What To Expect!

What To Expect!

An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends and against all sound judgment starts quarrels. Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions. When wickedness comes, so does contempt, and with shame comes reproach. The words of the mouth are deep waters, but the fountain of wisdom is a rushing stream. It is not good to be partial to the wicked and so deprive the innocent of justice. The lips of fools bring them strife, and their mouths invite a beating. The mouths of fools are their undoing, and their lips are a snare to their very lives. Proverbs 18:1-7 NIV

If I am belaboring the point of a fool’s life–just bear with me so I can get it out of my system. The word fool is mentioned 66 times in 62 verses in the KJV (fools 42 times) and 62 times in 58 verses in the NIV (fools is mentioned 63 times). Solomon talks about a fool or fools more than anyone in Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. So, if we take a common sense approach to understanding The Word, we discover, God is not too happy with a fool or foolish behavior.

It is so difficult not to talk about the conduct of a fool in light of our current election cycle. Differences of opinion should open the door for dialogue but instead–with those who don’t think anyone is right but them–it opens the floodgates of hatred and bigotry and arrogance and presumptiveness.

Here’s what I’m discovering about what to expect of those who are diehards–more loyal to party than country:

  • They would rather stand on accusatory rhetoric–already proven wrong–than to accept the reality of the situation.
  • They accept spliced media as credible evidence against a political candidate and expect others to just “believe” what it portrays.
  • They expect others to fall in line with their opinions when no viable, credible evidence is offered to support their opinions.
  • They expect others to accept the lead of “religious leaders” who are simply party puppets who think they know more than Holy Spirit.
  • They discredit a person’s relationship with God and hearing Holy Spirit when the discussion does not support what they want others to accept.
  • They refute The Word as the standard for political choices when it doesn’t fit with party platforms.
  • They lose ground and credibility every time they open their mouth (loose lips sink ships or political clout).

I could go on and on, but it would serve no purpose other than to ignite more animosity and that is not my purpose. My purpose in presenting the bullet points above is to hopefully shed some light on how ridiculous some become over political rhetoric. I know because I’ve been chastised about my political position (which aligns with The Word) because I refuse to put party platform over the welfare of the entire country.

This has all been stated before, but I guess sometimes, we need to repeat and repeat and repeat a matter for some to understand it. Hence–the repetition about a fool or fools in The Word.

Considering the life Jesus lived while walking the earth, I wonder what He would do about this election cycle. God the Father is Love and Jesus is God the Son so therefore, Love abounds in the persons of the authority in our lives (assuming God, not a political party is the authority). If we see and hear–a candidate who is divisive, promoting hate and fear and has no depth of compassion for others–would Jesus have voted for this person to guide the nation?

I’ve been “told” to pray for God to change the candidate in question’s heart, but this I know about God–He will not force anyone to do anything and if a person sees no need to change who they are–all the prayer by every person from every corner in the world won’t change them. When–someone who has supposedly converted to Christianity–proclaims they have no need to ask God to forgive them–that speaks volumes about their so-called conversion. One of the first tenets of coming to Christ–is confessing our sin and asking to be forgiven.

At any rate–I’m praying that God will fill–to overflowing everyone willing to receive–His wisdom and they will act accordingly in obedience to His Word. That’s my prayer. 

Practicing What’s Learned!

“Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:9 NIV)

“Whatever” you have learned–practice–and the God of peace will be with you. If there is always an opposing perspective that is equally true, then whatever people have learned from watching others, and put into practice that is in opposition to God, there will be no peace with them.

If others see a married couple with children, struggle through the trials of life and yet remain faithful and committed to the relationship, they will learn to do the same and practice what they have learned.

If others see married couples move in and out of marriages as quickly as they change their clothes, they will learn to do the same and practice what they have learned.

If others see people doing good–always doing the right thing–no matter what their circumstances–they will learn to do the same and practice what they have learned.

If others see people taking advantage of others, misusing and abusing others, they will learned to do the same and practice what they have learned.

If others see people living their lives according to The Word, they will learn to do the same and know peace in their lives and practice what they have learned.

If others see people living their lives any way they want to live, they will learn to do the same and never know peace in their lives and practice what they have learned.

This list could go on and on, but the bottom line is that whatever people see and hear us do, when we are the influence in their lives, that is what they will learn and practice.

