Tag Archive | holiness

How Jesus reacts to us being unashamed

Many times we’ve said things to people and caused ourselves to have a bad reputation and mislead people in a wrong direction or been a bad example to others and also many times we’ve made mistakes and said things that we’ve regretted.  We’ve given out too much personal information and in the end it has caused us to be taken advantage of or to be hurt and to have regret, and sometimes when we’re corrected for our mistakes we take it very seriously to heart and it hinders us, but praise God He can make beauty for ashes, and joy for mourning, and He can take our mistakes and make it a blessing for someone else.

There is someone in the Bible who had a very good reason to be ashamed, and the very fact that she was written about in the Bible, says a great deal about Jesus and His nature, and how much He loves and He cares for people.    There is actually several examples of people in the Bible that God has used to show us the love of Christ.

Luke 8:

But as He went, the multitudes thronged Him. 43 Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any, 44 came from behind and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped.

45 And Jesus said, “Who touched Me?”

When all denied it, Peter and those with him[f] said, “Master, the multitudes throng and press You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’”[g]

46 But Jesus said, “Somebody touched Me, for I perceived power going out from Me.” 47 Now when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before Him, she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately.

This was a very courageous thing for her to do.  It could have been very humiliating for her, but she put her reputation at stake and just said boldly that she was “healed”.

This was a very personal thing for her, and something other people would have considered to be too much information.  But Jesus appreciated the fact that she was willing to lay down her pride and confess her healing.  It says that He was in a throng of people and they would have probably thought, “Who is this woman?  Why is she coming here to confess her healing.”  This woman risked her reputation to proclaim her healing before all.  She was very bold and she didn’t care what anybody else thought.
There is another woman who comes to mind,

John 8

Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught[b] in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded[c] us that such should be stoned.[d] But what do You say?”[e] This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.[f]

So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up[g] and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience,[h] went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her,[i] “Woman, where are those accusers of yours?[j] Has no one condemned you?”

11 She said, “No one, Lord.”

And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and[k] sin no more.”

12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

This woman had every right to be ashamed, and she was caught in sin, but instead of pointing out that sin, He restored her with a spirit of gentleness, and He did not condemn her for her sin.  She was caught in adultery, which is not a good thing, but He forgave her of all the iniquity and He restored her sense of love and belonging.

Part of the part of the sin problem from the garden of Eden is that we are left with a spirit of condemnation because we don’t go before God realizing that He can forgive us of our sin, and that He loves us.

Genesis 3

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”

10 So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”

11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat.”

Why would we hide from God who loves us so much?  Why would we hide from someone who showers us with His love?  Why would we hide from God?  Because of guilt.  They felt guilty and condemned.  We are in a place where are desperately seeking the way back to God, and the Presence of the Holy Spirit and the Garden.

We need to come closer to the Garden, but we have become so overwhelmed by the guilt that comes from the accuser.   It’s important to study the Word of God, and to follow the Lord’s leading.  Jesus reacts to us in a different way then we expect.  Even when He rebukes He gives something good followed with something that needs improvement, but then He always closes off with the good as to not leave someone left with discouragement but to give them a sense of hope and faith.

The faith of Christianity comes by believing in Christ as the Savior and it comes through personal revelation and not by man.  No one can teach you Christ, it comes through personal revelation and a choice to accept Christ, even though He has known the ones He is going to select to follow Him because He knows us so intimately.

There is some beckoning in the soul, to fill the void so empty in our hearts and that is Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ died to save us and to bring us the Holy Spirit to show us how to live the Christian life.  He wants to restore our life, purpose and identity.  He wasn’t just a great Teacher.  He is the Author and Creator of our souls, and the Light of the world.  There are people in these last days that are bent on evil an destruction and taking advantage of people.  But our God is a God of justice, fairness, and equity among all people.  He takes all things into consideration before making a decision and when He makes a decision it is always right.  When we pay close attention we learn to feed off the Master.

Sometimes people, don’t know how to resolve the situation in your life and your problem, they take it out on you by making you feel guilty but we can see that Jesus was not like that and we can see that in the case of the woman caught in adultery.

