When Hatred is The Foundation!

When Hatred is The Foundation!

The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence. Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers all wrongs. Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning, but a rod is for the back of one who has no sense. The wise store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool invites ruin. The wealth of the rich is their fortified city, but poverty is the ruin of the poor. The wages of the righteous is life, but the earnings of the wicked are sin and death. Whoever heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray. Whoever conceals hatred with lying lips and spreads slander is a fool. Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues. Proverbs 10:11-18 NIV

How many times do we hear people ask, “Why is there so much hatred in the land?” There are many reasons for the hatred–or rather excuses for the hatred for no one has to hate another–they simply find excuses to hate because they are devoid of love.

If we remember–only what resides in us will come out of us–we get a better understanding of why people hate–no love inside.

I listened to the news and saw the man in Portland who stabbed two people to death simply because they tried to stop his harassment of two young women. Killing out of hate wasn’t enough–he stood defiant in court–spewing his hatred and what I noticed was his eyes–they were dark holes in his face, no light and certainly no love for himself. If he could not love himself, he certainly could not love others.

We cannot control what emotions people feel–only they can. I pray for all who harbor hatred and have allowed it to develop into a foundation on which their every act is determined–Lord, destroy the foundation of hate and replace it with love.

If hate is a driving force–forging the way for all we do, just imagine how much we could accomplish if we allowed love to be the driving force in our lives.

I know there are some who think because we disagree with others–and sometimes the disagreement is intense–I have never allowed disagreement to merge into hate. If a situation gets so intense that hatred might drop a seed and grow–I walk away, turn away, distance myself from the person so the hate won’t stand a chance and I turn to The Lord, asking Him to fill me to overflowing with His love. For with His Love, running over in my heart and stretching out before me–I don’t have time to hate. Besides, life is so much better when love rules.

We have a right to agree or disagree with people and we also have a right to own our emotional responses to others. The responses exchanged between people are a direct reflection of what we allow to reside within us. Think about it and make sure the love within is all the world sees. And if the only response we make is one of hatefulness, we need to back up and away from others until we learn to love self (not self-centered love), but wanting the best for us and always mindful of the feelings of others.

If we do not love self–there is no love inside–we cannot love others for all we have is an emptiness that opens the door for hate. We can get a lot further in life on a tank of love instead of a tanker of hate.

Think about how you feel about self and others and note which emotion drives your actions. Don’t let the foundational emotion in your life be hatred because hate destroys–you and others.

eda

Mockers and Fools vs Wisdom and Knowledge!

Mockers and Fools vs Wisdom and Knowledge!

The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. Proverbs 14:1 NIV

A fool’s mouth lashes out with pride, but the lips of the wise protect them. Proverbs 14:3 NIV

The mocker seeks wisdom and finds none, but knowledge comes easily to the discerning. Proverbs 14:6 NIV

Stay away from a fool, for you will not find knowledge on their lips. Proverbs 14:7 NIV

Looking at The Word through Solomon’s insights, there really is no competition between the foolish and the wise. Wisdom trumps foolishness every time.

Wise people build–their houses with solid foundations that will endure the test of time and storms. Any foundation that is week and has not been properly shored up, will buckle and eventually cave in causing destruction to the whole house. And whenever there is a problem with the foundation, steps should be taken to make sure it stabilizes before it crumbles and falls.

The building principle is true of every aspect of our lives–we build relationships on solid foundations. We build careers on solid foundations and we build up our faith in God, on the solid foundation of The Word.

Pride speaks without thinking–not considering its ways or how what is said will affect the hearer. Pride doesn’t care and since pride doesn’t care–they are often revealed as fools. While the wise are careful to research and think before speaking, mindful that words carry impact and impact affects those who hear their words.

The mocker–those who mock others for whatever reason–seeks wisdom in all the wrong places and from the wrong people and therefore never obtain what he/she is seeking. But those who have knowledge and wisdom, easily discern what the fools never understand.

Solomon reveals the valuable lessons he’s learned throughout the Proverbs and carried over into Ecclesiastes–the wisdom he gained from God who gives liberally and from making mistakes in his disobedience. He learned that wisdom never leads anyone astray, but a fool–will also find himself lost, without direction, never knowing right from left or up from down–when to stay and when to quit–when to speak and when to be quiet.

With all that Solomon has to say about fools–and there is quite a bit–we, who read The Word with understanding, are without excuse in recognizing a fool when we see or hear one. And if we are wise, we know to stay away from fools for there is no knowledge or wisdom in them and all they do–is mock others–because they have no foundational substance in the make up of their character.

Now, we need to think–before making a decision about what we’ve read–and determine where we are in the greater scheme of things. Are we in the camp of the wise or the foolish?

