Tag Archive | Goodness

Fear God or Fear man?

We are taught in the Bible that Fearing God is a good thing.  We cannot fear God and fear man at the same time.   Psalm 118:6 says the Lord is with me, I will not fear, what can man do to me?

Have you ever felt intimidated by someone?  It may be someone in a position of authority.  It may be your parents.  It may be your boss.  It may be spiritual elders.  Whenever you are around them, you just get so scared that , “what if I do something wrong, or say something wrong, will they get mad at me?”  If you haven’t been that person, then maybe you’re the person who is causing people to be afraid of you by your domineering and controlling nature.

1 Timothy 1:17 says that God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind.  But sadly in this world we are confronted with people who we think are giants.  If they are not giants, they may be part of our family or our spiritual family.  There are a lot of Eliab’s and Goliath’s in our lives these days.

28 Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger burned against David and he said, “Why have you come down? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your insolence and the wickedness of your heart; for you have come down in order to see the battle.” 29 But David said, “What have I done now? Was it not just a [n]question?” 30 Then he turned [o]away from him to another and said the same thing; and the people answered the same thing as [p]before.

Have you ever been around some people you around that when you are around them, you try to be honest with them, but after they use their intimidation and control over you and they may become like a bully to you.  You may feel like you cannot stand up to them or you cannot even talk to them because they are so much in control and domineering.  You avoid talking to them because they make you feel really small and insignificant.

David knew who he was and more importantly he knew who God was.  He knew that God would fight his battle for him.  He knew that God had given him strength.  David was rejected by people all the time because he was always praying for deliverance from personal enemies.  Some people are just like the Goliath’s and the Eliab’s and that’s part of their personality.  It’s called a choleric personality because they are very directive and strong.

But the Bible says we wage war not against the flesh and blood, but principalities and rulers in high places, and we must must must know who God is and I mean who He really is and what His nature is like if we are ever to be able to have victory in our lives.

We must know that God is a God of power and there is nothing that man can do to you if God is on your side.  We must put the proper perspective about respecting authority and being controlled by fear and intimidation because fear and intimidation is not from God.  There are times when people will be strict with you, but there are times that you must be able to stand up for yourself and give a logical answer for what you believe and if they still don’t understand then you leave it up to God for them to understand.  You let God have control and let Him take over because there is no use in worrying about what people do to you.  People are only human and if you fear people more than God then you are making an idol out of them.  You have to think about what dominates your thoughts most of the time.  Is it Jesus or is it this one person that has just been treating you or other people the wrong way.

Let me take some time to tell you about Jesus – He is loving –

He loves you so much He gave His life for both you and me.

He is joyful – He rejoices at every soul that comes to Him even the lost.

He is patient – He is patient to see everyone come to him.

He is kind – He speaks tenderly and kindly with speech seasoned with salt and grace that supplies every need.

He is peaceful – His yoke is easy and His burden is light, and He wants you to have nothing but peace in your life, but it is not as the world gives.

He is good – His goodness is shown throughout the Gospels because of His nature, He was always good to people.

He is gentle- He is the perfect gentleman and especially through the Holy Spirit which He provides.

He is meek, so humble to even wash the disciples feet

He is faithful – The Bible says He is faithful even when we are faithless

He is self-controlled – meaning that He disciplines Himself in all that He does.

The same thing can be said of the Father,

The Father is loving, It is through His love that we received salvation

The Father is patient – He also does not want to see a single soul lost

The Father is kind – The Father is kind to His children, which is shown through the parable of the Prodigal Son

The Father is joyful – He is joyful at what your heart thinks of His goodness

The Father is peaceful – He is Jehovah Shalom the Prince of Peace

The Father is good – I want to stop here and take some closer look at the Father’s goodness –

I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living.- Psalm 27:13 – unless we see the Father as good then we will be despaired.  This has been lost on people.  They think that the Heavenly Father is mad at them or is angry with them.  That is not His intention.  He doesn’t want you to think that He is angry with you.  He loves you.  He sent His Son to die for you.  He is angry with the world for their sins, and He hates sin, but He doesn’t hate the person.  He is a God of justice, if you have been doing the right things in life then He is not mad at you.   Even if you do sin, if you honestly repent (turn around) from that sin after you’ve accepted Jesus then He’ll accept you with open arms.

Have you ever been around people, and they would tell you “don’t touch me, you’re disgusting?”  The Untouchables in India are treated as third world people and as disgusting because they are of a lower class of people.  With God there is no lower class of people.  When God got angry in the Old Testament, He got angry at the injustices in the Old Testament, and even today if you treat people unjustly then God gets angry and He gets offended and He his wrath go out on people who do severe injustices to man kind for those who are not under the Blood.

People have been lost on how tremendously good God is and how great He is.  How He cares for us intricately and intimately and deeply and with great knowledge of us and great compassion for us.  It is in this sense we have to magnify God.  We have to magnify His goodness in our lives.

The Father’s gentleness is shown through His spirit which is so gentle kindling our hearts with a quiet and calm affection and tender lovingness which He so bestows upon us.

The Father and Jesus are one, everything that is in Jesus is also in the Father and everything in the Father is also in Jesus and in that we have the Holy Spirit who kindles our heart with affection and love so that we may experience the fullness of our being.  There is only one who comes to steal, kill, and destroy, and it is not God.  God came that you may have life and more abundantly.

After we have first realized all these things about God, then we can realize how Holy He is.  He is so Holy that if you’ve ever been near the sun, then you know it will just burn you alive, but that’s why through His Word and by His Spirit we have been shown the characteristics of God.