So even though we’re a fellowship built upon Pastors, Teachers, Preachers, Evangelists, and the rest of the five fold ministry for us to grow we need to be mature enough to realize that the things we have prayed about over and over and over again that instead of seeking after their counsel, the best thing to do is to wait and to seek God, and pray about it, and to thank God for another.  One way or another you’ll learn.  Jesus is the best teacher, and He is the only one who can help you grow the best and when you completely put your trust in Him then you will be able to receive the discernment to what applies to you and what doesn’t apply to you because you are unique.  No two people are the same, and each of them have their unique flavor.  So the best person to advise you is Jesus and that is the voice you should listen to.  Otherwise you end up listening to conflicting messages.  It takes wisdom to know what people are like.  Once you get to know what a person is like, and how they work, and what your relationship dynamic is then you will be able to discern that if “I go to this person this way, this is how they will react.”

Jesus was the same way with people.  He knew that Peter would react differently than John and James.  He also reacted differently around women then men.  He knew and knows how to rebuke people and how to comfort them.  He knows us so intimately.  That’s what the Holy Spirit is there for to teach us how Jesus will be able to relate to us.  He knew us before we were created in our mother’s womb.  He knew everything about us and He knew what we would be going through, so there is no reason to be ashamed with Jesus, but when it comes to other people there are some things that you can tell them, and some things you can’t tell them.  Many times too often we have fallen into traps where we’ve done or said some things we’ve regretted because we just didn’t have the wisdom, and Jesus says foolishness is sin, but the nature of Jesus says He will examine our hearts and see what will get us in trouble.  Sometimes the painful experiences will shape us into who God will want us to be, and we know that God protects us and has our very life in our hands.  Maybe God can see things we can’t and how it has affected us.  Maybe there is something that affects someone else somewhere and that is what you should and shouldn’t do.  There are often mistakes and when you learn from them you learn from your mistakes.  We cause a lot of damage by making foolish choices and hurting innocent people.  We pay the consequences for actions even the ones done in ignorance, but thank God He is faithful to forgive us.

Anticipating the Bridegroom difference between salvation and sanctification

 

This video gives the parable of the 5 foolish virgins and the 5 wise virgins, and what it is meant by salvation and sanctification.  Salvation is the process of walking towards Christ, and sanctification is the process of walking with Christ.  Salvation happens when you believe, and sanctification happens when you act on that belief.  We are called to be sanctified and that process will happen for the rest of our lives.

The difficult task of knowing when not to speak

In the Bible the book of James talks about how we are to bridle our tongues.  It says how can blessings and cursings come out of the same mouth and that the tongue is uncontrollable.  Jesus said to have our speech be seasoned with salt.

There was an experience that happened with my relative a while back.  I said something where I basically just stuck my foot in my mouth, which is just an expression for saying the wrong thing, and she gave me the silent treatment for a long time.  She was an unbeliever so she had not grasped the concepts of forgiveness, but in the process she taught me a very important lesson, which as of late I seemed to have forgotten.  In the process she taught me how to respect her and to be sensitive what I say to her.  I loved my relative and I did not want her to be mad at me and hoped that she would eventually forgive me and she did.  God is the same way and His anger can be kindled so much more, but sometimes we don’t realize that.  We kind of take Him for granted and not give Him the respect that He deserves.  Sometimes we don’t give God the same respect we give to other people, and even when we are mad at other people, we don’t give them the respect not to talk about them behind their back.  I know my relative can have a bad temper at times, but God can have a temper too.  I knew my relative loved me, but she was just angry with me for awhile.  God is the same way.

Isaiah 54 says,

“With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment;
But with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,”
Says the Lord, your Redeemer.

I know we should never do anything to make God mad at us, and we should never never never do that, but if in the current moment we may think that God is mad at us, it is ok, because He still loves us, and it says that He chastens those He loves.  If He loves you He chastens you.  He is not going to stay angry forever.  He may just distance Himself from you for awhile for one to see how much you will go after Him, and how much you will realize the way you hurt him, and how He feels about the situation.  We are so caught up in how we feel about what’s going on in our lives.  We are so concerned with all the circumstances, and our reactions to it, that we forget that God has a heart too, and we need to be sensitive to it, and not try to dishonor it.  I’m not saying we’ll be perfect all the time, but through life we’ll learn lessons, and learn how to trust Him, and how to depend on Him, so that we can learn how to bear fruit for the Kingdom of God.  So even during these times if it seems like your walking through darkness, or that it may seem like there are no answers, God is still there, and He’s still waiting for you to turn around.  He’s waiting to pick up all the pieces of your broken life.  He’s there to restore the damage that’s been made out of your life and to give you beauty for ashes.

