whatever Word you do preach, the same will come back to you in some form, at some time.  Whatever you sow you will reap. Remember that the Word is supposed to reveal about Jesus and the character and nature of Him.

So I want to give an example of how not to interpret Scripture, and what not to do to an audience because even though it is the Word of God, people will take it the wrong way, and it is the Truth, but it is established by two or three witnesses.  So a question to ask a believer is what is their worst fear?  I think for most Christians is that they will be rejected by God forever, so I will just go into those verses right here.

David lists the same concern in Psalm 77

“Have you rejected me forever? Won’t you be kind again?

1 Chronicles 28:9

Solomon, my son, worship God and obey him with all your heart and mind, just as I have done. He knows all your thoughts and your reasons for doing things, and so if you turn to him, he will hear your prayers. But if you ignore him, he will reject you forever.

This particular verse is when David is talking to Solomon and the focus on the verse is on obedience, which is what your supposed to do, but in the light of this translation this is what the verse says.

So how do we reconcile that as a Bible student or preacher?

Jeremiah 31:37
Can you measure the heavens? Can you explore the depths of the earth? That’s how hard it would be for me to reject Israel forever, even though they have sinned. I, the LORD, have spoken.

So from the New Testament it says:

35 The Father loves the Son and has given him everything. 36 Everyone who has faith in the Son has eternal life. But no one who rejects him will ever share in that life, and God will be angry with them forever.

This is a little bit different than the verse 1 Chronicles.  The word here is faith in the Son, and not obedience.  We have to remember that a God is a God of hearts and He knows our hearts.

Even though the Bible says

Jeremiah 17:

9 The heart is deceitful above all things
and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?

We have to know that the LORD’s response was:

 10 “I the LORD search the heart
   and examine the mind,
to reward each person according to their conduct,
   according to what their deeds deserve.”

We have to keep in mind who is speaking and when they are speaking or we can get things out of context and really cause problems.  I myself am still learning about this, but am trying to be more careful when I write. That’s why when people take things out of the Book of Job, I am careful to find out who is exactly speaking because God cautions against the dark counsel of Job’s friends, so we need to learn at their mistakes, and not to take what they said, and apply it as Truth and fact. We have to examine the who, what, when, where, and why of Scripture.

Also we have to examine, like I said in my blog posting Dangers of Preaching out of the Soul, that you have to know what audience you are preaching to.

One thing that we have to know about the LORD and Jesus is that He is loving, joyful, patient, kind, slow to anger, merciful, gentle, meek, possessing goodness, faithful, and He has self-control.  Because of this nature and characteristics of His, which we are to become like, we need to carefully consider our words, so as not to hurt others, because whatever hurt we cause will  come back to us so we speak words that build up and encourage and exhort.  We need to know where people are established in their faith so that we do not become stumbling blocks before them.  We don’t want to get in the way of those that are pure in heart and seeking after God, and not willingly participating in sins that it mentions in Galatians 5.

Out of the times that we are in the darkness is definitely getting darker, but the light shouldn’t be getting darker too, it should be getting brighter.  So how do we do that, Jesus gave the example in the Road to Emmaus. Speak life, not death.  Speaking life causes life.

 

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Touch not the anointed

1 Chronicles 16:22 mentions not to touch the anointed.  The anointing of God is a very special thing in a person’s life.  Once a believer becomes born again, and they are put into a position of preaching and sharing the gospel, they are endowed with spiritual gifts.

15 So David said to Abner, “Are you not a man? And who is like you in Israel? Why then have you not guarded your lord the king? For one of the people came in to destroy your lord the king. 16 This thing that you have done is not good. As the Lord lives, you deserve to die, because you have not guarded your master, the Lord’s anointed. And now see where the king’s spear is, and the jug of water thatwas by his head.”

