God's Truth In Love

Posts Tagged ‘Renewal’

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 18 – Can authority be trusted?

In Abuse, Authority, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian Living, Church Growth, Decision Making, Godly Counsel, Prudence, Renewal, Repentance, Revival, Trust, Truth, Uncategorized, Wisdom on February 13, 2019 at 4:37 pm

At the beginning of 2019 we took on a different approach to finishing both our series on Church Growth, or lack thereof, and the Study of the Book of Proverbs. Instead of alternating weekly between two subjects, as we have in the past, we will proceed this year by carrying one subject to completion and then next to completion. Please be assured we will finish each subject, Church Growth and Proverbs. We will begin by finishing the series, “Why My Church is NOT Growing” with the focus for the next several weeks placed upon the issue of how “authority” affects church growth.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 18 – Can authority be trusted?

An honest appraisal and answer to the question of whether authority can be trusted or not is simply, not always. Authority is not always godly in nature and therefore, not always worthy of our trust. This is where our need for discernment comes into play.

God has granted His people the ability to discern the spiritual nature of those we are dealing with on a daily basis. That said we must always keep in mind that our ability to discern properly would depend upon our spiritual condition at any given moment. Let us presume that a person’s spiritual condition is godly, and they are submitted to the authority of God. In those conditions, one must use their discernment to determine whether a person in a position of authority is using that authority to point people to a greater understanding of Christ and to godliness or if they are using their authority for personal gain and worldly ambition.

2 Corinthians 10:8 King James (AV)

8 For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed:

1 Peter 5:2–3 (NKJV)

2 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; 3 nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;

We find within the DNA of godly leadership a desire to build up, not destroy. A desire to teach truths not simply command conformity. There should be a desire within these leaders to care for those in their charge, not a sense of mere obligation to do so. If money is the motivator for a leader with authority, then they shall surely be affected by their greed to the point of being untrustworthy.

You can like a pastor without ignoring his obvious character flaws and emulating them, which only leads to your own personal struggles with self. You can love a husband without submitting to his ungodly leadership, which will only lead to the deterioration of your own life and character. You can respect a politician’s views and public service without covering your eyes to his or her compromise, which can place you in a position of supporting governmental changes that are ungodly through your support of the person. In all things, examine these people for godly character and character you deem worthy of emulating.

Throughout this study if you need the wisdom of God on a matter, and you wish to receive the counsel of another Believer in Christ, please use the “comments” link to send your question to me.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

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Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 17 – How should we respond and interact with authority?

In Abuse, Advice, Authority, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian Living, Church Growth, Confusion, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Remnant, Renewal, Revival, Truth, Uncategorized, Wisdom on February 13, 2019 at 4:35 pm

At the beginning of 2019 we took on a different approach to finishing both our series on Church Growth, or lack thereof, and the Study of the Book of Proverbs. Instead of alternating weekly between two subjects, as we have in the past, we will proceed this year by carrying one subject to completion and then next to completion. However, please be assured we will finish each subject, Church Growth and Proverbs. We will begin by finishing the series, “Why My Church is NOT Growing” with the focus for the next several weeks placed upon the issue of how “authority” affects church growth.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 17 – How should we respond and interact with authority?

As we examine these questions about Christian Spiritual Authority and Societal Authority it is imperative to keep in mind that you do not want to allow your reflection on this matter to cause you to act inappropriately with said authority. In a healthy relationship or congregational setting there is a balance to be found in both the proper administration of authority and the proper response to and respect for authority, this must always be kept in mind as the goal of these writings, and I pray it is your goal as well.

It is extremely important to be balanced in our approach regarding submission to authority. If we fall to one extreme, we will become nonconformist, in a negative way, insolent and isolated without purpose. If however, we fall to the other extreme we will open ourselves up for spiritual, physical, financial, mental, and emotional abuse and mistreatment. There is a balance to be found in the proper discernment of what is going on around us and happening to us at any given time within our relationships and as we relate to the society around us.

God’s ultimate purpose is being played out around us and in our society. Please note that I stated His “ultimate purpose” not His day-to-day Perfect Will. There is a difference. The primary difference being God’s ideal and God’s awareness. God knows all that is going to happen and all that has happened, but He does not usurp freewill in order to make His Will come to pass. That said, He also does not allow anyone to rise to or fall from a position of power and authority without His awareness and choice not to intervene. The people in certain positions within our society and within the Body of Christ are there for a reason that perhaps only God know, but for a reason, nevertheless.

Romans 13:1 (NKJV) – Note: Read all of chapter 13 for complete understanding and context.

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.

2 Timothy 2:20 (NKJV)

20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor.

Are the previous statements contradictions? No, they are the manner in which God has chosen to interact with His creation since the being of time. Examine the interactions within the Bible from Genesis to Revelation and see God at work in just this way. Did He stop Judas from betrayal, extortion, conspiracy to commit murder, and suicide, all of which are sins? No, He allowed Judas, even used, or allowed Judas to be used, so that His ultimate plan might be fulfilled for mankind’s redemption.

Once again, I want to reiterate that we as Christian’s and personal followers of the Lord Jesus, the Christ, obey God and God’s Word over any authority whether governmental, relational, or spiritual in nature.

Acts 5:29 (NKJV)

29 But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.

Quite naturally, man is going to benefit from godly leadership and suffer under the rule of wicked (ungodly or godless) leadership, whether in a church setting, a society, governmental setting, group setting, or family setting – bad, sinful, unwise leadership produces fruitlessness – death instead of life, destruction instead of growth, strife instead of peace, and the like.

Proverbs 29:2 (NKJV)

When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice;

But when a wicked man rules, the people groan.

This is why God’s people must continue to be active in the selection and placement of their governmental and Christian spiritual leaders, and women extremely careful about the men they choose to marry. Without attempting to play your part in the selection and election process of these leaders, one cannot expect to have a say before man or God about the outcome. Involvement that is directed by and ordered under the direction of God is vital to the godly health of our nation, local church congregations, families, and ministries.

Throughout this study if you need the wisdom of God on a matter, and you wish to receive the counsel of another Believer in Christ, please use the “comments” link to send your question to me.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 16 – “Authority” Who or what holds authority?