Sometimes when we speak out of anger or frustration or because we just don’t know how to handle the situation we are facing, and we haven’t exactly learned how to keep our tongue under control, there will be times when we’ll be reminded of what God feels like.  We don’t like it when people are frustrated and angry with us, so then when shouldn’t be angry or frustrated with God for all the things going on.  He’s in control, and so many times in our lives we’ve tried to take control and not to submit to authority, and not to discipline ourselves in various areas.  I am not even saying that I have mastered anything in application in my life, but it’s only through the grace of God that I am able to share with you all on this journey.  We need to stop beating ourselves up for our mistakes and even the things we may say out of our mouths, but before we do that we need to take time to think and make decisions on how we are going to try to work on improving our attitudes.  We get so caught up in religious activities that we don’t actually take time to think and see how we are going to apply all that we have learned in the Bible.  We have to pray, and read the Word of God, but on days when it may be even hard to get out of bed in the morning then we need to know what kind of power we have waiting inside of us to make life for us, and how we can take Biblical examples of guarding our mouth, and ask us to show us His heart.  How many days would you like to go without God speaking to you?  Not very long I’d suppose.  So in that time more than really praise or worship or any other thing that we’ve tried to seek God with, we need to ask God, and to think how we can change our mindset.  It’s one thing to read the Word of God as just words, stories, and narratives, but it’s another thing to make it an application.  Start with one thing and then see what else you can improve on.  Some people that have an issue with their mouth, like gossiping have an issue with forgiveness, which is an area where we ALL need to work on.  If you have mastered the area of forgiveness then you are miles high then most of us Christians.  Most Christians are biting each other’s heads off all the time, and it’s so sad in the Church.  There are times when we’ve had people we respected lie to us, and we forget that we’ve lied ourselves, so that needs forgiveness.  We’ve had people come and say the  wrong thing at the wrong time and not shown compassion towards us, but then we fail to see how we’ve not been compassionate toward them in their hour of need.  There was a song by Mariah Carey called, Love takes time, which I don’t usually condone of secular music, but there are songs out there that really speak to me.  It goes something like “Love takes time to heal when you’re hurting so much”  Depending on what has happened in your life and how you’ve gone through life, I’m sure you’ve had to learn how to forgive and may be still learning when not to speak.

Sometimes when we at our weakest moments, we just say things, and we can all learn a lesson from Jesus when He was on trial he just was silent, and they didn’t like it, because they wanted Him to say something to convict Himself.

There was a story of a television show where there was a man who was in jail and when he was in jail, they would question him, and all he did when they questioned him he kept silent.  I think there was a Biblical principle behind that somewhere.

There’s always wisdom in knowing when not to speak and to speak.  So we should learn the principle of when to keep silent.  There’s another secular song called “Enjoy the Silence”.  We must choose words carefully, and when we are not perfect, then we should keep things to ourselves.

 

Initial Error of Balaam

If you’ve never heard the story of Balak and Balaam which God talks about in Revelation and in Numbers, and it is a pretty interesting one and in many ways, some of us believers are acting like Balaam, without even realizing it.

Numbers 22:

22  Then the sons of Israel journeyed, and camped in the plains of Moab beyond the Jordan opposite Jericho.

Now Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. So Moab was in great fear because of the people, for they were numerous; and Moab was in dread of the sons of Israel. Moab said to the elders of Midian, “Now this [a]horde will lick up all that is around us, as the ox licks up the grass of the field.” And Balak the son of Zippor was king of Moab at that time. So he sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor, at Pethor, which is near the [b]River, in the land of the sons of his people, to call him, saying, “Behold, a people came out of Egypt; behold, they cover the surface of the land, and they are living opposite me. Now, therefore, please come, curse this people for me since they are too [c]mighty for me; perhaps I may be able to [d]defeat them and drive them out of the land. For I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.”