Will Your Work Stand The Test?

“By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work.” (1 Corinthians 3:10-13 NIV)

In a number of places across the country, storms are a challenge to daily living. People end up watching their hard-earned livelihoods, homes, and other property–destroyed by wind and rain. However, even in the midst of the destruction, some buildings remain, untouched, as though it had been moved until the storm finished its destruction.

Companies–who miss laying a solid foundation for functioning and surviving–cease to exist in the midst of economic storms–and people lose their jobs, homes, and families disintegrate as consumer prices rise and many are left standing as though zombies, wondering what just happened.

Families–who try to exist and survive without a firm foundation of love and respect–end up scattered like the wind blowing birdseed–landing where they may, not knowing how to continue for they have no foundation on which to build.

Everything that survives the test of time and trial does so because of having a solid foundation and the church is no different. The foundation in the church is Jesus Christ and if anyone attempts to build on any other foundation–they place themselves in position to be tested and most won’t withstand the test. But this test–is not about wind and rain–it is about judgment from on high. If our foundation is Jesus Christ–then everything we do–should be according to The Word and not our own thoughts and desires.

Some people–have taken the above-referenced passage of scripture to mean that buildings used for worship services should not contain costly stone, gold or silver.  But if that were true, they also should not use hay, straw, or wood. The metaphor used is not about what the building is made of, but what’s being done within the building. If our bodies are temple where the Holy Spirit dwells, what are we doing to them? All Believers are the Body of Christ–but what are we doing to demonstrate that our foundation is Jesus Christ?

I hate to belabor a point made many times, by many people–but when I see people who proclaim to be Christians and yet live in opposition to God’s Word--I question the foundation of their proclamation–it cannot be Jesus Christ.

If we truly belong to Him, then we listen to what He says, understand what He says, and obey what He says. That is–if our foundation is Jesus Christ–we will not allow another to mislead and deceive us by trying to convince us otherwise. God’s Word never changes, while man’s fickleness is constantly changing–which is why the laws of the land are always changing to pacify those who choose not to live according to God’s Word. For if we lived according to God’s Word–there would be no need for laws and all would live in peace.

But the key to establishing a solid foundation about anything is in the ability of the leader to inspire and motivate others to build with care–that on which they profess to stand. Will your work stand the test? If not, perhaps, it’s time to tear down the existing foundation of beliefs and rebuild on solid ground with faith in Jesus Christ–who never fails or disappoints.

Celebrating The Gift of Motherhood!

“Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—“so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” (Ephesians 6:2,3 NIV)

How have we come so far from obeying the commandments of God as it pertains to honoring mothers and fathers? We know we have because of all the sad events reported in the media. If we really want to see a change in our nation, we must return to doing things God’s way.

But before we can truly honor mothers and fathers, they have a responsibility to their children–to bring them up in the ways of God, not just by word but by example. When children are exposed to Godly behavior  in their homes, they will exemplify that behavior when they are not at home. That’s simple enough, but perhaps too simple to be understood and implemented.

How parents act–and we see them in public–in private will be seen in the behavior of their children in public. Children do what they see their parents do, not just what their parents say. This occurs because some parents have a “do as I say mentality rather than do as I do” mentality. In other words, they are not going to behave as God would direct us and then they wonder why their children are often in trouble.

Admittedly, some children are prone to fall under the influence of peers who have not been parented by Godly parents and they go astray, even though their own parents have lived a life that is pleasing to God in front of them. This is why all parents are responsible for their  children’s behavior since their behavior has wide range influence. Kids who are cussing in public or cussing at their teachers have parents who have no regard for the language they use in front of them. Kids who steal and lie pick up the bad habits from parents who think nothing of stealing and lying in front of their kids. Loud and obnoxious kids usually have loud and obnoxious parents or are influenced by other kids who have loud and obnoxious parents.

But that’s not all parents and it’s certainly not all kids. There are some good examples of Godly parents in our environment and it is those parents who are committed to raising children who respect those in authority, have values and morals that are evident in their daily behavior, and who know and love The Lord.

Kids are not responsible for the behavior of their parents–parents are responsible for the behavior of their kids–to a point. Once they leave a parent’s home, they are responsible for themselves, but if they have not had a good foundation laid for responsible behavior, they may not learn to behave responsibly.

At any rate, there is a time and place for everything and today is the time set aside to “honor mothers”  and all the mothers who have raised their children by Godly example, I salute you. For those who never knew their natural mothers and made it anyhow, I celebrate you. For those who raised more children they gave birth to–God has a special place in heaven for you. For all the mothers–who raised their children with love and discipline as a foundation for living, God bless you!

Hopefully, I have not left out any of the wonderful mothers who have raised or are raising God-loving children. If your mother is no longer here, hug someone’s mother who reminds you of your own. Let’s celebrate motherhood as a great gift from God because it is.  