In Abuse, Advice, Apostasy, Authority, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian Living, Church Growth, Confusion, Decision Making, Religious Freedom, Remnant, Renewal, Repentance, Revival, Truth, Uncategorized on January 31, 2019 at 1:26 pm

As we take on a new year, 2019, we will take a different approach to finishing both our series on Church Growth, or lack thereof, and the Study of the Book of Proverbs. Instead of alternating weekly between two subjects, as we have in the past, we will proceed this year by carrying one subject to completion and then next to completion. Please be assured we will finish each subject, Church Growth and Proverbs. We will begin by finishing the series, “Why My Church is NOT Growing” with the focus for the next several weeks placed upon the issue of how “authority” affects church growth.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 16 – “Authority” Who or what holds authority?

The Word of God is authority to the highest degree because of its ability to address all life matters that concern us. Even though it does not always provide a literally specific answer to a question, such as where to live or what car to buy, it does always provide the life principles that make those decisions answerable in a godly manner. The overall guidance needed for any situation is found in the authority of God’s Word.

Hebrews 4:12 (NKJV)

12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Through the use of God’s Word, we are not only able to find guidance for our life situation, but we are also able to have our own hearts and motives revealed to us as we search the Word for our answers. Through our submission to the process of seeking God’s guidance by means of His authority found in His Word, we are able to allow Him authority over our thoughts and the intents of our heart.

It is God’s desire to help us, protect us, keep our lives on course, and lead us out of any places of ungodliness but we must trust His authority in our lives to make that possible.

Ephesians 6:17 (NKJV)

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;

Salvation is to be saved from something. To be delivered from sin, danger, difficulties, to be preserved from destruction, etc. This is what God wants for us in this life and in the life hereafter. The Word of God is the authority through which He often makes that possible, if only we would adhere to its instructions.

The authority of God Word, the Bible, exists because it is the mind, heart, and will of God. It is not the ideas of man but instead the ideals and very nature of God Himself revealed to man. The men who wrote the words down on paper were mere secretaries of sorts taking shorthand for their Boss.

2 Timothy 3:16–17 (NKJV)

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

1 Thessalonians 2:13 (NKJV)

For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.

The idea that only a portion of Scripture is true or that it does not mean what it says is simply a lie, one that Satan perpetrates. Where you see the existence of lies Satan reigns because he is the Father of Lies according to Scripture. Lying is a direct by-product of Satan’s influence in a situation or in a person’s life. God’s Word is just that, God’s Word, all of it, always good, always correct, and always righteous in its nature. It is meant to enhance mankind’s life and lead them to godliness in all things.

Psalm 119:160 (NKJV)

The entirety of Your word is truth,

And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.

The greatest display of the authority of God’s Written Word is the impact and transforming power it has on the individual who allows the Word to be the authority of their life. Sanctification comes by the Word of God. Meaning both through the person of the Word found in Christ Jesus and through the power and authority found in adherence to the Written Word.

John 17:17 (NKJV) Jesus speaking.

Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.

James 1:22 (NKJV)

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

If we refuse to appropriately follow the Word of God, then we will not find the process of sanctification to be manifesting in our lives. By refusing to allow the Word to be our authority we are making ourselves people who simply hear the Word but do not do the Word. We are commanded by God to do both, hear and do the Word. Truth is found in the Word, the Word submitted to becomes Authority, and when truth is discovered in the Word and applied sanctification is the result.

Throughout this study if you need the wisdom of God on a matter, and you wish to receive the counsel of another Believer in Christ, please use the “comments” link to send your question to me.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 15 – “Authority” What is in a word?

In Abuse, Advice, Authority, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian Living, Christianity, Church Growth, End Times, Exhortation, False Doctrine, Godliness, Persecution, Prudence, Religious Freedom, Remnant, Renewal, Repentance, Spiritual Remnant, Truth, Wisdom on January 16, 2019 at 12:07 pm

As we take on a new year, 2019, we will take a different approach to finishing both our series on Church Growth, or lack thereof, and the Study of the Book of Proverbs. Instead of alternating weekly between two subjects, as we have in the past, we will proceed this year by carrying one subject to completion and then next to completion. Please be assured we will finish each subject, Church Growth and Proverbs. We will begin by finishing the series, “Why My Church is NOT Growing” with the focus for the next several weeks placed upon the issue of how “authority” affects church growth.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 15 – “Authority” What is in a word?

Authority according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is as follow:

authority

Function:

noun

1 a (1) : a citation (as from a book or file) used in defense or support (2) : the source from which the citation is drawn b (1) : a conclusive statement or set of statements (as an official decision of a court) (2) : a decision taken as a precedent (3) : TESTIMONY c : an individual cited or appealed to as an expert

2 a : power to influence or command thought, opinion, or behavior b : freedom granted by one in authority : RIGHT

3 a : persons in command; specifically : GOVERNMENT b : a governmental agency or corporation to administer a revenue-producing public enterprise <the transit authority>

synonyms see INFLUENCE, POWER

Concerning the definition identified by the number 1, for the Christian Community, this relates to the Written Word of God, which is the Holy Bible. The Written Word of God is the final authority in all things. We do not, regardless of who might instruct us; government, Pastor, husband, wife, parent, boss, etc., sin against God’s Written Word. Anyone who is asking us to violate God’s Word is in sin himself or herself and we are not to follow them into sin. We follow God’s Word first, then man second. We also follow God’s Word when our own desires and wants contradict His Word. This is what it means for God’s Word to be the final authority in our lives. We are to subject all of our decisions to what God’s Word says on the matter.

In reference to the definition labeled number 2, we must subject ourselves to God so that any authority we have, in any type of relationship, is properly administered to others. If we hold a position of authority where we are able to teach or through other means influence the thoughts and mindset of another human being, then we owe it to God, them, and ourselves to daily self-evaluate and make sure we are submitted to the greatest Authority, God, our Creator. Without our daily submission to the Almighty, our authority is worthless.

The final definition number 3, puts or pits God’s agenda either in line with or against the agenda of societal government and/or institutionalized religion’s governing bodies. This situation is a bit trickier to deal with. God calls for us to obey the laws and ordinances of man and our Christian spiritual leaders expect when to do so would require us to disobey Him. One might think, ‘Would we really ever have to disobey God in order to obey government or a church leader?’ Yes, I believe that at times we might be forced to make that choice and answer the question of whom we will obey, for ourselves as individuals. The apostles made ever attempt to obey the laws of their land but when they were told to stop preaching the gospel by the authorities in their land, they declined to do so because they knew their greater obligation was to Christ. Our greater obligation will always be to Christ and what Christ wants us to do. We live in a time and in a country that is rapidly changing, and those changes are becoming more and more ungodly. As our society changes, we may find ourselves in the very real position of having to decide to obey God and possibly go to jail or having to obey man and suppress truth.