So the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the fees for divination in their hand; and they came to Balaam and [e]repeated Balak’s words to him. He said to them, “Spend the night here, and I will bring word back to you as the Lord may speak to me.” And the leaders of Moab stayed with Balaam. Then God came to Balaam and said, “Who are these men with you?” 10 Balaam said to God, “Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent word to me, 11 ‘Behold, there is a people who came out of Egypt and they cover the surface of the land; now come, curse them for me; perhaps I may be able to fight against them and drive them out.’” 12 God said to Balaam, “Do not go with them; you shall not curse the people, for they are blessed.” 13 So Balaam arose in the morning and said to Balak’s leaders, “Go back to your land, for the Lord has refused to let me go with you.” 14 The leaders of Moab arose and went to Balak and said, “Balaam refused to come with us.”

15 Then Balak again sent leaders, more numerous and more distinguished than [f]the former. 16 They came to Balaam and said to him, “Thus says Balak the son of Zippor, ‘Let nothing, I beg you, hinder you from coming to me; 17 for I will indeed honor you richly, and I will do whatever you say to me. Please come then, curse this people for me.’” 18 Balaam replied to the servants of Balak, “ Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not do anything, either small or great, contrary to the [g]command of the Lord my God. 19 Now please, you also stay here tonight, and I will find out what else the Lord will speak to me.” 20 God came to Balaam at night and said to him, “If the men have come to call you, rise up and go with them; but only the word which I speak to you shall you do.”

21  So Balaam arose in the morning, and saddled his donkey and went with the leaders of Moab.22 But God was angry because he was going, and the angel of the Lord took his stand in the way as an adversary against him.

Notice how it says God first says to Balaam not to go, and then the implication says it is ok for him to go.  Then God gets angry with him.  Why is that?  That is because He is testing him if he will do the right thing.  But God knows that the heart of mankind is decietfully wicked so He knew He wasn’t going to do it.

Now I’ve had a sermon on this preached to me before in my Church and the sermon was called “Obedience Like A Donkey”.  I’ve only had one other time that the Lord reminded me of this verse and I quickly repented, but I don’t know if I changed what I did.

Here’s my story, using a personal example.  I was idolizing a television pastor, who was used to “ease my conscience” when I sinned, and I had the Lord tell me in an indirect way, several times, there was a conviction in the spirit, that maybe I shouldn’t be watching this preacher, and even though what they were teaching was Biblical, the theological doctrine was corrupted.  I had my spiritual mentor in the Church, tell me not to watch this person, because they will only bring me down, and because I was trying to pursue Jesus, this person became an idol for me, and I did not want to give up watching their television show because it made me feel better.  Instead of reading the Word of God for myself, which all teachers and preachers of the Word of God tell you to do, I decided to get spoon fed, and it was like a staircase model, where I was on the top of a staircase and this person who was at a lower level, and had less skill and training and personal experience, brought me down.  There were other issues going on for a while, and when I needed to have my conscience clear and my faith strengthened, everything around me began to fall, and I had literally been brainwashed into thinking what all these television preachers were saying and getting confused with corrupt teachings, until I finally came to repentance and said “enough is enough”  but by then it was too late, I had passed my three day limit of not reading the Word of God for myself, and my life began to spiral downward.  There was still growth, and I know God has a plan and purpose for everything and He can make good out of bad.  So I learned, “When God says ‘NO!!’ He means ‘NO!!”.  During this time I was still writing on my blog and doing things, but I realized, that my spiritual life had to get back on track because of my conscience.  At that point, I had difficulty receiving from the Holy Spirit.

This is the same thing I learned when I posted “Obedience is more important than Grace.”  God has been teaching me how to hear His voice, and after many sleepless and tearful nights, I decided to change my priorities, but now I have to climb back up to where I used to be and maybe that’s the toughest part of sanctification process is that if you don’t accept it, you can be thrown out of the purging process and out of God’s revealed will for your life and it can be very destructive.  But a new season is coming for all of us.  God has not changed, what has worked in the past will work again, and there is nothing new under the sun.  Let the reader understand.  I hope you guys learn from the mistake of Balaam and be obedient to the Lord the first time, especially when you  are debating in your mind, “I want to do this, but then I also don’t want to do this.  I don’t know what to do.”  As you become mature you will learn.  A good question to ask, is how is this going to benefit anyone other than me?  Does this appeal to my senses, or make me feel like I can get “away with it” if I do it.  Idols are very destructive, and they can lead you to a downward spiral, and especially when people seem to let you think that disobedience is ok, when it is not ok, then you should be warned not to repeat it. Television preachers sometimes make themselves a target for idolization, even if it is not their intention, but is usually the case with the media industry.  So message for today is “beware of idols”  – and “beware of disobedience” there is also a sermon on my Church’s website called, “Idols in Your Backseat”.  Although in this passage the first instruction that God has is usually the best, and if you put yourself in the middle God can answer you to your own desires even if it is not his will.