   Mothers Day 2015

Getting Back to The Foundation of His Truth!

“But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband.”(I Corinthians 7:2 NIV)

No matter how hard we try–at least some of us–we cannot get away from the fact that the bible addresses every aspect of our living right before God. Through Paul, God’s purpose for us is emphasized in a number of chapters–how husbands and wives should treat each other, how to raise children, how to conduct ourselves in worship services, and how to establish order in the church. Whatever question we could possibly have, the answer–is in there.

The problem for many in accepting what is in there is the fact that whenever a person or persons choose to dispute the information or instruction in the bible, they do so selectively, without understanding, totally missing what is being said because they choose to take things out of context. This verse of scripture is one of those people “prefer to ignore” because Paul said and not Jesus (it’s not written in red).

It’s amazing how people can “discount” the value of what is being said based upon who said it. They do so because they did not read further–“all scripture is written by inspiration of God” no matter who He uses to say it.

Moving along–when the early churches had questions regarding behaviors that were once considered “okay” based upon the environment in which one found themselves, Paul addressed them. There had been “temple prostitutes” and many other unsavory behaviors operating because of unbelief. Adultery and fornication were the status quo and because some dared to seek truth, Paul spoke it as it pertains to sexual activity. Here it is very clear--sexual activity should be reserved for those who are married and then the married should have only sex with their “own husbands” and “their own wives.”

When we choose to ignore righteous instruction because of fleshly dictates, we set ourselves for disaster and until we can right the wrong, nothing will change the devastating course of events that will be the result of sin. If we claim to accept one part of the bible as God’s truth, then we must claim it all–with understanding and keeping all of it in context of God’s purposes for mankind.

This is not the only passage of scripture that is often refuted in the church world. Many in the church have disputed women’s roles within the church because they overlooked what Joel said. Many have claimed that people of color are the result of the curse on Ham, lacking understanding that the first man, Adam–was a man of color–a fact simply deduced by looking at where God formed him and how. People use the bible to promote hatred and superiority because of a lack of understanding. God has no respect of persons and He sees us all as equals–no male or female, Jew or Gentile, all one in Christ Jesus.

But we don’t see us as God sees us and as a result, we tend to overlook passages that go against our flesh. This is why there is confusion, hate, and unrest in the land–we allow our flesh to dictate what we want and when others don’t agree, we rise up and promote hatred–either with the bible or refuting it. Either way–God is not pleased and when He is not pleased, none of us has peace.

The sooner we see things the way God sees them (and we can if we truly develop a relationship with Him), the sooner we’ll see peace in the land. We have no excuse–His written instructions–given to and by all who desired to please Him–provide us the foundation of His Truth. It’s time we got back to that foundation, rather than attempting to build one that is bound to crumble and fall.

The Foundation!

“By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (I Corinthians 3:10,11 NIV)

Paul admonishes those who are attempting to “teach doctrine” other than what they learned. He reminds them (the Corinthians) that everything he taught was based upon his relationship with Jesus Christ and who He is. He goes on to tell them in (subsequent verses) that if they attempt teach any other doctrine, their works will be tried with fire.

Now, for clarity’s sake, I must explain that in the subsequent verses, he mentions the building materials that will be tried and possibly burned up with fire. Paul uses the building materials–gold, silver, etc. in a figurative analogy. He does not mean that churches cannot use gold or silver in the buildings, as some have taught.

What is more important–the church (Body of Christ) or the building? I think this is where some err. The body of believers is the “Church of Jesus Christ” and the buildings are simply places where people go to worship, ideally. So, Paul is really concerned about the condition of the believers and the foundational truths they are taught and believe. When we change the foundational truths of God’s Word, then we subject our works to being judged by the fire. EVERY TIME WE CHANGE GOD’S WORD TO PACIFY FLESH, WE ERR AND ARE CREATING AN UNSTABLE FOUNDATION.

When a firm, stable foundation has not been laid for a physical building, it will not withstand, the moves of the earth as it settles and sometimes, the foundations crack, lean, or fall apart, causing the entire building to crumble. When a firm foundation has not been been laid regarding the truth of God’s Word, people lean, fall apart and crumble every time a crisis comes their way–their foundational knowledge is flawed and will not withstand the wiles of the enemy when the attack comes.

We should all aspire to be like Paul–as a wise builder–teaching and proclaiming only the truth of God’s Word so when He comes, we will be found blameless and not guilty of promoting false doctrine trying to make ourselves to be something we are not. God knows the truth of all and He knows when the foundation is His or ours. If we think we can fool Him, we only delude ourselves. Make sure the foundation laid regarding God’s truth–is His Truth!