Rebuke and Condemn Evil!

open rebuke is better than secret love

There is a strong difference between judging and rebuking.  The distinction is that rebuking seeks to CORRECT the offender rather than condemning them. Unfortunately, many offenders take issue at being corrected and prefer to turn it around and accuse the rebuker (or victim) of wrongdoing rather than admit they were wrong and change their own behavior.  Although the Bible does tell us not to judge one another, it also instructs us very clearly to rebuke those who do evil, as well as those who hurt us.

Another way of looking at rebuking vs. judging is that rebuking involves facts, while judging involves assumptions. Here is an example:  when you disapprove of/protest/confront an abuser for behaving in ways that hurt other people (fact), and he responds by accusing you of not being a good Christian (assumption) (because you are confronting him, not honoring him, or for whatever reason), then you are rebuking him, but he is judging you.

Jesus and the Apostles were very bold and rebuked and condemned evil. They even openly rebuked people in the church for doing evil, in order to strengthen the church… a few examples…

1 Timothy 5:20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. Luke 17:3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. 2 Timothy 4:2 2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. Titus 1:13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; Titus 2:15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.”
If we don’t warn someone in error to turn from evil, we are partly responsible. “Ezekiel 33:8 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.”
Jesus was VERY bold openly!…
“Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.; O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things?; Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?; Thou hypocrite, ye have made it a den of thieves; Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.; Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified.”

It is a grave injustice to see a brother or sister entangled in sin and not address it in Love. Being politically correct or neutral when it comes to sin is not what God has called us to do.We must not be afraid of people or the backlash that comes from speaking the truth, when GOD is the one we must answer to.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father I thank you for helping us to understand that rebuking and condemning evil is a Kingdom command to strengthen your Bride. Help us to come into Unity of the faith Lord and stand firm against the onslaught of the enemy. Thank you for giving us the strength to humble ourselves to receive correction and instruction when it is necessary in our own lives. In Jesus name…Amen

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You Shall Surpass!

…Cry aloud, You who have not labored with child!

For more are the children of the desolate, Than the children of the married woman,” says the Lord. Isaiah 54:1

 

 

This is a direct command from God to offer a sacrificial praise to Him in the midst of unfruitfulness!

He is speaking to the ones that have tried over and over again to make it happen but couldn’t. The disappointed, the bitter and broken. It may seem like your life has been a vicious repeat and a Groundhog day from hell, but God is quickening you by His Spirit to CRY OUT in praise to Him for the very thing that there is no evidence of…,your fruitfulness!

The Word of God says

Now, Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the EVIDENCE of things unseen (Hebrews 11:1)

The very thing we do not see, by FAITH we have assurance that it exists! And notice here in Hebrews it says NOW FAITH IS! This is a now, current and present belief and assurance that we have it already!

So knowing this we can praise God in advance of the manifestation! Start praising him now for the miracle, start rejoicing now for the breakthrough! God is turning your sorrow into joy, your bitter into sweet and your barrenness into fruitfulness!

You will make it, you SHALL NOT die! You will have what God says you will have! You shall see the goodness of God in the land of the living!

Your results will surpass those who had all the “right stuff” to make it! Your harvest will be greater! Your marriage will be greater! Your children will be taught of the Lord! Your Healing will be Greater!

It’s no news baby when a married couple has a newborn, but it will make WORLD news when a barren woman gives birth!

Let God glorify Himself in you today! Hallelujah!

Prayer: Father, today I yield myself to be used as a living display of your Glory. No matter how much it hurts or how challenging it may be, I trust you God! Help me today to focus on your Goodness instead of the situation. In Jesus name , Amen.

Reflection on Romans 1-8

In Romans, many answers about human life, the natural world and mankind in relation to God can be found. Paul wrote this letter to build the case for the deadliness of sin and the absolute necessity for true righteousness, the righteousness that comes by faith through Jesus Christ.

The people in Rome were on two ends of the spectrum. On one end you have the utter depravity of the heathen and on the other side you have the religious man, represented by the Jew in this text. Paul reveals the truth that the human race as a whole is guilty before God whether pagan or religious.

Romans chapters one and three give a clear description of the state of the natural world. God created the Earth for man to enjoy in abundance and for mankind to be in direct and intimate fellowship with Him. He created man with a conscious whereby we could discern God’s presence and handiwork in everything including our own selves. “God made sure in His wisdom that everything that could be known about Him was revealed in man because God Himself has shown it to man” (1:19).In this way God says that man is without excuse.

When mankind sinned through the disobedience of Adam, we were separated from God. This caused the natural world and mankind to spiritually die and exist in a state of sin. This state of sin brought about every manner of wickedness.

Being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them. (1:29-32)

These very attributes directly affect human relationships: Children disobeying their parents, so called “friends” gossiping about one another; meanwhile inciting hate and possibly even murder. In this day and age we see that the majority of marriages end in divorce. Sexual perversion and abuse are at an all-time high. Drug addiction and crimes are commonplace all throughout the world today. There is nothing good that comes from the flesh!

