Tag Archive | character

God uses the weak and foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise and mighty

As I was calling different grocery stores looking for a specific type of grocery product for someone, someone remarked that my speech was all jumbled and not clear, although to myself I was talking as clear as I could.  My reactions were juggling  between two Biblical Scriptural viewpoints – “they have become dull of hearing”  and the fact Moses had a speech impediment.

 

Exodus 4:

10 Then Moses said to the Lord, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.

11 So the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord? 12 Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.

13 But he said, “O my Lord, please send by the hand of whomever else You may send.”

14 So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and He said: “Is not Aaron the Levite your brother? I know that he can speak well. And look, he is also coming out to meet you. When he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. 15 Now you shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth. And I will be with your mouth and with his mouth, and I will teach you what you shall do. 16 So he shall be your spokesman to the people. And he himself shall be as a mouth for you, and you shall be to him as God. 17 And you shall take this rod in your hand, with which you shall do the signs.”

Although this was part of God’s divine plan from the beginning of the foundation of the world,  we can see how Moses view of his own identity, and the power of God to use him just as he was had become diminished, but that didn’t stop God from using Moses from parting the Red Sea.

26 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence. 30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— 31 that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”- 1 Corinthians 1:25-27

Some of us blog-evanglists, are bad spellers, use poor grammar, and bad sentence structure.  Some of us cannot speak very well.  Some of us have nothing special about our appearance, but God uses the weak and foolish things of the world to put to shame the things the things that are wise and mighty.  So if you don’t think anything there is anything special about you – or maybe you’re being picked on because there is something different about you – realize that God can still use you.  There was a story about a young boy that blushed too much, who ended up committing suicide because he was embarassed, and if only he had known that God still can use him.  God can use anyone and anybody.  It’s so sad to see people who have great and mighty callings on their lives be dismayed and discourage by what other people say – because God does not look at outward appearance but He looks at the heart.  He looks at what is inside of a man or woman that He may use.  There is a Scripture, verse that says –

2 Corinthians 10 –

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

Reality of Paul’s Authority

Do you look at things according to the outward appearance? If anyone is convinced in himself that he is Christ’s, let him again consider this in himself, that just as he is Christ’s, even so we are Christ’s.[a] For even if I should boast somewhat more about our authority, which the Lord gave us[b] for edification and not for your destruction, I shall not be ashamed— lest I seem to terrify you by letters. 10 “For his letters,” they say, “are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.” 11 Let such a person consider this, that what we are in word by letters when we are absent, such we will also be in deed when we are present.

Sometimes we think we need to have something great and mighty for God to use us.  But actually God can use anybody especially people that we may think have nothing about them that seems special.

All Moses had was a staff in his hand – and God used it.  All the little boy had was a bread and two fish, and God multiplied it.  All the widow at Zarephath, had was one hin of oil, and God used Elijah to multiply it, and used the very little that we have whether that be our weaknesses or our resources, or all that we have and God can bless so many people through it.

The Scripture says do not despise humble beginnings.  Wherever we get our start is a blessing, and when we receive our calling, sometimes we are hesitant – we say – how can I preach when I have speech problems?  or How can I be a missionary I can only walk to the end of the street and back?  or how can I feed thousands of people when I don’t have enough money to take care of myself and my needs?  How can I perform signs, miracles, and wonders in Jesus name, when I don’t appear to have anything special about me?   But you know what God is a God of multiplication, and Psalm 139 says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and knowing that He brings provision for every circumstance we will face.  Our God is a great God.

Do not be discouraged when someone criticizes you about something dear friends because God thinks highly of you because He is our Creator. Now at the same time if you are someone who is habitually sinning and willfully sinning against God, and God has brought you the conviction and you have rejected, then there is time for a rebuke, and that must also be taken, but that usually by elders and mentors in the Church, but from people in the world, if they despise you and reject you and say vile things against you  here’s what the Bible has to say-11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Don’t let the enemy use people to steal you’re God given identity in Christ away from you because, in Him you will find all the beauty and strength for your weaknesses.

