Why Are We Weeping?

Why Are We Weeping?

When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” (John 11:33-36 NIV)

There are number of reasons why people cry–creating pools of sorrow or joy–when we weep, but sometimes, we could avoid the sodden cheeks and salty trails if we would just obey. There is a reason for everything that occurs in our lives–some things we can control–others we can’t. Even though Jesus wept when He realized Lazarus had died, His tears were not just out of sadness, but out of realization that some things must happen, in order for others to get right with God.

The moment the criticizing, waffling Jewish leaders saw Him weep, they were amazed at how much He must have loved Lazarus, but then they started bickering, “If He is so great, why didn’t He save Him,” they started murmuring. They didn’t understand what was about to happen, but Jesus knew, Lazarus’ death was for such a time as it occurred, so God would be glorified.

There are many people weeping today. They are weeping over the loss of children who are dead before they had a chance to explore life and live. They are weeping over the senseless acts of violence that destroy lives–the victim’s and the perpetrator’s–and all the families involved. They are weeping over the mistreatment and abuse of others at the hands of zealots who don’t know God, but claim their actions are directed by God. And they are right–the god of this world–Satan directs the destruction of lives, hoping to see humanity cease to exist. People are weeping over negligent governments who because of their greed and corrupt spirits are destroying the lives of people on all levels, but especially the aged and vulnerable.

Some weep with bitterness and regret over lost opportunities or poor choices that leave them with no hope, frustrated and angry. And these are those whose lives are ruined, set out to destroy the lives of others, not understanding their choices are what put them where they are.

Then there are those who weep with joy with the birth of new family member, a promotion of a job, a hard-earned accomplishment, a bride’s beauty, the beauty of a moment, or seeing a soul saved and lives transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

When we weep at funerals or home-goings of those we cherish, sometimes it is for us, in our self-pity, and sometimes it is genuine feeling of loss for those we won’t have a chance to serve again. There is a belief among some that we should rejoice when people die and cry when they are born. For those who understand the trials and challenges of living–this is true. For those who don’t–they haven’t lived long enough to understand it.

When God looks upon us–is He smiling or weeping? I can imagine with the condition of the world today, He’s probably saddened by the corruption, greed and waywardness of those who deliberately choose to live in opposition to His Word. But for the remnant–the few who will do everything they can to please Him, He’s smiling–rejoicing in His children’s obedience to Him.

Now–look inwardly, not at others and determine if God is smiling over what we do or if He is crying and why.

Hypocrisy–The Bitter Pill!

“But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, “Why do you test Me, you hypocrites?” (Matthew 22:18 NKJV).

What is hypocrisy? One definition of hypocrisy is “a pretense of having a virtuous character, moral or religious beliefs or principles, etc., that one does not really possess.” (dictionary.com)

So then a hypocrite–would be “a person” who thinks they have a particular character or virtue, when they actually do not, and expect others to respect their pretense.

Wow! How many times do children see “hypocrisy” in the behavior of the adults around them? We demand certain behaviors from them, but we do not do what we want them to do or another way of saying is–“we’re talking loud and doing nothing.”

And we wonder why our society is in the shape it is in and why children have so little respect for adults. There is nothing to wonder about it. They see our true selves–when we cannot see us for looking at them.

Remember the commercial with the kid whose dad was jumping all over him about smoking weed. Finally, the kid just blurted out, “I got it from watching you” and the dad stood looking perplexed. Are we looking perplexed when our children do what they see us do when we tell them just the opposite?

The old adage–“do it because I said so,” just doesn’t work with kids today. If we want to see better kids, we must show them better modelling in our own behavior. And until we do, “we’re just hypocrites, living hypocrisy, and won’t admit it.”

But it is not just what we say to kids and don’t do that makes us hypocrites. It is criticizing others for behaviors in which we indulge ourselves.  We say, we don’t like to hear people bragging about their things, but whenever we get the chance, we brag about every new thing we do or obtain. We say, if that was me, I’d do things another way. And yet, if we were them, we’d do the same thing.