There can be serious consequences for interfering with someone’s anointing, and when you do that it is good to repent for anything you might have done out of vengeance in ministry in order to allow God to justify you out of His wrath.  We are all washed with the blood of Jesus when we accept Christ alone as the only way to get to heaven, and when we apply this to our sins, God forgives us, but there will be consequences, but God is so merciful He can use it for His advantage.

The anointed can refer to – Kings, Priests, and Christ Himself – and also Pastors or shepherds.  Now I am particularly talking about anyone that has a spiritual gift, whether that be writing, preaching, healing, or the many other giftings, but especially Pastors because they are called to be Pastors.  No Pastor is perfect, not television pastors, not pastors at the local church, and no one in ministry is perfect, so if they have said something to offend you – (I must admit I was offended by a television pastor’s remarks, hence the last post), but I made that mistake and I repented for it, and I realize now that positions of authority, any kind of authority have been given room for error.

That goes for presidents (modern day kings) as well.  We may think that the  people have voted for the president, and that may be true, but they wouldn’t be voted for without God’s permission without the perfect planning of God’s prophetic timeline.  But that does not negate free-will – we make the choice, but God has the final say in who is going to be president.  In America sometimes leaders don’t understand Biblical foundations and the consequences, so they will be prone to error, but all people should be subject and respectful to their leaders, even when their leaders are wrong according to Romans because in that way you are honoring God.  That doesn’t mean that if your leaders are wrong you just do what they say, but like Daniel with Nebuchadanezzar – He called upon the wisdom of God so dependently that it got him out of very difficult circumstances.

This generation is looking for the true sons of God who are people like Daniel in this generation who have the wisdom it takes to seek out God, and to live according to His plans and purposes and put right the presence of the Holy Spirit and the people who are going to back to sound Biblical truth which is well balanced and not an extreme on any case, but holds fast to the Truth, which is the Word of God.  We may not be there yet, but God is preparing the true sons (and daughters) of God for the last days. (ref. Romans 8:19)

Jesus says in the last days the love of many will grow cold and many will be offended.  As a Church we must not get offended by anyone or anything, and that takes spiritual maturity – we are all at different levels of growth and some people with more soul issues get offended more easily, but the truth is that we are all in a growth process.  When we are the point where we are ripe then we will be ready to be harvested as the true wheat and have the tares sifted out.

Leaders, especially Pastors are under a lot of pressure to get the body of Christ lined up properly, and they don’t always have time to get everything correct.  Many of them have personal family times and children they need to take care of, and they have sheep that they have to take care of and counsel and guide.  (ref. John 21)

So you should pray for leaders and other positions of authority over you and have respect for them, and when they abuse their position of authority if you pay them back with kind words and a blessing, then you will reap coals on their heads.

In Bible study we were discussing the prospect of seeking your own vengeance, and doing it by using the Bible or prayer claiming things like Psalm 35, to pray against people, which is the wrong application of Psalm 35.

So this message is short – if anyone has hurt you, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be a Pastor, but it can be anyone in authority or not, and I am sure you have been hurt because everyone has been hurt, angry, frustrated, distressed, or burdened by someone at least once in their life, if not every once in a while or on a regular basis – forgive them.

Heavenly Father,

Forgive us for any grievances we hold or have held against positions of authority.  Forgive us for any acts of knowing or unknowing behavior or attitudes that we may have against them.  Guide us and protect our hearts and seal them with the blood of Jesus.  If there any sin that is weighing our conscience right now, cleanse it with the blood of Jesus and let us be made whole.  Cause us not to take any actions of lawlessness against anyone.  Give us wisdom on how to interact with people and help us guard our mouth.

In Jesus Mighty Name I pray,

Amen.