Acts 5:26–32 (NKJV)

26 Then the captain went with the officers and brought them without violence, for they feared the people, lest they should be stoned. 27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest asked them, 28 saying, “Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!”

29 But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. 31 Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.”

This is a wonderful example of how we should respond to and interact with governing authorities.

Throughout this study if you need the wisdom of God on a matter, and you wish to receive the counsel of another Believer in Christ, please use the “comments” link to send your question to me.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 14 – “Authority” Introduction

In Advice, Anxiety, Apostasy, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Church Growth, Exhortation, Godly Counsel, Jesus, Prophecy, Prophet, Prophetess, Reformation, Religious Freedom, Remnant, Renewal, Repentance, Revival, Righteousness, Spiritual Remnant, Trust, Truth, Uncategorized on January 10, 2019 at 12:41 pm

As we take on a new year, 2019, we will take a different approach to finishing both our series on Church Growth, or lack thereof, and the Study of the Book of Proverbs. Instead of alternating weekly between two subjects, as we have in the past, we will proceed this year by carrying one subject to completion and then next to completion. Please be assured we will finish each subject, Church Growth and Proverbs. We will begin by finishing the series, “Why My Church is NOT Growing” with the focus for the next several weeks placed upon the issue of how “authority” affects church growth.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 14 – “Authority” Introduction

What is authority? Whom or what holds authority? How should we respond to and interact with authority? What is our problem with authority? Can authority be trusted? All wonderful questions we will seek to answer in this portion of the series.

In the Book of Revelation, the word “power” is synonymous with the word “authority”. In chapters 2-8, you will find that if you compare the King James Authorized Version with newer translations such as the New King James the word “authority” appears in the New King James Bible where the word “power” once appeared in the King James Authorized Version Bible. This alteration in translations of this word takes place whether the verse is referencing Christ or Satan. Therefore, we can see one key thing about what authority is and means, power, power in some form.

The word “authority” according to the Greek Language Definition, as found in 2 Corinthians 10:8, which we will examine later, is as follows:

Strong’s Greek Reference #1849

1849. ἐξουσία ĕxŏusia, ex-oo-see´-ah; from 1832 (in the sense of ability); privilege, i.e. (subj.) force, capacity, competency, freedom, or (obj.) mastery (concr. magistrate, superhuman, potentate, token of control), delegated influence:— authority, jurisdiction, liberty, power, right, strength.

Authority is meant to influence. Not only to influence but also to delegate influence, in such a way that people are empowered, not oppressed. Yet, so often evil or corrupt authority seeks to oppress, always has. Authority by its very nature being, a privilege to influence others through a realistic ability to do so, should be administered with competency and a desire for liberation and freedom for those under said authority. This is what Christ wants for us, liberty, and freedom. One administers a certain token of control in order to guide another person to personal liberty, freedom, and the ability to govern oneself appropriately. It takes a strong individual to use authority with honor and integrity because they must have the spiritual and personal power to do what is right in each situation.

Throughout this study if you need the wisdom of God on a matter, and you wish to receive the counsel of another Believer in Christ, please use the “comments” link to send your question to me.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

If

In Advice, Anxiety, Biblical Principles, Confusion, Decision Making, Godly Counsel, Peace, Prudence, Renewal, Suffering, Truth, Wisdom on December 11, 2018 at 1:34 pm

For the next few weeks we will forgo our regular blog studies of Proverbs and Church Growth to pursue postings that center around Christmas and New Year’s. These entries will appear on Saturdays instead of earlier in the week as is the norm.

There will be one except this week with the posting today, which is a special posting of a poem I believe you will find inspiring and enlightening. This entry is being dedicated to a special friend who at this time in life could really benefit from the wisdom found within this poem – you know who you are.

“If” By Rudyard Kipling

If

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too:

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;

If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim,

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same:.

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings,

And never breathe a word about your loss:

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much:

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

Source: A Choice of Kipling’s Verse (1943)

Rudyard Kipling 1865–1936

More about the poem "If" and Rudyard Kipling.

Were you to write the biography of Rudyard Kipling as a graph, the first thing that would strike you would be the steep vertical zigzags. The chart would have to start on a high point: his birth in India to a loving set of parents. His childhood would continue for a short period along an upward slope in the wonderland where he was born, and then plunge dramatically at the age of six when he was sent to England for his education. His first five years in England were scarred by the terrible abuse that he endured there from his foster mother. His only break during that period was the holiday month of December, when he would head to London to stay with his mother’s family. After that period he was transferred to a school in Devon where he shone, becoming the editor of the school paper and embarking on his path as a writer, becoming a major success. He was struck by misfortune once more when the bank where he kept his savings collapsed leaving him penniless. He moved to America and continued writing, publishing The Jungle Books together with much else. He again hit a low when he became embroiled in a fight with his brother-in-law which landed both in court and in local papers, forcing his move back to England. On a trip to America in 1899 his daughter Josephine died of pneumonia at the age of seven, leaving him heartbroken. The wheel continued to turn however, and in 1907 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for his outstanding work. An avowed proponent of British involvement in World War One, he encouraged his son John to enlist. When he failed the physical, Kipling used his connections to get him in, only to watch him die in the battle for Loos leaving him awash in guilt.

His life was one replete with trials and hardships, sorrows which one could never fault anyone for crumbling beneath but which time and time again he overcame. This poem, published three years after he won the Nobel Prize, encapsulates the lessons that he learned and that he considered to be the keys to his success. Part of it is engraved on the entrance to Wimbledon to remind players of what it is that makes a man.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

How Do We Make Godly Decisions? – Study of Proverbs 4:25-27 – Focus On Wisdom’s Path (The God Path)

In Advice, Anxiety, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian Living, Confusion, Decision Making, Discretion, Evil, God's Voice, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Proverbs, Prudence, Renewal, Repentance, Truth, Uncategorized, Wisdom on December 5, 2018 at 10:00 am

Please forgive my delay in posting, I have had an especially challenging week. Please keep me in your prayers and know that if God should speak anything into your heart as you pray for me regarding my life please feel free to share that with me. God speaks through His people.

This blog will alternate with each post between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

The Scripture passages are identified with bold upright font and the author’s notes are identified with italic regular font.

