Destruction!

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free.  But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” (Galatians 5:13-15 NIV)

We are a family of human beings–we are all created uniquely individual, designed to socialize–needful of one another, so why is there so much animosity between us?

Forget for a moment that Paul is specifically speaking to Believers and let’s broaden the outlook to all people–from all nations–across the globe. If mankind originated from one man and woman–Adam and Eve, then all human beings are related in one way or another. We all need to eat and breathe to live and we all need clean air and drinkable water to survive all of the toxins created by man’s inventiveness. So, if we need one another–wouldn’t it make sense for us to be considerate of one another–at all times?

Who is our neighbor that we should love them? Anyone with whom we know as fellow Believers–for starters. But that doesn’t mean we cannot love those who do not believe as we do. We can and should love all–even those with whom we disagree. For if we are incapable of loving others; especially those who are not like-minded, we create a void that needs to be filled and if not filled with love, it will be filled with hate. Either we allow Holy Spirit to influence us to love or Satan to influence us to hate. How do we know Satan’s influence is running rampant in the earth? Just look at all the hate!

Satan’s entire mission is to destroy mankind because God loves us. In order to achieve his goal to destroy, he instigates superiority in one group of people over another–making them feel everyone else is wrong and they’re the only ones who are right. He stirs up hatred and division to keep us from socializing and communicating like civilized persons. He feeds our bitterness, frustration and disappointments with negativity and distrust–guiding us to an abyss where he can leave us to drop into the hate-filled void of darkness with no way out. Soon, because people do not recognize Satan’s influence in their lives, they kill each other for little or reason, wiping out humanity until all is lost and there is no one left, but the spirit of darkness and doom.

However, there is hope and the hope is our faith and belief that we are “the light set upon a hill” so others can and will know love because of the love we show to all. Where there is love and light–hate and darkness cannot abide. If darkness is dispelled by the light and love of those who love Christ, destruction can be deterred and the enemy will slither away, biding his time until the next round. And there will be a next round by the enemy to destroy, but we can let the love of God overwhelm us and flow onto all we meet and see that where there is love, we defeat destructive forces.

We can change what is happening in our society–one person at a time by dispensing love as freely as the air we breathe. With love, there is no destruction–on construction of loving relationships, determined to sustain humanity until He comes to take us home.

What Type Union?

“And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said: “I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people.” (2 Corinthians 6:16 NIV)

The case presented by Paul as to why we should be careful about the connections we make or the unions we establish is pretty clear. He makes a strong case as to why Believers and Unbelievers won’t make a solid union. This one verse–could not possibly say it all, so I encourage everyone to read the entire chapter for clarity.

Paul cautions us to not establish unions between good and evil, light and darkness, idolaters and Believers. While some have in the past attempted to make a case for segregation of races because of skin color or ethnicity, this is not what he’s saying. He’s warning us about intimate involvement when those who don’t know God or establish policies that are in opposition to God’s Word. By intimate involvement, I mean close ties or relationships with those of dissimilar beliefs. This is not a reference to sexual relationships of any kind.

Why do we need to be wary about those with whom we associate and have close ties? The old adage, “birds of a feather flock together,” comes to mind. We develop bad habits faster than we develop good habits and when we’re around people who have “bad habits” we tend to emulate them rather than them emulating us. Why? Some people will do whatever they have to do to “get along” with others, not having the backbone to stand firm on what they know is right.

This is how gangs operate in neighborhoods and schools. It is our politicians function–they say anything to get a vote, but then do whatever is popular with their cohorts, not willing to cause waves, even when decisions are made that are contrary to their beliefs. This is how the insecure function in our society–they simply go along to get along in order not to be alone. This is how abusers keep their victims under control, but if the victims understood their own worth, they would not have been involved with the one who abused.

Anyone who uses intimidation to control or manipulate others is a tool of evil. There is no light in them, so why would anyone walking in the light and love of God have a relationship with them? They shouldn’t. When we, who are walking in the light and love of God, walk into a situation, evil should run and hide like roaches when a light switch is turned on to dispel the darkness.

Remember, manipulation is what Satan does, not God. Deception is what Satan uses to convince, not God. Destruction–tearing down is what Satan does, while construction–building up is what God does. And there is no union possible with the works of Satan and the works of God.

So, why we would even attempt to be in any type of union with the unbelieving? We shouldn’t, for God has said every man’s work will be tried by fire and only those works that are firmly established in Him and by Him, shall withstand the heat. We want to avoid the stain of evil that spreads like wildfire when we unite with it.  

Not every one we meet is good for us, nor do they have our best interest at heart, so move cautiously in determining who will be close enough to persuade or influence who you are and not who they are.

Under Construction!

“We are His workmanship.”

When we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, we are recreated (spiritually), shaped and molded by God to do good works and to do them well, all to His glory.  He “works” on us continually, guiding us, correcting us, and loving us–no matter what–so that we can be the light–the beacon of hope–for the rest of the world.  His work in us and through us is continuous–we are always under construction–until we die.

If you think you have arrived–look closely–you just may see some parts of you have not been constructed yet.  Can you love unconditionally?  Can you forgive relentlessly?  Can you see the needs of others and address them?  Do you promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ wherever you go and whenever the opportunity arises?  Do you trust God for all you need?  Do you have faith in His word to accomplish all that He puts on your heart to do?  If we cannot answer honestly, all of these questions (and more) with a “yes” we are yet under construction!

None of us are perfect–we were not intended to be, but we are to strive for perfection–God’s way, not ours.  So get your sign back out–“Project Not Complete–Still Under Construction!”  Don’t feel bad about it–you have lots of company.  In fact, if the signs were physically manifested in our lives–we wouldn’t be able to see one another for the signs.

Have a wonderful day–enjoying the construction of the new creation in Christ!