Perhaps, this is why there is no peace in the land. Not many people have seen others practice what they preach (in many cases) and so they practice what they see and God is never in the midst of foolishness or evil, so chaos reigns.

So, if we really want to see change in our homes, in our communities, in the nations, we must do all according to The Word, so that all will see and hear what we do, practice what we do and then the peace of God will reside with us and there will be no more confusion in our midst.

I encourage every Believer to watch what they do and say because others are watching and what they see us do and hear what we say, they will put into practice. It’s up to us to influence living according to The Word.

Recognizing The Influence!

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10 ESV)

Who is the thief? That archenemy of God—Satan—the one who is a master of deception (“And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed [masquerades as an angel of light—NIV] into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”2 Corinthians 11:14,15) and the father of liars (“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” John 8:44)

Recognize—the works of the enemy so will not be convicted of an USI—under Satan’s influence—in the final judgment.

The Works of his (Satan’s) influence—all those who lie, all those who manipulate truth, all those who deceive and influence others to deceive, all those who deliberately plan the destruction of human beings (all mankind), all those who steal, all those who undermine others, all those who plot to steal another’s joy, all those who hate for no reason, all those who will not teach God’s Truth and influence others to ignore it.

The Works of Jesus Christ—all those who promote having a right relationship with God, all those who promote loving all, unconditionally, all those who recognize the sacrifice and promote obedience to God’s Word, all those who do the works that bring joy, happiness, a smile, all those who encourage others to live according to God’s plan and be blessed, all those who work the works of Him—putting aside their own plans to promote God’s plans.

Because God loves us, we should love others—just as God loves—unconditionally. However, loving others does not mean condoning sin—for God does not condone sin and we have His Word to know when we have sinned against Him, our bodies and others. Forgiveness does not negate the consequences of sin—God forgives and we forgive—but the consequences stand on their own—we shall reap what we sow! When we violate God’s principles—we invite judgment and open the door for the conviction of an USI.

Recognize the Works of who you say you serve and be very wary of others who demonstrate who they serve by their works.

Lord Jesus, come into our hearts now and save us now from being under Satan’s influence and help us to not become one of his servants, masquerading as truth when we are liars.

Stimulating Wholesome Thinking!

“Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking” (2 Peter 3:1 NIV).

When I read this passage this morning, I was reminded of the reason I write. I don’t expect people to agree with everything I say; not even some of what I say, but I write to encourage and stimulate wholesome thinking especially in how we treat people.

We live in a society where are constantly bombarded with everyone’s thoughts through various types of media–online media, television, radio, blogs, all the social media, books, magazines, hand-bills, posters, bill-boards, and online news commentaries. Some of the thoughts we read can readily be dismissed when we recognize the influence behind the thoughts. Some of the thoughts, we may actually consider to be genuine from rational people, until we continue to read what they write. And some, thoughtful writers will actually challenge us to think.

How do we know when we see “wholesome writing” that will ignite “wholesome thinking?

If what someone says aligns with The Word, explains The Word, expounds on The Word, and is not judgmental, obscene, or profane, or full of hate; we can probably conclude that the writer is thinking wholesome thoughts.  If what someone says, denies or scoffs at The Word, is in opposition to The Word, then we know who is influencing the words they write. What they say will not lead to wholesome thinking, but to chaos and confusion designed to get people off track.

How far off track are we in our society today? Should not our thoughts be the same as the thoughts of Christ?  If we have the mind of Christ, should we not have the conduct of Christ? Should not our heart be as His–loving, full of compassion, and always forgiving?

Nothing in life is fair–God did not promise us fairness. He said, “the just shall live by faith.” So, don’t be bitter about things that didn’t “seem fair”, move forward and know that if we continue in The Word, we shall receive God’s many benefits and He is not slow to fulfill His promises to us! We are the “just” and “the righteousness of Christ” because He said so, not us.

Now, think on these things–whatsoever is pure, lovely, and of a good report–all leading to wholesome thinking. Remember to love and forget all the things that would cause you to hold onto bitterness and unforgiveness. Keep your focus on the prize ahead of you in Christ Jesus! Rational Thinking > Rational Decisions > Rational Behavior–towards all!