Note – All words or phrases found in quotation marks are actual parts of the Hebrew definition.

25 Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. 26 Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. 27 Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.

Focus On Wisdom’s Path (The God Path)

If you do not look at where you are going you will surely lose your way. We must continually look at and keep our focus on what God wants our life to be, looking straight toward what we want to be, solely focused on our priorities in life – provided those priorities come from an honorable godly focus. There are so many things in life that wish to drag us away from being someone we can feel good about or proud of in a godly way, so many temptation and personal desires that conflict with God’s Plan and Purpose for our life and our personal long-term life goals. V.25

We are all too often allowing our eyes to stray from what is important or worst toward things they should not pursue. This is why the wisest man to ever live, King Solomon, shared the wisdom God had provided him and has counseled us to keep our eyes “straight before thee” where they should be focused on what is good, decent, honorable, and pleasing to God. V.25

We have to actually think about our actions in life, not just flow through life acting on any desire and whim, if we are to be a person of substance, a person of honor, a person of discipline, a godly person, if we want to be a wise person. We have to ask ourselves before we act, ‘What affect will this action I am about to take have on my life, on the life of those I love or on the life of those around me? Can I tell God that in taking this action I honored the life He gave me?’ It is with the answer to those question that we should determine what course of action to take or not take. V.26

In the Hebrew language the word “established” in verse twenty-six has the meaning of ‘standing erect in faithfulness.’ Only through making quality decisions consistently can we establish and enjoy a life of wisdom – a life filled with peace, joy, contentment, and happiness. V.26

We must make a decision to live our life based on wise quality decisions, the practice will not just fall on us. If we want to do something, we must make the decisions necessary to discipline ourselves to accomplish the task. If we wish to be healthy, we must make the choices that benefit our health. If we desire to have quality relationships, we must make choices that promote mutual love, mutual respect, mutual dignity, mutual satisfaction, and mutual honor in our relationships. If we want to maintain a job, a relationship, a marriage, or an activity, we must conduct ourselves with faithfulness to what is required to keep and maintain any or all of those aspects of life. V.27

Faithfulness is something even Christians have begun to disregard in our society. If we want to maintain a job, we must be faithful to show up, show up on time, and do what we are assigned to do. If we wish to maintain a relationship or marriage, we must be faithful to devote our time and energies to that relationship or marriage, investing our heart, our time, our life, establishing and maintaining trust, taking care not to betray the relationship in words or deeds. If we wish to partake in an activity then we must be faithful to show up and do said activity, so the other people involved can know they can depend upon us to be there and be a part of the activity. In order to be faithful, we must remain focused on what is important and keep our hearts, minds, eyes, and spirit way from what is not. V.27, 28

We have to actually do something to keep ourselves from evil, as verse twenty-eight warns us to do. We know that in the Bible “evil” is considered anything that God does not want us to do. With that established why does God instruct us to “remove thy foot from evil” – is there the presumption we are sinning? Yes, a life not ordered in godly wisdom is a life filled with sin. V.28

We are instructed to ‘remove ourselves from sin’ and that often requires not giving into our own desires because the heart is deceitful above all things.

Jeremiah 17:9–10 (KJ-AV)

9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? 10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

In the Hebrew language the word “remove” used in verse twenty-eight, when we are instructed to ‘remove our foot from evil or sin,’ means “to turn off (literally or figuratively)” from partaking in sin. We are to “decline, depart, eschew (which means avoid)” anything that God would find displeasing for us. We are to “go aside” to avoid temptation, and “grievously lay away or leave undone” things that displease God. Note that in the definition it is made clear that to “lay aside or leave undone” things that we want to do will be “grievous” for us yet, it is what God requires. We are to “put away or put down” what is displeasing to God and “ remove” those things from our life. God wants us according to the definition to “ revolt against, to be sour to, to withdraw from and to be without” all that we know not to be godly wisdom or His Will for our life. V.27 – Note – All words or phrases found in quotation marks are actual parts of the Hebrew definition.

Throughout this study if you need the wisdom of God on a matter, and you wish to receive the counsel of another Believer in Christ, please use the “comments” link to send your question to me.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 13 – Response to Apathy and Indifference

In Apostasy, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian Living, Church Growth, Exhortation, Renewal, Revival, Truth, Uncategorized on November 15, 2018 at 8:00 am

This blog will alternate with each post between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

Jesus clearly warns His people in the Book of Revelation, chapters 2 and 3 against being a cold, loveless, lukewarm, compromising, corrupt, and/or dead church. Instead, we are to put off all callousness, hardness, coldness, and lukewarm-ness and be alert, enthusiastic, and sensitive to the Spirit of God as well as others. Remember the warning in 1 John 2:9 (NKJV) “He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now.” We must practice love toward those within the household of faith.

We find within the Body of Christ a sense of removal from the world around us. We are different from, but still a part of, this world and our society. The idea that we as a Body are not called to impact our society and world is simply ridiculous. Scripture clearly teaches us that we are to be a light in the darkness and a light to the world around us.

Philippians 2:15 (NKJV)

that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,

Ephesians 5:8–11 (NKJV)

8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.

We are not to sit by and watch our society and world thrive in darkness. We are instead to expose evil by sharing its godly superior. Truth must win out over a lie. God’s ways are to be held up over the ways of Satan or man. We cannot tell ourselves that the issues of the day in our society are of no importance one way or the other to us. Of course, they are important, important to us, important to our future and the future of all the other Christians who will follow behind us. We cannot just pretend that issues are neither right nor wrong, for they are, because God has said they are in His Word. Whether or not we have a particular interest in, opinion on, like or disliked for a topic or issue is irrelevant. What is relevant is what God’s Word has to say about the issue or topic and what God’s Word has to say is what we are supposed to be saying.

We must let go of all apathy and indifference that has permeated our lives personally and our walk with Christ, and instead embrace His Will and His Way of doing things. We must also let go of all apathy and indifference that has permeated our willingness to speak up and reach out in our society or world and instead hold up the Standard of, the Way of, and the Purpose of God as found in God’s Word.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

How Do We Make Godly Decisions? – Study of Proverbs 4:20-24 – Guarding the Heart

In Advice, Anger, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian Living, Decision Making, Discretion, Encouragement, Godly Counsel, Proverbs, Prudence, Renewal, Spirituality, Truth, Uncategorized, Wisdom on November 8, 2018 at 8:00 am

This blog will alternate with each post between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

The Scripture passages are identified with bold upright font and the author’s notes are identified with italic regular font.

