Thursday, February 12, 2015

Clothed in the Truth

"Who do you think you are? You're never going to change! You have never been able to change in the past. What makes you think this will be any different? It's hopeless, and you're hopeless. So don't even try! People will laugh at you. You have nothing to offer. You aren't good enough..."
Do any of these lies run through your mind? These are all lies Satan wants you to focus on. His main goal is to deflate you, convince you are incapable, unworthy, and he wants to make you quit! ➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖
He wants to fill your thoughts with so much doubt and insecurity that you would rather stay hidden then expose yourself or allow God to use you. (Trust me I have been there and still go there at times)
But here is the truth! You and me were created in the image of God. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. We have purpose and meaning which is found in Jesus. He is our strength and source of hope. It is He who we are to live for. ➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖
Focus on God's truth and let His promises drowned out the lies of Satan!

It's Not A Competition

Do we take offense when others leave a Church?

Do we stop and evaluate the Church as a whole when people begin to leave? 

Do we become angry and precede to make accusations without knowing the why? 

Not to long ago I heard a Pastor speak poorly against a Church here in Midland because of the way they structured their services. As I thought more about this I began to wonder what it was that he truly didn't like.

Had he actually attended one of the services there to back up what he was saying? 

Did he go off of what others said?

What made him come to the conclusion that he did? 

There is a huge difference between these two Churches. We have attended both. One is very traditional and still has the mindset it did 20 years ago. 

And the other is a more contemporary young Church that packs people of all ages in. So much so it requires 4 services verse one. 

One has Sunday School classes one doesn't. They each have different children's programs both of which are good. 

One seeks to outreach to the community and make all feel welcome and one is content with reaching just within the four walls. 

The one thing they both have in common is they both preach the Word of God. 

As I began to discuss this with the Lord I really began asking and listening to what He thought about this matter. 

And this is what He taught me. He has called and trained men up to become leaders and preachers that can reach people in all walks of life. 

Some men He has trained up to have a heart for the poor, the sick, the broken and people in the community who want to know that God loves them and accepts them just the way they are. 

I think you will agree with me that not all Pastors have hearts like this nor a lot of us. How can you tell the difference? Look at the Church, it's growth and range of age groups that attend. 

It's NOT about man, it's about sharing the Gospel of Christ to ALL people. It's about extending the four walls of the Church and leaving open the door for people to come in. 

It's about focusing on the life of Christ and how He lead and ran His ministry.

It's about looking beyond self to see the needs of others. It's about making a way for all people to come in and be able to use the gifts and abilities God has given them. 

You cut that out from a Church and tell people no, watch God begin to shake a Church up. Watch people begin to leave and go where they can be used by God. 

Why is it we do what we do? Is it to truly teach the Word of God or to draw attention to ourselves while making accusations against another Church that really does have a desire to serve God and others. 

Remember what Paul said in Galatians 2:7-10

"Instead, they saw that God had given me the responsibility of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles, just as he had given Peter the responsibility of preaching to the Jews. For the same God who worked through Peter as the apostle to the Jews also worked through me as the apostle to the Gentiles. In fact, James, Peter, and John, who were known as pillars of the church, recognized the gift God had given me, and they accepted Barnabas and me as their co-workers. They encouraged us to keep preaching to the Gentiles, while they continued their work with the Jews. Their only suggestion was that we keep on helping the poor, which I have always been eager to do." 

And then again in Philippians 1:15-19 which I believe puts it all into perspective. 

"It’s true that some are preaching out of jealousy and rivalry. But others preach about Christ with pure motives. They preach because they love me, for they know I have been appointed to defend the Good News. Those others do not have pure motives as they preach about Christ. They preach with selfish ambition, not sincerely, intending to make my chains more painful to me. But that doesn’t matter. Whether their motives are false or genuine, the message about Christ is being preached either way, so I rejoice. And I will continue to rejoice. For I know that as you pray for me and the Spirit of Jesus Christ helps me, this will lead to my deliverance." 

I want to close with this verse. 

"Don't make accusations against someone who hasn't wronged you." Proverbs 4:30

Jesus thank You for the truth of Your Word. Thank You for seeing the true motives of our hearts and for loving us in spite of them and our sinfulness. Help us not to make accusations against those who haven't wronged us. And to stand up for them when others try to tear them down. Thank You for giving us the choice to choose a Church home where You are the center, alive, and doing big things in the lives of others. Thank You for bringing people into our lives that have the same vision and passion to reach all people and who encourage one another to fulfill and use the gifts You have given each of us. Thank You for showing us it's not a competition rather it's about teamwork. Amen