There is a song called “The Heart of Worship” and it some part that says – “though I am weak and poor all I have is yours every single breath.”

Take your weaknesses to Him, and He will make them beautiful and shape them in His Potters wheel so that they maybe beautiful treasures that God may use  to glorify Himself in your life.

 

 

From a greedy heart to a loving one

 

This has really been on my heart a while about the dangers of greed, and I wanted to share it earlier. In the process I changed my title.   I want to venture out and say that sin has different levels, and while I was preparing this message, the verse that someone commented on this blog became alive for me.  12 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:11

Imagine running a race, when a 100 pound weight vest on.  That’s what people do on the Biggest Loser.  They sometimes run these races and they have these weights of all the weight they used to weigh and as they are running the race they drop off the weights in these containers.  Similarly, in the Christian walk, we all have weights that are called sin, which so easily ensnare us.  Yes Jesus Blood has cleansed us from sin, and removed all past sin from us, but we are still not perfect like Him, so then we have this sin that so easily ensnares us, and one of them I want to talk about today is greed. Greediness is tied into selfishness.

We know the world has greed and it can be seen anywhere, the stock market, George Fontenellis, said “operates on fear and greed”.  The world does not know any better.  Whether Christians should invest in the stock market, is not the purpose of this post.  But we as Christians should be set apart and act differently, than the world, and sadly, we don’t see that within the body of believers.  Sometimes we pray for stuff and then we get it and then the next day it’s something else, and something else.  It is also tied to not having a grateful heart or a heart full of thanksgiving.  We are always wanting more and more and more to the point that we are not satisfied.  We are always asking this and that from God, and sometimes forgetting to “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.”

We can also be greedy about love.  We want to have all the love to ourselves, and not want to share it.  We are in turn being selfish, and while God does know us, He wants us to recognize that we do have this area to work on.  The first step in problem solving is to identify the problem.  The Holy Spirit works with you to recognize the problem, and then He helps remove this weights of sin off our lives, if we let Him.  If we don’t let Him, then He can’t work in our lives.  We all have problems, and they need to be fixed, and Jesus is the Master of fixing problems, but often times He does not do it in the way we expect.  For example when He came to Israel, they expected Him, to become King and dismantle the political system and save the Jews from oppression by the Romans, but that was not what He was there to do.  He was there for a bigger purpose.  He had to commission His Kingdom, and set the process of transformation of lives to begin with.

Many people can have spiritual gifts and anointing, ministries, and the like, but unless they allow the Holy Spirit to work in their lives and remove the things that are keeping us from the glory to be revealed in us as it says in Romans 8, then all of that is in vain.  Unconditional love or Agape is the reason that Jesus died for us, and not just for our families, friends, and acquaintances, but for the whole world.  When we have this selfish greed in our heart it is keeping us from operating in the fullness of this Agape love, but since there are certain levels of greed operating in our lives, then we have to lay this sin upon the cross daily, and start renew and cultivate the love of the Holy Spirit operating in our lives.

What gets to me is when Paul says, “To be able to know what is the depth, and the height and the breadth of love, which surpasses all understanding”  We need to have more of this kind of love.  Greed is what makes people steal.  In 2 Kings 5:20 they talked about Gehazi who had greed, and the leprosy of Namaan clung to Gehazi.  Why?  Because He was not operating out of love.

This post is really not about tithing, or about money, or about possessions, but it’s about the character of God developing in you.  When you have this greed, or any sin, for that matter, it is like grime and it weighs you down so that you can’t run the race.  When you pray and you run to God to release the burden of the sin onto Him, and cast your cares onto Him, He allows it to work in your life, but you first have to surrender.