Note – All words or phrases found in quotation marks are actual parts of the Hebrew definition.

20 My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. 21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. 22 For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. 23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. 24 Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.

Guarding the Heart

‘Keeping one’s heart with all diligence’ is such a massive job and entails so much the ability to do verse twenty-three justice in one segment is simple not possible. However, I will make the primary point of the importance of guarding our heart. For an in-depth examination of verse twenty-three you might find a book I wrote about the verse enlightening. It can be purchased in either softback book or Kindle eBook form from Amazon. It is titled, “ The Heart Why Does It Hurt So Often? – Proverbs 4:23

Every aspect of our life is affected and effected by what is going on in our hearts. If our hearts are not healthy we are not healthy. The above book examines how we can both get, and keep, our hearts healthy. One of the first and most important things we need to know about ‘keeping our hearts with all diligence’ is that it is we who must be a watchman over our own hearts.

Here is an excerpt from the book, “The Heart Why Does It Hurt So Often? – Proverbs 4:23

“Heart Watchman

“with all diligence” – What a phrase, but not one that can be separated from “for out of it – the issues” and retain its proper meaning or communicate its proper understanding.

Hebrew Definitions:

“keep”

5341. נָצַר nâtsar, naw-tsar’; a prim. root; to guard, in a good sense (to protect, maintain, obey, etc.) or a bad one (to conceal, etc.):— besieged, hidden thing, keep (-er, -ing), monument, observe, preserve (-r), subtil, watcher (-man).

“with all diligence”

4929. מִשְׁמָר mishmâr, mish-mawr’; from 8104; a guard (the man, the post, or the prison); fig. a deposit; also (as observed) a usage (abstr.), or an example (concr.):— diligence, guard, office, prison, ward, watch.

8104. שָׁמַר shâmar, shaw-mar’; a prim. root; prop. to hedge about (as with thorns), i.e. guard; gen. to protect, attend to, etc.:— beware, be circumspect, take heed (to self), keep (-er, self), mark, look narrowly, observe, preserve, regard, reserve, save (self), sure, (that lay) wait (for), watch (-man).

In the first half of the Hebrew definition for “with all diligence”, there is language in the definition that communicates the need for us to be much like a prison guard in how we approach the need to “keep” our hearts. Both “keep” and “with all diligence” have the concept of being a “watchman or keeping a “watch” in their definitions.

There are individual who are called to be Watchmen over the Body of Christ, also often referred to as Prophets/Prophetess, just as there were men who were called to be Watchmen over Israel, and we are called to be Watchmen over our own hearts. Therefore, we will take time to look at some Scripture about what it means to be a Watchman so we can understand the severity of the task.

Ezekiel 33:7–9 (NKJV)

7 “So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me. 8 When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you shall surely die!’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. 9 Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.

Questions to Ask Ourselves

What does it mean to you when I state that the heart is the center of our being and the retainer of our spirit?

The Scriptures are filled with information about the heart and through this sheer volume and content of the Scriptures we can deduce that the heart is not only the center of physical life but also of spiritual life. Spiritually we are often asked to examine our hearts because the heart is the inner most being.”

– End of excerpt –

When we fail to keep watch over our hearts, when we fail to keep them with all diligence we are acting in one of the most unwise ways possible, which is why King Solomon warned his son so strongly to ‘keep or guard his heart with all diligence.’ I urge you also to, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

Verse twenty-four can also be associated with keeping one’s heart healthy as well as standing alone in the principle of godly talk versus ungodly talk. What we say, what comes out of our mouths, has an effect in the spiritual realm and thus an affect upon our hearts.

From the Hebrew definition we find that we are warned in verse twenty-four against using our words in the form of “perverted, distorted, or crooked (dishonest)” talk, words that would cause other people or ourselves “to turn aside or depart” from God’s Ways, God’s Will, and God’s Wisdom.

People often talk just to talk. Don’t! Actually have something fruitful or useful to say when you speak.

Throughout this study if you need the wisdom of God on a matter, and you wish to receive the counsel of another Believer in Christ, please use the “comments” link to send your question to me.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 12 – Apathy and Indifference

In Apostasy, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian Living, Church Growth, End Times, Exhortation, Renewal, Revival, Spiritual Remnant, Uncategorized on November 1, 2018 at 9:00 am

This blog will alternate with each post between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

“We crucify ourselves between two thieves: Regret for yesterday and fear of tomorrow.”

Fulton Oursler [1893-1952], American Journalist and Author

Apathy and indifference are often signs of great fear, fear of making another mistake and/or fear of the unknown. This fear renders individuals without the freewill to choose. Their wills have been given over to the unknown, or better stated, to fear of the unknown. Yet, living in regret of the past or fear of the future has never prevented one catastrophe.

The Body of Christ is filled with apathy. Apathy and indifference according to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary are defined as:

apathy

Function:

noun

1 : lack of emotional responsiveness <hid her sorrow behind a dull brooding apathy>

Synonyms impassivity, insensibility, phlegm, stoicism, stolidity, unresponsiveness

Related Words inertness, passivity, supineness; aloofness, detachment, indifference, unconcern; lethargy, torpidity, torpor; listlessness, numbness, stupefaction, stupor

Contrasted Words ardor, fervor, passion, responsiveness, warmth; alertness, awareness, concern, solicitude

Antonyms zeal; enthusiasm

2 : lack of interest or concern <public apathy toward the school crisis>

Synonyms disinterest, disregard, heedlessness, indifference, insouciance, lassitude, lethargy, listlessness, unconcern, unmindfulness

Related Words callousness, hardness, insensitivity, obduracy, unawareness; coldness, halfheartedness, lukewarmness; calmness, dispassion, dispassionateness

Contrasted Words attentiveness, concern, heedfulness, interest; awareness, mindfulness, sensitivity, solicitude; ardency, fervency, passion, warmth, zeal

indifferent

Function:

adjective

2 : of no importance one way or the other

3 : marked by no special liking for or dislike of something

6 : being neither right nor wrong

Having pondered the meaning of these two words, apathy, and indifference, let us examine how we see them played out within the Body of Christ.

There is a lack of emotional responsiveness both to the Person of God and to what our brothers and sisters in Christ are experiences or going through in life. We stand at the threshold of Greatness beyond measure in Christ Jesus and often just walk away without feeling anything or feeling very little. We are not to lose control of our emotions in a negative way, but we are not to be unresponsive either. We are to love Jesus with a passion, and passion prompts some level of emotional response.