13 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body [a]to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

I want to get to 1 Corinthians 13 before I get to something else:

Love is patient-   Are we patient with people sinning against us?  Are we patient with infirmities?  Are we patient with waiting for God (this is a process and doesn’t happen overnight), love is kind (Are we kind to people, even when they are wrong?  Or they may be wallowing in self-pity or going off the wrong track, will we still restore them kindly?  Do we provoke fear of us or do we provoke fear of God in the person.  And is not jealous – are we jealous of where someone has gotten with God.  We should not be jealous, because that means we don’t love our selves and take for granted our blessings.

Love does not brag and is not arrogant- Do we keep telling people of our accomplisments over and over and over again or do we just say, it was God and not me, does not act unbecomingly- do we act with good manners, and I’m not talking about using the right fork at the dinner table.  It does not seek its own- do we expect things from people for ourselves?

Is not provoked- Do we get angry at all the little things and don’t take into consideration God’s goodness?,

Does not take into account a wrong suffered,- This may be the hardest thing and a very difficult thing and it may be a struggle for very very very many people especially believers who should no better but often we find ourselves caught in the traps of bitterness because of something someone has said to us and the way they have treated us over and over again.  Forgiveness is what we are commanded to do but when all we see is our hurt and our pain and all we have to hold on to then it becomes difficult to let go and then once we have let go it may be a long time afterwards to deal with the side effects of unforgiveness on our bodies.    Does not rejoice in unrighteousness- Here’s a key – if you know you’re doing something wrong but you don’t enjoy doing it then that means that there is still something of value in you, but if you rejoice when you know you are doing something wrong (and I’m not talking about eating that chocolate cake) then that means you’ve grown.  But rejoices with the truth- The Truth makes you free.  We must be careful not to get so spiritual that we are not able to meet the needs of the people around us.  We need to wear spiritual bifocals.  One side to see man’s weaknesss and the other side to see God’s perspective because if you don’t then you are in danger of being self-righteous and having pride set in.  Bears all things, believes all things or believes the best of every person, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails; but if there are gifts of [c] prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I [d]became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror [e]dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the [f]greatest of these is love.

God’s holiness is like the sun, you get near it you can get burned, it is the totality of his being.  His power is greater than that of electricity.   God has not given us a spirit of fear – that means to fear man, but of power to overcome, of love which is the most painful thing in this life, and a sound mind, which comes when you have the assurance that God will not let you go or forsake you or leave you alone.  That God is with us all the time and all the time He is good.

We must not let this intimidating spirit operate in our lives, and we must restore God’s good name and His goodness back to His believers.

 

Bearing Fruit in the Kingdom of God

We have this gardener who came and planted a blueberry plant, and then he came back and he said the other day that he had to remove that plant because it was not bearing fruit.  It really spoke to me because I found this verse.

John 15

15 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away;[a] and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will[b] ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

Love and Joy Perfected

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. 17 These things I command you, that you love one another.

It is very important to bear fruit for the kingdom of God, and we cannot do this without Jesus.  We need His help and without the pride coming in saying, it is my own sufficiency which comes in and does this, but there are fruits that must be cultivated and maintained in the Kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

We all have these areas to work on and to develop the character and nature in God, but we must be careful that when we are developing the fruit of longsuffering, that we do not lose the fruit of joy, love, peace, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  Jesus is patient with us to see which way we will turn out, but when He sees that we are not bearing fruit in the last days, then we are at threat of having everything we so longingly desire being taken away from us.  One of the key things to focus on is Love.  Love and Longsuffering are tied together, and I am sorry to say it, but it’s true.  When we are suffering long, we may become tired and worn out, and exhausted if we do not abide in Jesus, so when you see yourself falling into that trap, then the best thing to do is spend some time, which fruit can you work on improving more.  The 9 fruit gift of the Holy Spirit is a chained link which is tied together and whenever there is one that is strong, it can help sustain, all that are weak, but the most important one is love.  Love protects the breastplate of righteousness, and joy protects the Helmet of Salvation, Peace protects the Gospel of peace, and the rest also help prepare you with the Armor of God.  When you are going through the difficult times, remember love is a choice, not a feeling or an emotion, you choose to forgive, you choose to love, you choose to have joy, and through trials you choose to have patience, but sometimes patience, is the fruit that is hardest to develop.  Sometimes in life there are difficulties and trials, but through testing of your faith, that produces of patience, and patience, produces, character, and character produces hope.  Sometimes, we don’t see the hope in our situation, so then we wallow in self-pity and murmur and complain, but then we can choose to have joy and not complain and yearn to seek ourselves, but to allow Christ to work in us though we may be living examples of Christ.  And even though we may struggle from time to time because no man is perfect, even the anointed body, we still have this treasure in earthen vessels, which is the glory of God and Christ living in us.  So we must be careful, and I believe that this plant that was taken away because that it does not bear fruit, is a reminder, of how we must train and develop and mature not to just accept our former selves and love our outward man, but to go and remember that it is the soul and the spirit of a man that God looks after and cherishes, and that He cares for and tenderly nourishes.  So if you can’t cultivate one fruit, then cultivate more than one fruit.  And with that you will have patience.  There is no Law against the fruit of the Spirit, but the Law of Love, so if you are not operating out of love then ask yourself, what can you do to see the best of the person.  Allow God to transform you and to work in you to make you into what He created you to be, and don’t wallow in self-pity and discouragement because of trials and circumstances, and try to pursue these things, which are the nature of what Christ is called us to have.  Have love, Have joy, and Have peace, but most of all don’t have pride, because pride in saying that I don’t need to change and pursue these things, will lead to destruction, and God doesn’t want that.  Thank God for what you do have, and build up the nature of the fruit of the Spirit in life.  We may not understand what it actually takes to be like Jesus, but Jesus had to submit to His Father’s will, and that caused Him great anxiety, and stress, but in the end He gave up His will for His Father’s will, and we must do the same.