Many people think that once your saved, that’s it that you don’t have to change in anyway and that you can still be the same person, and that you cannot remove the old nature and to take on the new nature, but they don’t realize that this is all a process and a journey with many mountains and valleys, ups and downs.  Jesus is there to guide you through it all, and Thank God, for He is patient, kind, slow to anger, and merciful.  If it wasn’t for God’s mercy, we really would not be able to get away with all the stuff that we’ve gotten away with.

The power of redemption is to know what a sinner you were before, and to realize exactly what Jesus has done for you, so does that mean that once you have accepted you can continue to live in that way?  When you have redemption, not only has Jesus paid the price for your sin, but there is a transforming work inside of you that brings you from glory to glory so that you can be the shining example of victory that God has promised in your life.  Repentance, is not really just about saying I’m sorry, but like I said before, it’s about feeling remorse, and then turning, but as you turn it’s usually hard.  It’s where your faith comes in, and says if Jesus says that I can do it, then “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”, and in this context is where the verse is properly applied because the context is about knowing that whether abased or abound, you can be content.

Isn’t that all that we want?  To be content.  It is the true heart’s desire for us to be content and satisfied, but in essence we are always wanting more and more and we cannot seem to settle in one direction or another, but to have that steadfast contentment in our hearts, knowing that no matter what happens as long as we have Jesus, all is well.  I know it is hard, but we shouldn’t let others’ discontentment, which can lead to issues such as anger and greed get to us.  At the same time, we need to avoid being greedy and avoid all kinds of sin around us.  Yes Jesus has removed us from the guilt of sin, so we do not keep on needing to beat ourselves up about it, but we need to allow God to transform and change us by surrendering to Him, and it’s all a little by little.  The seed is there and we are going to change, if we have the right attitude about it, and are willing to change for God.  The problem comes when we think we have completely changed once we are saved, and then our minds don’t need constant renewing in the Word of God, or that our character needs to change to develop Christ-likeness.  Then we can appreciate the Grace of God that allows us to change into the image of God because He put that seed to love in our hearts.

Heavenly Father,

We know we are not perfect without You in our lives, and we thank You that You have given your precious saints, the ability to change and to become more like You.  Guard our hearts today from any kind of sin, which so easily ensnares us, and let us lay down any weight that keeps us from You Lord God.  Transform our hearts and make us into the pure likeness of Your Spirit, and guide us all into discernment Truth.  I seal this post with the Blood of Jesus and I ask you Lord to renew our hearts daily so that we may become more like You.  Mold us, like the potter molds the clay, and make us conform to Your image Lord God.  Wherever there is violence or anger spewing in anyone’s heart, remove that and change into love, and compassion, and mercy, and forgiveness.  Teach people humility, and to be loving and giving of their time, resources, and the gifts and abilities You have given them so that they may know how they can reach out to others.  Thank You for this beautiful day for we know that whether it is sunny, or windy, or rainy, or snowy, or thundering, or shaking, You are still God and the midst of it all.

In Jesus Mighty Name I pray,

Amen.

 

 

When everything falls apart

When we go through hard times and there is nothing and no one that can help, our intimacy and relationship to God is the only thing that can get us through.  When you have been experiencing some rough times – some  Good questions to ask yourself are:  What are you going to do when your Bible is too heavy for you to carry?  What are you going to do when you are not physically capable of using your laptop or computer?  What are you going to do when you try to pray but can’t?  What are you going to do if you’ve lost your voice too?(Not saying that I have)  What are you going to do when you are by yourself and everything around you just seems to be falling apart and you can’t so much lift your hands up or use your voice?  What are you going to do during those times when God is silent or you haven’t “reached” that level of intimacy to bring you close to maturity.  Have you ever thought about these things?  These things are good things to think about.  What does it all depend upon?