 

Dangers of preaching out of the soul

I know that I am not worthy of sharing this message because often times what I have preached may seemed to have come out of the soul.  There is something important about analyzing of audience when you are trying to convey a message.  You don’t know who will be listening or reading what you are sharing and how it will impact them.  Certain types of messages may seem good to your soul, but are not often from the Spirit.  A good question you have to ask yourself is, will it do damage to the soul and bring condemnation to them?  People come with a lot of baggage in their souls, and if you carry your own baggage, even as an example, sometimes it can lead to destruction, and cause a lot of harm, and create a painful memory, in the person’s soul, especially if you believe that this person is really speaking from God.  So to put this delicately, we have to be very careful what we say, write, or speak as leaders.  We as Christians are supposed to forgive, and it maybe a lot more difficult when people abuse their position of authority.

There some types of audiences that you need to be aware of when preaching – not a law and probably no Biblical foundation to support this, but some guidelines to know what kind of message is appropriate for what kind of audience as so not to do tremendous damage to the soul to the point where it may become difficult for them to receive healing-Proverbs 13:12 – Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire [for Jesus] comes, it is a tree of life:

1.  Born Again Believers – who have been born again for over 20 to 30 years –

They have probably heard it all and won’t be surprised by anything you say, but there is something new that they can learn from a message.

2.  Born Again Believers – who have been born again for  15 to 20 years –

They may have not heard everything, but can tolerate rebuking and correction most of the time

3.  Born Again Believers – who have been born again for 10 to 15 years –

They might be going through what I like to call Spiritual Adolescence, and they may be easily persuaded by different types of doctrines so they need to be preached the Truth.  They probably cannot tolerate too much rebuking and correction, and if it is constant, they may be led to stray away from the faith if they don’t have some messages that build up or uplift or encourage sometimes.  It may not mean they have itching ears, but they need to be able to trust that what they are hearing is from God.

4.  Born Again Believers – who have been born again for 5 to 10 years –

These are believers who need to be fed the Word of God and need to be taught how to feed upon more than nuggets, and they need to be encouraged and built up and they need not to be rebuked unless their sin is going to damage the way that God has for their life.  Each person and circumstance is different so it cannot be dependent upon a formula, as none of these can, but it takes wisdom on how to counsel these people and how to minister the Word to them, but preferrably they need to be built up and encouraged.

5.  Born Again Believers – who have been born again (Just received salvation up to 5 years)

These are new believers – they need to be built up and encouraged in their faith as much as possible, and need to be fed strong Word of Truth from the beginning so that their foundation is strong.  They do not need to be led into condemnation, and rebuking has to be gentle, and persuasive, instead of harsh, and discouraging.  They need to be counseled and mentored by someone in the same gender as them if they have had issues in the area of lust, and need to be taught properly the Word of God, and be encouraged to build up their faith so that they can know who Jesus is. This would be a good time for them to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, after they have received the Baptism of Water.

5.  Nominal Christians – these are people who say they are born Christians

They need to be taught about what Jesus said to Nicodemus, that we must be born again, and they must be taught that Jesus is not a religion, but a relationship.  These people need to be rebuked because they are taking the name of Jesus in vain and they need to be taught the errors of their ways.

6.  Unbelievers – need to be treated the same way, but not need to have Jesus forced down the throat.  They need to experience Jesus for themselves because the Word of God will have no power over them if they don’t know who Jesus is.  It is different for each person and each person works out their own salvation with fear and trembling so they need to be carefully witnessed to, by planting small seeds at a time, and not be treated as such to “win a soul”.

7. Carnal Christians – various ages – who keep on committing sins that are abominations to God – for example the Church of Corinth.

That brings me to my next point – we are to win souls not crush them and break them and tear them to pieces.  We are to show them the way that they are wrong so that they can come into repentance, but not enter into condemnation, and it takes guidance from the Holy Spirit.  A preacher well intentioned may think they are hearing from God, (just an example)  but then make a comment that a person’s worship is not coming from the heart, and that may be true for some people or for themselves, but it is very dangerous to comment for everybody – especially for people that fall in that 1 – 10 category.  Their hearts are usually pure so they do not to be discouraged in the way the worship God, and I am not just talking about singing, but about their lifestyle of worship.  All preaching must bring hope and bring the message back to Jesus and back to revealing either Jesus, the Father, or the Holy Spirit, or all three included, otherwise it might be coming out of the soul or might even be bringing idolatry.  Some messages are teaching tools in how to lead an effective ministry and for that the audience will have to take in what applies to them.  Preaching should be more about Jesus and less about your own personal life, and you can use examples, but then use them in a way so that it brings people faith and not doubt and discouragement to their souls.  Once the soul is wounded it takes time to repair the soul.  The Old Testament says that – Cursed is he who does the work of the Lord deceitfully (or carelessly) – but The New Testament says – in 2 Corinthians 4:2 –