 

 

 

God is passionate about purity

Today I was looking at a milk cartoon and it said “passionate about purity”.  Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God”.  The Bible also says,

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. – Phillipians 4:8

God is passionate about purity, but it is not the outward purity that matters the most, but it is the purity of the heart and the mind because Jesus said “first wash the inside of the bowl, then the outside”  But it is important that people don’t commit sins that are indicated in the Bible, because God is a holy God.  When the sewage system takes the local water source and it recycles the water that was once impure and it gets the toxins out of it.  Then to further the purification process it probably should go through a more purified process so that it may be drinkable.  The best tasting water is one that has been purified the most and it is probably the most expensive.

Jesus has made us pure through His blood, but we must be on guard with our minds and be alert to taking every thought Captive unto the Obedience of Christ.  I once heard someone say that if you have a negative thought, just ignore it, but that is not healthy.  Even a qualified psychologist will tell you that once you recognize a destructive thought, you recognize, remove, replace and repeat.  Some Christians say that is not good to include psychology into the Christian walk, but the Bible does teach on what you are to think about, and some psychological principles tell you the how to think upon them, and the Bible does as well, so there is no harm in using psychological principles to train your main to develop the seeds of God’s Word and let it be made available to you when you need.  These are the last days, and when the times are getting more and more difficult, and more and more wicked with each generation we must be careful to keep our minds undefiled from the world and we must know who we are in Christ, so when we are faced with lies we can replace them with what the Word of God says about our lives.

We know that “His thoughts are higher than our thoughts,” and “His ways are higher than our ways”.  So we must pursue having thoughts that glorify Christ, and live out our lives to glorify Christ.  Of course all of us each of one of us is imperfect, and must not be under the presumption that we are perfect people, and the we must measure up to a perfect standard, because none of us can become perfect, which is why we have been given the Holy Spirit, to make us perfect and to transform us more and more into the image of Christ.

I used to have a friend who was a bad influence on me in school, and I care for her and still do hoping that she’ll come into salvation, but she would tell me to “put my mind in the gutter”.  Putting your mind in the gutter is the last thing you want to do, because you are exposing yourself to darkness, but thank God through His salvation, He brought me out of darkness and into light.

So if you have thoughts like “I want to commit suicide”, then remove that thought and say “I will live and not die and declare the works of the Lord.”  Or if you are guilty then say, “There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus, for those who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”  Or if you are anxious, then say, “Do not let your heart be troubled.”  Blessed is the man whose mind is steadied upon God.  But we live in a fallen world with so many distractions, which are hard to avoid.  So we must discipline ourselves, to capture every thought, and imagination, and cast it out, before it becomes foothold and a stronghold, and then overtakes us.  So we cannot just accept these thoughts.  These thoughts are a sign that there is something not right within our soul, and  for our soul to operate properly it has to line up with the Spirit of God and to do God’s will and plan and purpose for our lives.

When you become closer to God, He starts revealing to you all the things and issues in your heart that you need to deal with, and let Him purify you of.  You must be willing to let go of these things in your life.  These can be things like jealousy, unforgiveness, anger, worry, and you must allow the Word of God, letting the peace of God which surpasses all understanding guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  This is repentance.  During this time it is important, that you remove all the idols from your life and anything that is keeping you from seeking Him in your life.  That may mean that we may have to stop watching television preachers, and listening to other people who can only bring us down.  The dangerous part about listening to certain television preachers, while they may be highly anointed men and women of God, and have a successful ministry, but they may not help you at the level that you are at, and help take you to the level you will want to be.  This time you have to learn how to depend on God more, and to trust God more. Sometimes we get so discouraged that we listen to people that are “ear pleasers”, when sometimes what the Word of God says is harsh, even though Jesus Himself is not harsh, but His Word is stronger than a two edged Sword, even dividing to the soul and Spirit.   With patience, and in His timing He will make all things known to you, through the Holy Spirit.  Pray that the Holy Spirit reveal things to you in the Holy Spirit.