Some say it’s obedience and it’s about you reap what you sow, but actually I think in Job, Job got more depressed when other people were saying things like that.  What really matters and what God is looking at more than faith, I would guess is your attitude.  Your attitude while suffering really is a good signal of how mature you are in Christ.  Paul said in Romans 8, “I consider these sufferings of the present time nothing compared to the glory that is about to be revealed.”  If you are able to keep a joyful attitude when suffering then that means you have something that is of value to God.  Sometimes the thing is not whether you are happy or sad, but what goes on in your thought life and how you lift up your heart to Him and just come to that point of surrender in knowing that you cannot do it without Him.  Even Jesus when He was on the Cross probably was not rejoicing and singing and shouting, but He maintained the Word confession out loud, and He surrendered to the sin that He took upon His flesh when He was on the Cross.  We all say we want a deeper relationship with God and a more intimate relationship with God, but do you know what it actually means to take on the nature of Christ?  It means to partake in the sufferings of Christ.  Although it is good that God does not give you more than you can bear, and though sorrow may last through the night and joy comes in the morning, we all have to suffer at some point and our attitude while suffering is important.

There are some kinds of attitudes that are healthy to have while in sufferings:

1)  An attitude of praise – If you are able to not curse God or blame God during the circumstance but to lift Him up and not allow the enemy’s tactics to discourage you and to bring you into self-pity then that is a good attitude to have.  I’ve done a blog post on Praise  –  I forgot what it’s called.  It might be called, “Singing in the Valley”

2) An attitude of communion – If we allow ourselves to acknowledge the fact that Christ has suffered too, and that no one has suffered to the point that Christ has as it says in Hebrews 12, then we will know that no matter what happens we do not have to be discouraged because Christ has already overcome the world, and we know that He has suffered as well.  There’s a verse – I think it’s in Phillipians  where Paul says that he thanks God to know the power of His resurrection, and to partake in the fellowship of His sufferings.  That must be a difficult thing to understand for some people.  I am not saying that you have to suffer that it is a requirement to fellowship with Him, but to say that if you are suffering rejoice because Christ suffered likewise.

3)  An attitude of rejoicing – When you are suffering, good chances are that you are being chastened or being disciplined by God, and even though it says that no disciplining is joyful but is grievous and painful, but the result is peacable fruits of righteousness for those that have been trained by it – We can still choose to rejoice.  We can continually have our hearts lifted up because – we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:4

4) An attitude of surrender – knowing that you are too small to fix all your problems is a great thing.  Knowing that there is someone greater and larger that takes care of everything.  It’s good to be obedient to the little that God has called you to do, but even when you have been disobedient and are trying to take control of your life and figure everything out for yourself then that God cannot operate in changing your free will, so you have to come and humble yourself before Him.  Job did that in the last chapter of Job, where He just surrendered to God and repented.  Surrender is a form of repentence – it is laying your will down and making a commitment to change. It is also the ability to realize how Great our God is.

5) An attitude of not complaining – no matter what circumstances you are going through, the less you complain, and murmur, the better it is.  But you can always talk to God and reason with Him.  Jesus is your mediator.  When Job was suffering he cried out for a mediator between God and man.  Aren’t we glad that we have one?

6) An attitude of Prayer – If at all you can pray, and prayer just means communicate to God in some form (I know some people say you have to utter out loud or speak in tongues), but in some cases you just need in your heart to communicate your heart’s desire to God and have that level of faith step in and take over.

7) An attitude of Be Still and Know – “When you have done all that you can do stand” – It says in Ephesians 6.  When we can just rest knowing that God still loves us and cares for us and that our prayers are being heard and answered then maybe that’s all we need.  We don’t need to beat ourselves up for what we have done because God knows and He is there to help you.  Sometimes He just wants you to go and spend time with Him and seek Him.

Sometimes it’s not about all the rebuking the devil that you do, but it’s about your attitude.  I don’t even want to get into all that’s going on right now, but I know God is faithful even when everything falls apart.  The key thing to remember when everything falls apart is that God works out all things together for good to those who love Him.  There’s going to be a blessing out of this situation that you might be going through – that is the peaceable fruits of righteousness.