But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

Paul struggled in this area of leading the Church of Corinth because they were doing things like fornicating in the temple and bowing down to idols, and these were things that he had to correct, and he didn’t like doing it, but it needed to be done.

Most likely there are many different types of people in the Church that you are ministering to so it’s hard to tell.  Pray to the Lord and ask Him to impart on you the Spirit of love and Agape when teaching so that you may be revealed what to preach and when to preach it.  Perhaps you end up preaching out of your soul at one time, then you know you can always repent, but pray that the message you preached did not cause a wound in the soul and caused people to lose hope or not to be able to forgive themselves and enter into condemnation. When you do preach it is always good to pray before hand, and sometimes when you preach out of pain God can do mighty things in another person’s life, but it takes a lot of wisdom and discernment, and just being examining your motive in what you are preaching.  Is it to take your mess and turn it into a message?  Will it actually help people’s lives, or will it make them feel so bad about themselves that they don’t want to believe in Jesus anymore because of what you said?  People handle different things differently and it takes wisdom to handle the situation properly.  Many people have left the Church because of strife and offense and the things that people especially ministers have said.  So my exhortation for preachers, blog-evangelists, teachers, apostles, is to be careful in the things you say both on and off the “pulpit”.  As I said that I am not worthy to preach this message because of the way I have been writing this blog at times, and I can think of at least one sermon, which did not bring edification and to build up the body.  It is difficult for bloggers because they don’t know who they are reaching – it could be wicked spammers, or it could be mighty men and women of God, or it could be someone who has just found their faith, so be careful of not preaching out of the soul and taking your own baggage on the pulpit.

1 Peter 5 says –  1I WARN and counsel the elders among you (the pastors and spiritual guides of the church) as a fellow elder and as an eyewitness [called to testify] of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a sharer in the glory (the honor and splendor) that is to be revealed (disclosed, unfolded):     2Tend (nurture, guard, guide, and fold) the flock of God that is [your responsibility], not by coercion or constraint, but willingly; not dishonorably motivated by the advantages and profits [belonging to the office], but eagerly and cheerfully;     3Not domineering [as arrogant, dictatorial, and overbearing persons] over those in your charge, but being examples (patterns and models of Christian living) to the flock (the congregation).     4And [then] when the Chief Shepherd is revealed, you will win the conqueror’s crown of glory.

If you are a pastor, preacher, minister, leader, blog-evangelist, apostle, or teacher here is a prayer for you –

Heavenly Father,

Forgive me for anyone I have wounded grievously in the soul for the efforts of preaching and doing ministry work.  It was not my intention and I can only do what I can by the hearing and discernment of Your voice.  It is Your will that I should humble myself down before You and surrender the ministry into Your hands and cause only words that come out of Your mouth to be spoken or written to the people.  In their heart transformation let the people  not experience unforgiveness or bitterness in their own hearts toward anything being shared or spoken.  If there is any bitterness or unforgiveness in my own heart let it be washed away and cleansed by the Power of Your Blood and by the renewing of Your Spirit, and let it cleanse out all impurities of the soul that keep me from ministering what is Truth to Your Word.  Thank You for the Spirit of wisdom to help discern what types of audiences I am speaking to and what kind of messages need to be preached.  I lay everything down before Your feet, and remove any pride, critical, judgmental nature in my life and help me to be more like You each day.

In Jesus Mighty Name I Pray,

Amen.