Friday, March 20, 2015

What Does God's Word Say? Taking Difficult Stands

 
What Does God's Word Say? Taking Difficult Stands

WHAT is the matter with that child? He is running straight for the fireplace with his arms out like he wants to embrace the flames... well, after some blisters he will learn, won't he?
Oh, no, there is my friend, running to catch the bus but she doesn't see the car turning the corner right in her pathway. Boy, after spending some time in the hospital maybe she will learn to look both ways.....

Is that what a parent, friend or the Creator of the Universe would think? Doubtful that anyone who professed to love or care would react that way in the situations above. God spent a lot of time and effort inspiring numerous authors over countless years to write His Word, the Bible. Why? Because He knew we would need His input and guidance written down. He loved us enough to do it for us. He loved us enough to send His Son, Jesus, to die on our behalf and pay the penalty none of us could pay.

Ephesians 2:8-9
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. (NKJV)

If we truly love someone, we will be caring enough to share the truth of God's Word with them, right? Even if it is not considered politically correct, even if it means taking a stand instead of smiling politely or saying "sure, I will pray for that..." when we know it doesn't line up with God's Word.

For example, a friend might be asking you to pray for him to get married. He is currently dating someone who is an atheist - doesn't really believe in God at all. This friend professes to be a Christian.  Let's call our friend Pete. Pete wants you to pray that God will allow him to marry Sue. Actually, they plan to move in together next month... What is your response? Do you ask for a wedding invitation or a shower plan since they are living together first? Or do you pray and take a deep breath and share the truth of God's Word with them, BECAUSE you love them?

1 Corinthians 6:9-11New King James Version (NKJV)
9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

And regarding prayer, God is not a genie in a bottle, is He? We don't simply go to Him with our wish list... especially if we are not walking with Him.

Psalm 66:18
If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear. (Doesn't this mean if I am living in sin and choosing sin on a regular basis that my actions have stopped up God's ears.... repentance is needed here to reestablish open communication with god)
How loving would it be to smile or, worse yet, say "I will pray with you!", when you know what your friend or family member is planning or already will get them hurt even worse that being hit by a car?

Why is it not in their best interest to put their request on the prayer chain? Because what they are talking about doing is in direct opposition to God's loving guidelines.
Psalm 139 New King James Version (NKJV)

God’s Perfect Knowledge of Man
For the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.
139 O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
2 You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
3 You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.
5 You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.
7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall[a] on me,”
Even the night shall be light about me;
12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You.
13 For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.

Does the above passage sound like God loves you and knows you? He wants the very best for each of us - even if we don't see it that way at the time. Who knows the end from the beginning? Not you, not me but rather God.

SO, perhaps next time my unbelieving friend wants me to pray about them getting into a relationship that is really, well, fornication, I will have a couple choices... immediately put their request on the prayer chain, gently but surely explain that God had a better plan for them and share His Word or smile and say/do nothing.

There is nothing new under the sun. So those who say culture has changed, times are different need to realize this:
Ecclesiastes 1:9
That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun.
Sin (our choices which break God's heart and separate us from Him) is still sin. We have a choice to sow good or evil into our own lives. We do not "earn" our salvation by works. We don't need Jesus death on the cross AND _______________. Fill in the blank here... When HE said it is finished, He meant just that.

Hebrews 7:25-27New King James Version (NKJV)
25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
26 For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; 27 who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.
John 19:28-30New King James Version (NKJV)

It Is Finished
28 After this, Jesus, knowingthat all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” 29 Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. 30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

Time is so short. We all have loved ones who have never been "born again".

John 3:7
Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
What to do? Do we let them run with their arms extended straight for the fireplace and the fire? Or do we "share the truth in love"?

Ephesians 4:11-15New King James Version (NKJV)
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till 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; 14 that 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, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—

We are the watchmen of this day.
 
Ezekiel 33:6
But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.’
I am asking myself this final question: if the church doesn't look like Jesus ( and part of looking like Him, I think, is sharing His truth in love) then who will show Him to our world?

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved - use giving proper credit only.

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1 comment:

Adonai said...

Thank you so much for sharing this powerful teaching resources. This very essential teachings that is rare to find nowadays. You touch my soul as I read it. You are a blessing.