We are called upon by Scripture to share in our fellow Believers’ joys and sorrows. Romans 12:15 (NKJV) instructs us to, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” More times than not what people receive from their fellow Believers when they share their joys and sorrows is detachment and unconcern. This ought not to be. We should be interested in and happy for those who are celebrating a success among us. Equally so, we should be sensitive to their hardships, dealing with them with warmth, love, and affection.

There is equal apathy and indifference when it comes to the things of God, what is going on spiritually within the Body of Christ, the issues that concern of our country, and the events going on in the world around us. There is a sense of lethargy and numbness among Christians. The Bible however calls us to pursue God, the things of God, and our life in God with passion and zeal.

1 Corinthians 14:12 (NKJV) Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel.

Galatians 4:18 (NKJV) But it is good to be zealous in a good thing always, and not only when I am present with you.

Revelation 3:19 (NKJV) (Jesus speaking) As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.

We are to have a passion and a zeal for the spiritual gifts and talents that God has given us, so that those gifts and talents can be used to build up and edify the Body of Christ. That desire to pursue God in life, and the godly life, should always be present in us. When we find out we are on the wrong side of what God wants for us we should be willing, and quick, to repent.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

How Do We Make Godly Decisions? – Study of Proverbs 4:14-19 – Wicked and Evil or Wise and Shining

In Advice, Anxiety, Apostasy, Bible, Bible Study, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian Living, Decision Making, Evil, Godly Counsel, Proverbs, Prudence, Truth, Uncategorized, Wickedness, Wisdom on October 24, 2018 at 1:32 pm

This blog will alternate with each post between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

The Scripture passages are identified with bold upright font and the author’s notes are identified with italic regular font.

Note – All words or phrases found in quotation marks are actual parts of the Hebrew definition.

14 Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. 15 Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. 16 For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall. 17 For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence. 18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. 19 The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.

Wicked and Evil or Wise and Shinning

Wickedness and evil behavior however severe or minor in the eyes of man is something to be avoided at all cost. God warns us to turn from evil before it consumes us or consumes parts of our life. (verse 14-15)

There are those who hunger after evil even to the point of losing sleep if they cannot find a way to partake in the evil they desire. Almost like a drug that someone is addicted to, evil calls after the wicked person. There are people who simply enjoy causing hurt for other people – hard to conceive for those who truly love God, but it is true. (verse 16-17)

You can see evil on a wicked person. There is a darkness on their countenance and vacancy to their eyes, an aura of darkness around them that cannot be described in words. Similarly, it is true of a Believer when they are actually living for God, there is a light that shines from their countenance, a light in their eyes, an aura of godly spirituality that is seen and detected by most people, sensed with mixed reactions. (verse 18)

Some people are draw to, and interested in, the light they see in this type of Believer, while other people are uncomfortable around the godly spirituality they can sense coming from the person. This tends to be true whether either type of person can detect exactly, or understand fully, what it is they sense coming from the dedicated Believer.

When you look into the Hebrew language at the meaning of the words and phrases in verse 19 it is extremely interesting and supports a principle we find in many other parts of Scripture. “As darkness” and “not at what they stumble” denotes the concept of those people who regularly do evil, sin, not understanding why “misfortune” and problems seem to continually plague them. The definitions define the person’s life as a life in continual decline, “decaying” and filled with “misfortune.” (verse 19)

The godly Believer continues to grow and shine brighter and brighter as their spiritual life with God progresses, they grow and slowly change for the better, whiles the evil person continues in a life of misfortune and trouble, they rarely change or grow as a person, have little desire to grow or change, and their life is slowly decaying away. (verse 18-19)

Which type of person will you choose to be?

Throughout this study if you need the wisdom of God on a matter, and you wish to receive the counsel of another Believer in Christ, please use the “comments” link to send your question to me.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 11 – The Acceptance Factor

In Abuse, Apostasy, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Candy Cane, Christian Living, Church Growth, Exhortation, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Remnant, Renewal, Repentance, Revival, Rhema Words, Spiritual Activism, Spiritual Remnant, Truth, Uncategorized, Wisdom on September 20, 2018 at 9:00 am

This blog will alternate with each post between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

Please note this will be my last posting until mid-October. I have something I must attend to. Please keep me in your prayers.

A church that finds the appropriate balance between lovingly accepting people while at the same time remaining true to God’s Word and Principles will grow.

If there is one thing that false religions have learned it is the art of acceptance. Multitudes of people have been dragged into sin and evil out of a desire to be accepted. It is a form of validation we all need to some degree.

Knowing that we are all in need of acceptance, the question then becomes what form of acceptance should be given and what degree of acceptance should the church give. There is a delicate balance between upholding the Word of God while at the same time loving and accepting people. We do not have to validate someone’s sin in order to accept him or her. We can accept them without accepting their sin. We will make that our jumping off point.

The church is called to love people regardless. Loving them does not mean we keep silent about their sin or that we ascribe to a “don’t ask don’t tell” mentality. It means we treat the individuals with the same kindness and respect we would anyone, and we share God’s truths with them as He allow us and opens the door for us to do so. We never reject them because of their sin or because they do not agree with us, and we also never validate their sin or partake in their sin as a means of showing love.

When pressed to accept something in someone’s life which is in contradiction to God’s Written Word we should express our care and love for the person but also express a refusal to embrace that aspect of the person’s life or that particular belief they ascribe to. We explain, with Scripture, why we believe something different than they believe and reaffirm our desire to accept and love them despite the fact that we do not agree with them.

There are those individuals who are hard to accept not because of their choices in life, lifestyle, beliefs, or sin but because they are wounded, difficult, because of their attitude, or perhaps a physical, mental, or emotional handicap which makes relating to them more challenging. In these cases, we must call more upon our own character and spiritual development to step up to the task of acceptance. The ability for change or modification by the individual may not be an option or at least not an option initially. A person with a handicap cannot change their circumstances. A person with wounds cannot change until emotional, mental, and spiritual healing has begun. A person with a challenging demeanor or attitude will mostly likely never change without a community of people who offer them love and acceptance. Therefore, in all such cases it will be up to you to allow God to stretch you spiritually, mentally, and emotionally in order to exhibit His balanced and appropriate form of acceptance.