We all have toxins in our heart and our minds from before we were saved, and we must continue to guard our hearts and our minds, and to continue to walk in love and continue to keep our minds focused on Jesus and to preach the Gospel.  During the refining process I encourage you to read the Word of God as much as you are able and to fully trust the Word of God, and what it says without reading to much into it, and trust it above your own heart sometimes, because your own heart (the one before you got saved) was deceitfully wicked, but now your heart is pure as long as you continue to pursue God and have your mind stayed on Him and remove all kinds of distractions away from your life.  Believe me if you have not gone through some time of extreme difficulty, you will as a Christian, it is inevitable, but during those times, He gives us the grace that we need to handle life day by day. Remember to keep your hearts pure.

The word pure in the Greek is “Katharos”

It has signficant meanings:

2) in a similitude, like a vine cleansed by pruning and so fitted to bear fruit

1) free from corrupt desire, from sin and guilt

2) free from every admixture of what is false, sincere genuine

3) blameless, innocent

4) unstained with the guilt of anything

Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for katharos (Strong’s 2513)“. Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2012. 18 May 2012. < http:// www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?
Strongs=G2513&t=KJV >

– When the vine becomes pure it has to go through a pruning process, and it can hurt sometimes.

Purity and the vine which becomes pure:

It is free corrupt desire, from sin and guilt – there is real guilt, when you know what you have done goes against God’s Word, and then there’s false guilt which results in condemnaiton.

It is free from any admixture, or mingling, or twisting Scripture, and also from any lies, or deceit, or anything that is not genuine.

It is blameless, and innocent – You know when you are innocent of something.  Some things you know you just did not do.  Anything you do not know, Jesus, the High Priest, after the order of Melchizedek, has paid the price for.

It is also unstained with sin and guilt.  Notice it didn’t just say, “guilt”, it said “sin” and “guilt” so if the only sin was not believing, then most Christians would have nothing to feel guilty about because we all believe, but if we turn away from sin, by realizing that we are not condemned from that sin, but that we no longer identify with that sin, and that we are now new people, and we don’t need to hold on to that sin any longer.  It’s ok when we fall sometimes because God will help us get right back up, but we have to choose not to get stuck in this destructive path for our souls, and choose to live a righteous life, even though we know that we are already righteous people, and in the same manner we need to choose to live pure lives, even though we have a blood bought right to purity.

God is Passionate about purity of our hearts and minds which when renewed can live out the purity in the flesh and cause you not to sin.

Dangerous teachings about repentance

Repentance is a very sensitive issue in the body of Christ, and there is a way in which the message of the Gospel of Christ should be spread as not to harm the people.  We know we are to speak messages of repentance, which leads to sanctification, but the purpose of dying to yourself is not supposed to taken literally.  God loves you.  He created you and He knit you together in your mother’s womb.  For born again believers who are all at various stages of growth and some of them have reached a certain level of maturity and been through things where they can go and teach these kind of things, but you have to as one preacher said speak the truth in love.  You can speak the truth which is the Word of God, but you can be so harsh that it becomes unhealthy for the person, and they may be so desperate for God when they listen to you, and to see miracles happen in their life, and to have that implication that God doesn’t love them, and that God didn’t come to bring life and life more abundantly and that crush and wound the spirit so much.  There is a distinction between godly sorrow and sorrow of the world, but in the Church this line is getting thinner because people are getting so harsh, and yes there are people that need to change their lives, but when they are going through difficult times as we are going through now, we need messages of hope.  Millions of people are committing suicide everyday and some of them might even be Pastors, and yes some of them can’t live with their sin, and it’s so sad because God wants people to love, appreciate, and enjoy their life to their full.  Godly sorrow does not mean you hate your self, and you want your self to die, but there is a distinction between the flesh, soul, and spirit that needs to be drawn.  When you have these difficulties arising in times of crisis, and yes we do need to point out the laws for doing what’s right, but the greater Law is the Law of Love, and how much you love others.  Jesus said love God, and love your neighbors as you love yourself, so loving yourself is out of balance.  You might love God with all your heart, but if you don’t love yourself, then you can’t love your neighbor, so teaching people that the self is evil is very dangerous.  There is a method in preaching which involves understanding the makeup of a human mind, which will be transformed into God’s will, purpose and action, in a way that there is a sense of hope, encouragement, faith, and boldness, in knowing that godliness brings life to a person, and does not destroy the person, because the thief comes, to steal, kill, and destroy.

