Being a Body That’s Busy, Not Busybodies!

“We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat. And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good.” (2 Thessalonians 3:11-13 NIV)

For a person who lacks sufficient comprehension skills, Paul’s instructions almost seem to contradict themselves. But the difference between being a Body (or a body) that’s busy and not a busybody is the end result. A Body (or body) that’s busy gets things accomplished, busybodies create destructive and chaotic environments.

Let’s look at The Body of Christ–are we who we claim to Believe and follow Jesus Christ busy doing what He has asked us to do? Are looking after the needs of others–or are we turning up our noses at those in need?

Looking after the needs of others doesn’t necessarily mean we go into our pockets every time someone approaches us on the street corners or even those who are sitting by roadsides. In all things we must exercise wisdom–seeking Him to determine who we give a hand-out because every hand-out is not a hand-up and the goal of the Believer should be to provide a hand-up. I’ve been in situations in which Holy Spirit spoke to my heart about helping people and even when I thought I couldn’t afford (financially) to do so, I did what I was told to do. I believe that when we obey, God always takes care of our needs. I do not give money to every person who asks for it, but when someone says they are hungry, if there is a restaurant nearby, I’ll take them in and buy them whatever they want. On a number of occasions, I was told to give money and I did, but what I noticed is that those to whom I gave money, were working people and they didn’t ask me for anything.

Are we ministering to the needs of those who are either locked up or locked in? Those who are in prisons may be locked up, but that doesn’t mean they should be locked out of hearing the gospel. And the same is true for those who are locked into the own sense of nothingness and need someone to guide them in the right direction.

This is what a busy Body (or body) does, but the busybody–is always getting into other people’s business. This group or person seldom accomplishes anything other than chaos and bitterness. They ask questions that don’t need to be asked, they try to give advice when they don’t have a clue as to how to govern their own lives, and they always carry the latest tidbit of gossip, expanding what they hear for the sake of sensationalism–blowing things out of proportion. That’s the busybody.

If we look around at the world today, we see the busybodies–in the church and outside the church, but we tend to ignore the busy Body (or body) that is actually doing all they can to do what Jesus says to do. If Believers are ever going to make a difference in our society, we must practice being busy–accomplishing good things that honor God–and not being busybodies that only ignite confusion and destruction because the only thing they’re busy doing is trying to find ways to create chaos.

Now, we all have a decision to make and our decision will determine who we hear. Are we a Body of people that are busy or are we idle busybodies exercising our tongues instead of our hands?

Only By His Spirit!

“So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.” (Zechariah 4:6 NIV)

Whenever I hear people talk about how they weak they are or I smile and thank God, for in our weakness–He is made strong. Hallelujah! If we would just remember, nothing that challenges us is a battle we must fight alone, for the battle is the Lord’s and He will be victorious!

The battle against sin won’t be won in courtrooms–it will be won in the Spirit, by those with unwavering faith, consistently communicating with God and promoting Godliness in all they do and say. That is not to say we who believe God should become doormats and do nothing. We should exercise our faith by standing firm in our beliefs and whenever possible, letting our voices be heard and making sure we’re saying what God says.

Writing letters and petitions to change the environment for good is an exercise of faith. If we do nothing, we demonstrate a lack of faith. God told Joshua that, “whatever we put our hands to would prosper and we would have good success.”

The battles are not won by promoting hate, but by demonstrating love.

The battles are not won by acts of superiority, but by demonstrating kindness. “With loving kindness have I drawn you.”

The battles of war are not won by the might and power of anyone’s military might, but by those who have confidence in God to deliver and set free all those who belong to Him and they are always walking in the Spirit, seeking His wisdom and direction.

If all the military strategists would seek God’s wisdom and act accordingly, wars would cease.

If all government leaders would seek God’s wisdom and act accordingly, there would be peace in the land.

If all parents would seek God’s wisdom and act accordingly, there would be peace in homes.

If everyone seeking a mate would seek God’s wisdom and act accordingly, there would be no divorces.

If everyone married would seek God’s wisdom and act accordingly, there would be no domestic abuse.

If everyone would simply seek God’s wisdom and act accordingly, there would no need for prisons, we would live healthier lives, and none would be at a disadvantage.

“If” we would just understand that we don’t have the power to do anything, and depend on Him, all would have access to living the abundant life we’re promised.

Nothing we do in our own strength or wisdom matters–we must depend upon Him and His wisdom, hear and obey and then we shall see change for the best in the land–Only By His Spirit!

Lord, help us to seek You while You may be found, receiving Your Wisdom in all things and acting accordingly so that all we do, glorifies You!

Good Seasoning!

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” (Matthew 5:13 NIV).

Jesus speaking–to all who claim to be His followers–we are the salt–the seasoning that makes life more palatable--not only for us, but for all. What happens to salt that no longer has the capacity to make food taste better or to preserve it? It is thrown out, no longer useful for anything.

Those of us who know The Word and attempt to live The Word are responsible for making a difference in the lives of all we meet–as a living epistle of how God wants us to live. When we miss the mark, we need to go back to The Word and replenish our capacity to continue to salt–sprinkle truth–every where we go.