More individuals would embrace the church if the church would embrace them. If we refuse to accept individuals because we do not agree with them, we are limiting our capacity for love. When we refuse to accept another person, it is because in some way, we have judged that person, or we have judged that person’s actions. Furthermore, our lack of acceptance of them to some degree, despite their sin or issue, is a form of condemnation. Judging that results in condemnation, is not discernment judging [1 Thess. 5:19-21, 1 Corn. 2:14 & 12:3, 1 John 4:1-6, Ps. 119:18, and 1 Kings 3:9-14], it is sinful judging [John 7:24, Rom. 14:1-13 and Matt. 7:1-6]. No one can hear us until they can see us, and no one can see us until they feel a certain level of acceptance from us.

Individuals who have never felt accepted have found a home within the Christian Community and some individuals within the Christian Community have never felt accepted. Fear can hinder a person’s ability to accept another person. If they fear the person’s lifestyle, sin, demeanor, ideas, and/or points of view, they will not be able to accept the person. However, if they can accept the seventy-five percent of the individual that they do like and agree with, they will find themselves to be in a better position to influence the other twenty-five percent of the person or to grow themselves as a person.

Acceptance never makes room for sin, but acceptance makes room for sin to be abandoned. The next time you see the individual whom no one else seems willing to accept and embrace, make room in your heart to do so yourself. You just may find that the Kingdom of God is expanded by one because you did.

Please note this will be my last posting until mid-October. I have something I must attend to. Please keep me in your prayers.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

How Do We Make Godly Decisions? – Study of Proverbs 4:10-13 – Wisdom Sustains

In Advice, Anxiety, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian Living, Confusion, Decision Making, Discretion, Godly Counsel, Learning, Peace, Proverbs, Prudence, Renewal, Revival, Spirituality, Trust, Truth, Wisdom on September 13, 2018 at 9:00 am

This blog will alternate with each post between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

The Scripture passages are identified with bold upright font and the author’s notes are identified with italic regular font.

10 Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many. 11 I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths. 12 When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble. 13 Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.

Wisdom Sustains

Note – All words or phrases found in quotation marks are actual parts of the Hebrew definition.

Verse ten states that the person who consistently uses godly wisdom as a guide for how they live and manage their life will see that life extended by “many” years. In the Hebrew language “many” means both to “increase in respective time” and to “bring in abundance” – that covers quantity of life and quality of life.

Verse twelve makes it clear that the person who consistently applies godly wisdom will have little need for their choices and actions to be corrected by God or man, nor will they find themselves stumbling a great deal in life. It is not possible to live a perfect life, but it is possible to live a godly life ruled by godly wisdom that has little encounter with failure or correction.

Verse thirteen speaks to the fact that godly wisdom applied is “thy life” for all truly real purposes. You may ask how could godly wisdom applied be someone’s life, what does it mean? Take a look at the Hebrew definitions for the phrase “thy life” – examine them one by one as see the “thy life” found within.

· "alive; hence, raw (flesh)” – godly wisdom applied will literally keep us alive.

· “fresh (plant, water, year)” – godly wisdom applied will keep us and our life fresh and renewed each year in personal growth and spiritual thirst.

· “strong” – godly wisdom applied will keep us strong mentally, emotionally, spiritually, relationally, and physically.

· “life (or living thing), whether literal or figurative:— + age, alive, appetite, company, congregation, life (-time), live (-ly), living (creature, thing), maintenance, + merry, multitude, + (be) old, quick, raw, running, springing, troop. to live” – godly wisdom applied will rightly order every area of our life and relationships.

· “whether literal or figuratively; causatively to revive” – godly wisdom applied will restore us and sustain us through the challenges of life.

· “keep (leave, make) alive, × certainly, give (promise) life, (let, suffer to) live, nourish up, preserve (alive), quicken, recover, repair, restore (to life), revive, (× God) save (alive, life, lives), × surely, be whole.” – godly wisdom applied will restore our life to God’s Purpose and repair the life damage we have caused and suffered, it will “give promise” to our life.

There is no doubt that the use of godly wisdom on a consistent bases in our life will sustain our life to God’s glory.

What does it mean to “sustain” something or someone? Sustain according to the Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary is defined as follows.

Note – All words or phrases found in quotation marks are actual parts of the Merriam-Webster’s definition.

The author’s thoughts follow each definition in [brackets].

1 : “to give support or relief to” – [godly wisdom applied will support the quality and quantity of your life and bring relief in times of distress.]
2 : “to supply with sustenance : NOURISH” – [godly wisdom applied will bring nourishment to your body, mind, spirit, and soul.]
3 : “KEEP UP, PROLONG” – [godly wisdom applied will extend the length of your life and improve the quality of your life.]
4 : “to support the weight of : PROP; also : to carry or withstand (a weight or pressure)” – [godly wisdom applied will makes facing the challenges of life so much easier, and your response to them is less likely to be filled with anxiety.]
5 : “to buoy up £ sustained by hope” – [godly wisdom applied will keep you afloat in life’s rough waters and give you hope.]
6a : to bear up under b : SUFFER, UNDERGO £ sustained heavy losses” – [godly wisdom applied will keep you from despair during your darkest days in life.]
7a : to support as true, legal, or just b : to allow or admit as valid £ the court sustained the motion” – [godly wisdom applied will anchors your life in something much greater than yourself, it anchors your life in God, in God’s Principles and Truths.]
8 : “to support by adequate proof : CONFIRM £ testimony that sustains our contention” – [godly wisdom applied will end up being self-proving, as you will see the proof of godly wisdom’s worth through its results over time.]

Godly wisdom will be a tool by which God sustains you and your life. Will you let it sustain you? Will you let Him sustain you?

Throughout this study if you need the wisdom of God on a matter, and you wish to receive the counsel of another Believer in Christ, please use the “comments” link to send your question to me.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 10 – Abuse and The Church (Spiritual and Psychological Abuse)

In Abuse, Advice, Apostasy, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian Living, Church Growth, Evil, Exhortation, Holy Spirit, Renewal, Repentance, Revival, Suffering, Trust, Truth, Uncategorized on September 7, 2018 at 5:13 pm

This blog will alternate with each post between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

One of the worst forms of abuse, in my belief, is spiritual abuse. This is when someone uses the things of God to control, manipulate, abuse, use, degrade, etc. other people. This has been done in extreme forms such as, ‘If I do not get X amount of money from my people God will take my life, close our church, etc.’ ‘If you do not read your Bible daily, God will not have fellowship with you.’ ‘If you are not in church each time the doors are open you are not a committed Christian.’ On and one we could go. I am sure each of you has your own example. The examples provided are damaging forms of spiritual and psychological abuse pure and simple.