Now God may be testing your faith in some trials and obstacles, but when you need words of encouragement in the Body of Christ, you are sometimes bombarded with teachings about repentance, that don’t come to realize, that is a very slow process, and does not happen in an instant, and it is a life long process, that God takes one day at a time.  When you seek out God’s Word, first, and there will be obstacles, believe me, in trying to study God’s Word, but if all you can do is chew on God’s Word, and meditate on it, ruminate on it, and best of all don’t let people try to talk you out of this three part love cord, that you want not to be broken.  You want to see the best in people and it makes it hard when people you trust are crushing blow you down in the soul.  God is a restorer of the mind, and He binds up what has been broken, and he heals what has been hurt, but when people preach about this strict self denial it can defeat the purpose of God.  Paul said in Ephesians 6 that we are supposed to have the Gospel of peace,

Ephesians 6:15 talks about the Gospel of peace –

which is the word eirene in Greek and here is the meaning for it:

5) of Christianity, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is

Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for eirēnē (Strong’s 1515)“. Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2012. 8 May 2012. < http:// www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?
Strongs=G1515&t=KJV >

People are going through a lot of stress these days, and need to learn that God loves them, and when calling people to repenting for their sins, it is wise to speak the words very carefully and to analyze your audience.  If you have a television ministry, and you know many people are watching, you can cater the message in a way with your speech seasoned with salt, and if your salt loses its savor, then what can it be savored with?

Colossians 4:6 says –

Let your 5216 speech 3056 [be] alway 3842 with 1722 grace 5485,seasoned 741 with salt 217, that ye may know 1492 how 4459 ye 5209ought 1163 to answer 611 every 1538 man 1520.

Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for ‘”seasoned” AND “with” AND “salt”‘ in the KJV”. Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2012. 8 May 2012. < http:// www.blueletterbible.org/search/translationResults.cfm?
Criteria=seasoned+with+salt&t=KJV >

So when teaching about repentance, I urge Pastors out there not to be so hard on them that it breaks their spirit, because with a worried, anxious, stressed, and depressed soul, which comes from the enemy trying to use people, even anointed pastors and teachers, and preachers of the Word of God it can become unhealthy and defeat the purpose of God.  Bring restoration and not condemnation.

For those people that are living in sin, won’t get convicted anyway because they don’t realize what they have done wrong, and those people who are born again, will go into a downward spiral when you begin to speak words of death into their lives that make them devalue who God created them to be.  We are sons of the King and we need to be treated as such, and not as worthless sinners, who are good for nothing.  We need to be treated with respect, and courtesy and kindness, and when you know there are times when you will be tested on what you might say to someone whether you are a minister who is leading people or whether you are a person who is being served under a minister or leader, restrain your mouth from speaking evil, and when you have spoken evil, God will forgive you and turn it around for good, but just as with wounds of the soul, they take time to heal, but the enemy’s plan is to keep you constantly down and defeated and discouraged so that you cannot see the light, and that’s the last thing you want.  So bring hope and treat all of God’s people as sons of the King.  When you have a grievance with someone then forgive them, and if it still bothers you then seek counsel and support from others because the Church, the Body of Christ, is a Body where we are all growing and learning how to seek the Lord and to nurture and grow in health, and the last thing we want to see is someone so crushed and vexed in their soul, because of abuse. But hey, if God can work through Joyce Meyer and Paula White, who went through abuse and hardship in their lives, then God has surely found a way out for you, and teach you from your own life experiences and the way He has finally created you to be the shining example of who you are in the Body of Christ.   Also you need to keep in mind that for people who haven’t learn to dig their own well, or in speaking terms, study the Bible for themselves, then the best thing you can do is use wisdom on how to feed them, and have more Word and less you, that is how to really bring more of Christ in your life.  You don’t need to explain it to them, they understand, now if you are exhorting someone the body of Christ in general, with a correction, then realize that some babies or immature Christians can’t eat steak.  It is wise to measure the consistency of the food you are feeding to the people at a time.  You want to give them enough to chew on and meditate on for the day, and when they have come to spiritual growth, then you will be able to bring in more meat as God allows, but even that must be seasoned with salt.

 

 

 

 

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.