During the time that this letter was written to the Church in Rome, the culture was heavily Hellenized. In other words the pagan worship of “gods” and “goddesses” was a huge influence. At the same time there were many Jews residing in Rome who were practicing the religious rites of their ancestors. The Church in Rome itself was a dense mixture of converted Jews and Gentiles. The Jewish converts were having a hard time wrapping their minds around the fact that the Gentile believers were equally righteous, even though they had never kept the Law of Moses or even tried to hold to any of the traditions the Jews held as sacred. Paul made sure  to settle all manners of strife or misunderstanding  when he wrote , “ As it is written, There is none righteous no, not one: There is none that understandeth , there is none that seeketh after God; they are all gone out of the way , they are together become unprofitable ; there is none that doeth good, no, not one”( 3:9-13). He further expounds on this by stating, “For all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God” (3:23).

 

The teaching in this letter helps me to see the true condition of this world. We all are truly in need of Jesus and his Redemptive work on the cross. We cannot do anything religious or good enough to provide our own righteousness.  I used to think that people needed salvation because of whatever sin they were committing at the time. Reading Romans helped me to see that sin itself is a state that we are born into and what we do is a result of that. I now see that this sinful state keeps us from enjoying the original intention of intimate fellowship and communion that God had for his beloved children from the beginning. God in His great mercy and compassion for us, provided a means through which we could be restored back into this fellowship with Him. Although it is  clear to me that Christians may still struggle with sin, it is even more clear that  we are still the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus and sin is no longer our master.

 

Thoughts on Evangelism

Evangelism

Evangelism in the early Church was contagious! When the Holy Spirit was given, the believers were compelled to go out and share the Good News about Jesus. Believers in this period didn’t have to be prodded to talk to their neighbors about their Faith; it was their pleasure and an understood Commission to do so. They were totally dependent on the Holy Spirit to reach people and demonstrate the Power of God. In Acts 1, the Holy Spirit so empowered Peter’s words that 3,000 were saved and baptized that day (P.144 Early/Wheeler). Most of the early Church’s time was spent evangelizing and serving others.

Jesus had a gentle and compassionate approach to evangelism he displayed compassion and concern for the people He ministered to. Jesus didn’t allow awkward situations or political correctness keep Him from reaching out to others, that He knew needed the Truth. He didn’t go trying to win people over with many words. His actions of Love and Compassion were displayed by engaging and listening to people, who most people wouldn’t give the time of day to. He evangelized even when he was tired, like with the woman at the well. He also after establishing rapport with the lost, was able to point out the sin in their life in Love. Jesus drew others to Himself with Love.

The Disciples were not as willing to step outside of their comfort zone to evangelize, like Jesus did. They didn’t see evangelism as a top priority. They allowed a lot of their cultural differences with others and lack of spiritual discernment get in the way. This is why they overlooked the spiritual needs of the woman at the well. They refused to see the spiritual harvest and rejoice in what God was doing. Eventually after Jesus was Resurrected, the Disciples changed their tune. They received Power from on High through the Holy Ghost and were enabled to go and get the job done!

Today in the Church, you see more concern with building individual buildings instead of building the Kingdom of God, or His people. We as the Body of Christ have gotten so off track in this foundational area of evangelism. People in the early Church didn’t spend as much time politicking over “church” business. They as a fellowship spent more time outside of the walls of their group, reaching people for Christ than anything else. There was never a question of “Should we start up an evangelism team”? That is what the Church was. They weren’t concerned with being “seeker friendly” like todays Church. Their focus was spot on Jesus and Him crucified, buried and Resurrected from the dead! The modern day Church is so consumed with how many members it has, but no concern for the members truly being converted. The Church of today doesn’t demonstrate the Power of God like the early Church. You barely see miracles, signs and wonders or the signs that follow them that believe in His name, casting out demons, speaking with new tongues and laying hands on the sick and the sick recovering!

Prayer: Father in the name of Jesus, help us to follow your example of evangelism. Lord, thank you for reminding us that this is our Commission from you as a follower of your Son Jesus! Father help us to step outside of our comfort zone when faced with an opportunity to share your message with someone we deem as different or unapproachable. Lord thank you for reminding us that we must totally depend on your Holy Spirit to reach the lost and hurting in this world! And God we thank you for your Grace and mercy in our own lives!

In Jesus name amen!

True Conversion/ Food for thought

Many of the people that respond to an invitation, pray a prayer, and fill out a card have never experienced true conversion. The Gospel has penetrated their intellect and even their emotions but not their will. Faith doesn’t become saving Faith until it impacts all three.

James wrote that even demons have a faith that impacts their intellect (they know there is one God) and emotions (they shudder), but it does not save them because it does not result in a change in their behavior.- Dr. Early(Evangelism is… How to share Jesus with passion and confidence)

What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?  15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your[a] works, and I will show you my faith by my[b] works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!

James 2:14-19

Actions Speak

“I love you” is gently whispered yet you cannot perceive it’s sound.

Yet a shoulder to lean on and soak with tears has volume you must turn down.

“I love you” is softly spoken but you cannot sense it’s tone.

But an arm of strength when one is weak is louder than a megaphone.

“I love you” is yelled on the rooftop billowing out it’s chilling shriek….

Yet.. love is a verb, that cannot be heard…

Simply because…. actions speak.