A desire for a leader to obtain unquestionable dedication, which is free from accountability to the ones asked to give said dedication, is spiritual abuse. Does the Word of God call us to submit to the authorities He has placed in our lives? Yes. Who are those authorities however, and do we submit regardless? We do not submit regardless. We are accountable to God first, then to other people. We submit to our spiritual leaders when they are following the Will of God as found in God’s Word. We do not submit to sin or follow a leader into sin. How many cults, which started out with religious undertones, ended in disaster? Too many to recall. Why? Because people followed, even in the face of sin, because they believed they were to submit to authority without questioning authority.

A more hideous form of spiritual abuse is to distort and misuse the Word of God in order to get what one wants or justify one’s actions. So many people sit in church with their Bibles closed looking at an overhead screen trusting that the text on that screen matches what is actually in God’s Written Word. It only takes subtle and slight changes to God’s Word to distort its entire meaning and purpose. No matter how long you have known someone and no matter how much you trust them, you should have your Bibles out and open when they are speaking or teaching so that you can confirm that they are rightly dividing the Word of God. Especially grievous to the heart of God is this form of spiritual abuse that uses the Word of God, and God will deal with this abuse quite harshly.

When a person uses another person’s love for God to advance their own cause, regardless of what that cause might be, to get their way, to attempt to mislead or deceive the heart that trust in God both people are in danger. The abuser’s target is in danger of being spiritually and psychologically abused resulting in spiritual and perhaps psychological damage, and the perpetrator is in danger of the wrath of God that does come upon those individuals who use spiritual things to hurt God’s children.

Abuse in the Body of Christ, in all its forms, can stop when we become willing to both speak up and be spoken to when necessary. Accountability is a responsibly not an option. It is the basic fabric that holds the cloth of Christ’s Body together. Without the courage to question our leaders, we will find ourselves impotent and frustrated. Without the willingness to be questioned, we will find ourselves isolated and insolent.

This concludes the addressing of this difficult subject of abuse found within the church and how that abuse effects the growth of individual congregations as well as the universal church, which is the Body of Christ. We will continue to reflect on reasons why churches are not growing from various angles aside from the abuse angle.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

How Do We Make Godly Decisions? – Study of Proverbs 4:5-9 – Wisdom and The Ornament of Grace

In Advice, Anxiety, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Confusion, Decision Making, Discretion, Godly Counsel, Holy Spirit, Proverbs, Prudence, Renewal, Trust, Truth, Uncategorized, Wisdom on August 29, 2018 at 9:00 am

This blog will alternate with each post between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

The Scripture passages are identified with bold upright font and the author’s notes are identified with italic regular font.

5 Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. 6 Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. 7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. 8 Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. 9 She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.

It certainly appears that God, through King Solomon, makes it a point to repeat over and over in Proverbs the need for obtaining and applying godly wisdom. How easily we must forget this important aspect of life, otherwise, God would not have seen the need to mention it so often within just one of His books of the Bible, not to mention all the other books of the Bible He saw fit to bring the subject up in (verse 5).

Wisdom, the gathering of godly knowledge, godly understanding, godly insight, learning from your experiences with God, learning about God, His character, His expectations of us, and the application of all of these rolled into one, wisdom, will dramatically change your life for the better if you stick with the practice. Here are just some of the things God has stated in these verses that it will do for you.

Note – All words or phrases found in quotation marks are actual parts of the Hebrew definitions of the word or phrases found in the verses we are examining.

If you continue in that practice mentioned earlier of obtaining godly wisdom and applying godly wisdom and understanding, it will preserve and keep your life. Meaning according to the Hebrew language it will place a “hedge of thrones about” you that will “guard, protect, and attend to” the care and preservation of your life, from the forces without and the forces within that would seek to harm or destroy you (verse 6).

It is easy to understand that godly wisdom applied to a person’s life will enable God’s divine protection from evil forces and the evil actions of other people but understanding how it protects us from ourselves is a bit more difficult to understand.

When we seek, obtain, and apply godly wisdom, and it must be godly wisdom, not the wisdom of the world or man, it instills in us an alarm that sounds via the Holy Spirit when we should “beware” or ‘be circumspect” or “take heed to ourselves” or be cautious to “keep ourselves” on the “narrow path” being ever so careful to “observe” our motives, desires, and actions to ensure we are walking in wisdom. We are required by God to be our own “watchman” with the aide of the Holy Spirit, to see to it that we are walking in the Wisdom of God. To “obey” God and His godly wisdom is to allow Him to “keep” us by His Wisdom. This is what it is to be preserved and kept by wisdom (verse 6).

Verse seven makes it clear that in order to walk in that care and protection a person must make godly wisdom “principal” in their life. For something to be principal means it holds the highest of rank, according to the Hebrew “the first, in place, in time, order or rank – among our firstfruits.” Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines principal as, “a matter or thing of primary importance.”

Godly wisdom must take priority over our own ideas, our own desires, our own thoughts about what is best, worldly wisdom, ideas or principles set down by man regardless of how worthy those principles might be, and godly wisdom must take priority regardless of what other people think is best for us. In order for godly wisdom to preserve and keep you properly it must be your number one source of instruction for how you will choose to live your life and make your decisions (verse 7).

Once we have truly embraced godly wisdom and are applying it consistently to our life, we can expect to see the benefits that God has ordained for those who listen to Him and apply His Wisdom. Wisdom will bring promotion and honor to the life that embraces living by its principles (verse 8).

The Hebrew language makes it clear that to be promoted by Wisdom through God is to “rise and be raised in a variety of application both literally and figuratively – to bring up and exalt, to extol honor.” That “honour,” honor that comes from God as a result of applying wisdom will “bring a weighty richness” to life that results in God’s ‘glory being able to shine through your life’(verses 8 and 9).

Application of wisdom results in living a “noble” life where you “prevail” thanks to God’s “ornament of grace” that He has placed upon you because you have chosen to “obey” Him in obtaining and applying godly wisdom (verses 6, 7, 8, and 9).

An “ornament of grace” how splendid! Grace become “attached to” a person who embraces godly wisdom and applies godly wisdom (verse 9).

Throughout this study if you need the wisdom of God on a matter, and you wish to receive the counsel of another Believer in Christ, please use the “comments” link to send your question to me.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.