Now, if we are the salt–the seasoning that makes living worthwhile–why is it that many only want “sweetened” messages? In essence, they want to skip the meal–the seasoned meat and vegetables and get the dessert–with all the sugar that will make them sick when they over indulge on just the “sweet” stuff. In fact, in some churches, people never get a full meal–they get an appetizer and then dessert–it’s as if the chef only knows how to prepare “tidbits” and “sweet stuff” which is bound to leave a body–malnourished.

And then we have those who preach and teach such bland messages that people fall asleep before ten words have been said. The saddest part of all is even the singing is bland–no life–and when people start staying away, the leadership wonders why.

God wants us balanced–seasoned just right! That’s why He uses all types of personalities to promote His Word–the person who knows how to prepare the right proportion for an appetizer, leading to igniting taste buds for more and then serving up a flavorful, full of zest meal–has no need for a dessert, but if one is served, it is miniscule in comparison to the appetizer. These are the churches that grow because the congregation recognizes where they can get a good meal, with good seasoning, and not just a sugary dessert.

Not every church growing in number is actually growing in knowledge. There are some churches who only serve dessert and they grow, but not in knowledge, since they get nothing of nutritional value and get weaker with every meal. Those who are growing in knowledge, get stronger with every meal because of the balanced nutrition a wise leader promotes and serves.

We are the “good seasoning” not the sugar link that causes people physical problems, but we create environments in which people can know the difference between a message that does more than just tickle the tummy, it fills the spirit and helps people to soar to new heights in the knowledge of God.

The Really Good News!

“This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.” (Romans 1:17 NLT)

“It is through faith that a righteous person has life” and that faith is in the work of the cross, not faith in man or man’s rules.

There are enough “rules” in most religions that rival the sands on a beach, but none of them–can save a soul or put anyone in right relationship with God.

In some churches (religious institutions) women are not allowed to enter the sanctuary without something on their heads–handkerchief, hat, napkin, anything that covers, but those same places will denounce a woman for wearing a wig.

There are some churches who teach that wearing make-up is a sin.

There are some churches who teaching that getting fingernails polished is sin.

There are some churches that see “wearing red” as being the devil’s color and will make anyone wearing red feel uncomfortable.

There are some churches that don’t believe in having instruments used in the church.

There are some churches that don’t believe in singing in the church.

There are some churches that say “clapping” your hands is wrong.

There are some churches that believe “dancing” is wrong, unless you’re dancing in the church. (Dancing is dancing in my book.)

There are some churches that promote male dominance over females–in all things–no matter what.

There are some churches (religions) that say Jesus is not the Son of God.

There are some churches who believe in baptizing in the name of “Jesus only.”

There are some churches who denounce participation in sports–of any kind. (They do believe in eating–everything not nailed down–and the highest obesity rates can be seen in these churches.)

There are some churches who believe watching television and movies is sin.

There are some churches who dictate what a woman should or should not wear–no pants in these places!

There are some churches who believe so many things that are not based on biblically sound doctrine that it is laughable.

So, the really Good News is that salvation can only come through the work on the cross. Any other method taught is a lie and we know who promotes lies–Satan–the father of liars. The Church Rules are to help “men” control the masses.  The Church Rules seldom encourage every individual to establish a right relationship with God because if they did–who would they then, control?

When our relationship with God is right, we have no need for man-made rules in religious institutions that are designed to control others. Holy Spirit control will never lead us astray or in doing anything that opposes God’s Word.

Hallelujah for Holy Spirit Control! Now that’s good news!

Dear Jude

“But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love. And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives” (Jude 1:20-23 NLT).

Dear Jude,

Your letter has been received and read among all those professing belief in the Lord Jesus. However, I must admit that there are some who have been completely bamboozled by those in leadership and many have fallen from grace–choosing to live their lives any way they want to live.

I appreciate your reminding us of all that was said and done before now. Many of us have tried our best to warn and encourage all who profess belief in Jesus Christ to live it and not just talk it.

It would appear that some–as you mentioned–have crept in and taught a contrary gospel–deceiving those who were not strong in the faith and have caused them to err in judgment. Mercy has been extended time and time again, but they would rather encourage people to live according to their fleshly dictates rather than according The Word of God.

While I am often discouraged at the way The Church–the entire Body of Christ–accepts every wind of doctrine that comes along because it sounds good and those who would rather seek the praises of men by contaminating truth with political correctness, I keep going–keep praying–and keep my faith alive in Jesus Christ because I know that one day, it will be over and His return will reveal all who truly believed and those who misled others.

Jude, thank you for being concerned enough for the welfare of all Believers. I realize that even in the position you were in, you were still thinking about the rest of us and wanted us to keep the faith and to keep promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

And now that the end is closer than we think, I must move forward, encouraging, warning, and promoting the love of Jesus Christ so that as many who desire to live according to The Word, and desire to live holy, will be found faultless in the presence of the Most High.