Admitting that most of the time we are hypocrites is a bitter pill to swallow. The bitterness is a reminder that we have not reached perfection “in anything” and until we do, we should not be so hard on others who are in the same boat we’re in–the luxury liner–called “Hypocrisy”.  The word “hypocrite” is mentioned 20 times in the bible–14 times in Matthew and we still do not get it. We apply the word to others, but not to ourselves because we refuse to see ourselves as hypocrites. Until we face the truth of the matter–we won’t be in a position to change anything–not in our homes, not in our churches, not in our communities and certainly not on a global level.

If the world is going to change–the change has to begin with us acknowledging just how much of a hypocrite we can be and the change must come now!

O Give Thanks!

“O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever” (Psalm 107:1).

Looking around at the negative, tragic events that occur almost daily, one might think there is no reason to give thanks to God. But there is! In spite of all the devastation of property, loss of lives, and emotional despair, God is still good and if it was not for His mercy, I would not be writing this morning and no one would be reading this! Glory to God–Give Him praise!

I haven’t lost my mind, but I do realize there are some things we cannot control and rather than be resentful and bitter, I’ve decided to allow everything that happens to make me a better person and certainly a more studious, scholar of God’s Word and intent for our lives.

We all have a choice. We can allow the events of life to control us or we can control our reactions and responses to the events of life. It is our choice! I choose Jesus–through Him and His love, I can do all things well–even with my responses to life’s events.

While we pray for those who have been displaced because of the storms, heart-broken because of the loss of lives in a number of situations, let us pray they will allow God to comfort hearts and allow Him to give them insight to peace and forward movement. Let’s pray for more people using the events to get closer to God and come into a right relationship with Him instead of being bitter towards God. O give Thanks to the Lord!

O God, help us to be better and not bitter about those things we cannot control. Help us to see good in everything that happens because there is something good that can be found–to Your glory. Give us a heart of compassion to help those in need and to encourage them to keep going. This we ask in Jesus’ name, Amen!

 

Keep Away!

“In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching you received from us” (2 Thessalonians 3:6 NIV).

Considering the work that needs to be done, promoting the Gospel, there is no time for believers to remain idle–doing nothing. Paul understands the temptation that accompanies idleness. Idle hands are tools for the devil to conspire to do evil. Even when we think there is nothing more to do, we should pray–without ceasing–for others and for self. If we cannot think of anything else to do, our thoughts should focus on those who need encouragement or a helping hand. We may not have anything to do for ourselves, but there is always a brother or sister who needs help, doing just about anything.

For this reason, Paul admonishes those who are doing what is right to stay away from those who are doing nothing but creating problems. When people have nothing else to do–they complain and murmur and start vicious rumors and conspire to influence hatred and dissent. Paul understands that it is the little foxes that spoil the vines and a little disgruntlement when ignited by bitterness flows like molten lava, destroying everything in its path.

Realistically, every believer who will do, is doing, and looking for more to do. True believers understand that our work is never finished because Jesus has not returned. True believers reach out to others to encourage and admonish. True believers will pray for someone at in a heartbeat, when requested, or even when there is no request. True believers look forward to each day, eagerly waiting to see what God will have them do. True believers live with purpose and are always trying to fulfill the purpose. True believers understand that laziness does not create value or worth. True believers–know how to hear and obey God–and therefore never have time to be idle.

Even when imprisoned, Paul did not stop promoting the gospel, interceding for others, encouraging others, to remain faithful to the Lord and to adhere to God’s Word. He understood that every waking moment was an opportunity to bring others in the knowledge of Christ and used every opportunity to do just that. We must work while it is day (have an opportunity) for when night comes (the deeds of darkness prevail), success at anything becomes difficult.

If success is what every believer wants to see–we must stay away from those who claim to believe God, but are too lazy to study His Word for themselves and know His purpose for their lives and seek fulfillment. Keep away from those who would influence you to become as they are–idle believers.

 

Driving Forces!

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