Sincerely,

This Humble Believer of Christ Jesus

Ashamed No More!

“For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ:  for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jews (the chosen nation) first and then to the Greeks (those who chose to believe by faith)” (Romans 1:16 paraphrased).

This declaration made by Paul lets us know that even though he had been a persecutor of those who believed in Jesus and those who promoted the good news, once Jesus revealed himself to him, he became a believer and a promoter of the good news, openly.  Paul understood the law and knew that God had chosen the nation of Israel for His own, but when they chose to reject Him, He opened the door to any who chose to believe Him and abide by His commandments.  First God chose, then we chose–He has always given us the power of choice.

God revealed Himself to the nation of Israel in mighty works so they would know how much He loved them.  He reveals Himself to us, still by doing mighty works in our lives when we allow Him to do so.

I remember a time when I persecuted anyone who tried to get me to believe in the Bible.  I challenged them to explain how they “knew” whether or not the words were interpreted accurately, who was the witness that could confirm it, and on and on.  When I reached a place in my life where I had nothing else to read in my house, but the Bible, I read it.  I have always been an avid reader of almost anything, but at the time I read my bible, I was in financial straits and could not purchase books the way I once had.  I worked hours that curtailed my ability to get to a library and so here I was–wanting something to read and the Bible was there.  It took me two months to read (starting with the Gospel of John) through the New Testament and then I worked my way back through the Old Testament to get a better understanding of what was said in the New.  God’s plan worked!  I now understood why things had happened the way they did.  When I received the gift of salvation and speaking in tongues, I knew I had been wrong and was so ashamed, I wished I could go back and find those people I had taunted.  But God in His infinite wisdom (and sense of humor) used me to promote the Gospel by encouraging people to read the bible for themselves and then open themselves to hear Him, revealing understanding of His Word.

Though I never had anyone tortured for their beliefs, I can certainly relate to Paul’s words.  I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ because it is the power to renew life, retain joy in the midst of trials, the avenue to having a personal relationship with God and ability to have communication on a brand new level.  I am ashamed of my behavior and conduct to those I once taunted for their beliefs, but I am not ashamed of who I am or whose I am and I will tell it–from the valley to the mountain-tops–and if people do not receive it; that is not my responsibility.  My job is to tell it, their job is make a choice to receive what I say or not, the end result is on God!  Hallelujah!

Light Walking!

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another,and the blood Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1:7 NIV).

Why are we encouraged to walk ‘in the light’? In the previous verse of scripture, we are told that if we ‘claim to have fellowship and yet walk in darkness, we lie’. Wow!  When I think about all of the things that those who proclaim to be Christians do–that belie having fellowship with Jesus–I get a greater understanding of why we are not in pure fellowship with one another.  How do we walk in darkness? With the sins that so easily beset us and are usually committed in the dark or under cover of some “politically correct rhetoric” that refutes God’s Word in order to accommodate those who desire to pacify flesh–the carnal ones–keep people in darkness from The Truth.

But if we walk in the light–everything we do is exposed to the light of day and nothing attempted to be hidden by a cloister of words that mislead and we promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ–we can have embrace one another–in love–in spite of differences of opinion, gender, race, or faith.  When we can have pure fellowship with one another, we walk in fellowship with Him who is The Light.

Come on!  Let’s do some Light Walking today!

Celebrating Resurrection!

After Jesus was laid in a borrowed tomb, history was made and a prophecy fulfilled.

(Luke 24: 1-53 for reference) On the third day, He was not found in the tomb and indeed, the disciples who had walked with Him for three years, did not recognize Him when He approached, talked to them, or taught all the scriptures that related to Him. It wasn’t until they invited Him to have dinner with them that they recognized Him for who He is, when He blessed the food. But then, He disappeared. They sat among themselves discussing what had just happened. One said, “Didn’t our hearts burn within when He talked with us along the way and when He opened up the scriptures to us?” Later, He told them that they were to preach repentance and the remission of sin to all nations. Soon after giving these instructions, the disciples saw Him carried into heaven. They were went their way, praising and blessing God!

He arose–just like He said He would; He is sitting at the right hand of the Father–just like He said He would. Now the questions are: have we risen from the depths of our sin, repented from them and received forgiveness? Are we preaching repentance and the remission of sin? Do we feel that the grace–the unmerited favor we received was only for us? Are our hearts burning within with the knowledge we have of Him and His love towards us?  Will we go our way, praising and blessing God?

Let us rise to the occasion and become the witnesses that He wanted us to be–let us preach the gospel of Jesus Christ (repentance, forgiveness and love) and stand on God’s Word so that He will celebrate our resurrection when He returns.

Have a joyous Resurrection Sunday Celebration! Hallelujah!

Judgment Day Charge

Judgment Day Charges before the King of Glory–innumerable  charges of feeding the hungry, providing shelter for the homeless, forgiving the unforgivable, loving the unlovable, and promoting a “sugar-free” gospel everywhere my footsteps could be traced.

On That Day, I want to be found “guilty as charged”!  Glory Hallelujah!

What about you?