Drop The Rocks!

Drop The Rocks!

The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” John 8:3-11 NIV

Sin is sin–no matter what act a person commits and the Bible is very specific about the acts of sin–any deliberate act that opposes God’s Word.

Being stupid or “extremely careless” is not a crime. If being stupid was a crime, there wouldn’t be enough room in Texas, Florida, or California to hold all the stupid people. In fact, there would probably be more people locked up than free and then what would happen to our economy and military?

We tend to cry foul about some things because we want to draw attention to ourselves–especially those running for elected positions. How many times have we seen and heard–public outcry from politicians about the behavior of one and then have the tides turned upon them and all the cameras were facing them–for the same judgment–the same thing they were quick to condemn others for? I could take the time to list them, but it would be pointless–and their misdeeds are a matter of public record so anyone can search for them.

The point to all of this is–the FBI cleared Clinton of any criminal intent–saying she was “extremely careless” (which amounts to being stupid), but had not committed any crimes. Therefore, all those crying foul–should be silent a moment and think about their own lives and see if they, too should be indicted for being stupid.

Not one person reading this blog–unless they had access to all the facts–is in a position to judge the situation–not the director’s decision or Clinton’s actions. Anything and everything we say–including her opponents in this election cycle–is a matter of speculation and opinion and our opinions matter not–when facts are more important.

Of course, the media won’t let this rest because it’s a matter of ratings–who can be more sensational than another station or newspaper. I don’t care what anyone else says, “extremely careless” is not a condemnation, but a reprimand and there is a difference in the definition of the words. But we understand–the stronger the language used–the more abhorrent the act seems–and everybody is picking up their rocks to throw.

Think about it–if you’ve ever done anything stupid, or were “extremely careless” about a decision or act–negligent if you will–drop your rocks. I can guarantee that anyone crying foul and wants to see her indicted, will soon have the cameras on them–facing possible indictments for real crimes–not imagined ones. History–always repeats itself–and when we don’t learn from history–we keep making the same foolish decisions.

Drop your rocks and think about your own life and then determine within yourself–that you will seek wisdom before speaking–or judging another with opinions and not facts.

Appearances Matter!

Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. 1 Thessalonians 5:21,22 KJV

If we care about what others think and we should–to a point–but more importantly, we should care about what God thinks about what we do. People tend to judge “what they see” without considering other factors, but God knows–our thoughts and our hearts–and certainly our intent.

With all of the uproar and media attention spotlighting –any person or place at any time–it would be the height of foolishness to attempt to do anything that is remotely wrong. Common sense–exercised far too little–needs to be exercised in all we do. Just one false move–or seemingly false move can create chaos and confusion and lead to the demise of jobs and reputations.

Why do we do it? We forget that appearances–matter to all who are looking and sometimes, those appearances, color perceptions. This is why it is important for all Believers to know that others watching us, will judge us–rightly or wrongly–and determine whether we are credible or not.

Unless The Lord directs our steps into certain venues–we should avoid them so they won’t taint our testimonies. Not one Believer should ever be seen in a strip-club, a drug house, or entertaining the moguls of ungodliness in any venue.

Not one Believer should ever put themselves into a position to be falsely accused of anything–adultery, fornication, theft, mismanagement or any other thing that could deter the unbelieving from making a decision for Christ.

If we do all things–with the understanding that God sees and knows all and we care about what He thinks of us–we can avoid the pitfalls and snares that the enemy sets for us, but allowing Holy Spirit to speak to our hearts and we obey.

For every foul-mouthed individual out there (and there are many), we tend to judge presumptuously, but judgment is the end result for we know that corrupt communications, corrupt good manners. A person may be a “good person” but if they cannot control their mouths–some of us will never know it.

I’m guilty of assessing situations and coming up with the wrong answers. And because of my assessments of people, I tend to stay away from certain groups because I care what God thinks about me–I’m avoiding the appearance of evil. However, I have also concluded that just because I find myself in the presence of people who do not know–how God wants them to live--I do not have to become like them in order to be a light to them. After all, it is not my job to judge people (I can judge sin as can all Believers and we should) and therefore, if I remove myself from every situation in which people are involved, I limit opportunity for God to rise in me for them to see Him.

When we’re not sure of what we should do, we should seek God–prayerfully and know that He is faithful and just and will never steer us in the wrong direction. If we end up on the wrong path trying to do the right thing, we need to seek the right path and get back to where God would have us.

And here is the most important thing to remember, “If we only do the right thing, we never have to worry about doing the wrong thing.”  In the greater scheme of life, appearances do matter, so we must watch what we say and do.

Remembering Those Who Speak God’s Word!

“Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, and forever. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings.” (Hebrews 13: 7-9 NIV)

People remember others for many things–the good and the bad–but when it comes to living a life that is pleasing to God and encourages others to desire to please Him, we are reminded to–remember those who speak God’s Word.

However, we tend to remember those accused of immorality, corruptibility, and foolishness–we remember their deeds, and with the memory, most can never recall them ever serving our awesome wise God. So, why are we remembering them–not just constantly bringing them to the forefront of our memories, but bringing them to light so others will also remember–all the bad stuff.

We are quick to remember those in leadership who did things that became a matter of public criticism–Clinton and Lewinsky, come to mind and then there are so many others that I cannot recall their names or what they did, but if someone reminded me, I’d probably remember. The issue for me is–and this is not a political statement–is that regardless of what people do, if they are not living a life that’s pleasing to God or encouraging others to do so–why should we care?

We are living in an era in which access to information is immediate. And without taking the time to carefully dissect, analyze what we hear, we sometimes become the unwitting participate in the spreading of gossip and innuendo that irreparably harm others. We take allegations with no proof and spread them like an uncontrollable wildfire. We make people guilty of things that have never brought conviction upon them. And when some don’t agree with an opinion of others–daring to not agree with them–we slice and dice, and resort to name-calling and personal attacks and then think we are superior to those we attack.

The only information that should concern us–the Gospel of Jesus Christ–and those who speak The Word–encouraging us to live a life pleasing to God and not just to beat us over the head with it. One of the most interesting things I’ve ever witnessed is for some (well-known) preachers to beat people over the head with The Word, criticize others for being caught up and exposed in sin, and then have their own sins exposed for all the world to see–after they have openly judged others for their wrong-doing. This is one of the reasons we are told to not judge others for their mistakes for we are all subject to failing in areas of our lives.

We should not openly condemn people for drinking and driving if we get up every Sunday morning, preaching the Word to others, but unable to do so, without a little help from a bottle. We should not openly condemn people for living in sin (any type of sin) if we’re doing the same thing, but think we’re hiding it from the world. One of the reasons many don’t believe The Word is because they have only paid attention to the hypocrisy seen in those who proclaim The Gospel, but don’t know how to live the life.

So we come to this passage of scripture–remember those leaders who speak the Word and live it before all. Are we the type of leader who speaks The Word and people will remember us for speaking it and living it? Or are we the type of leader people will remember for all our wrong-doing?

If we live a life according to The Word we speak–our lives indeed will be memorable–and people will share what they remember to the Glory of God when they think of us. They will remember The Word we live more than The Word we speak.

Here’s a preview of what some of the notable preachers are doing and what some think of them (criticizing without proof), and my own thoughts about, preachers. myBook.to/Preachers I pray you’ll enjoy and write a review.

Why Jesus said, “I Have The Authority to Judge.”

“And He has given Him authority to judge because He is the Son of man.” (John 5:27 NIV)

Who gave who authority to judge? God the Father, gave God the Son the authority to judge based upon the Father’s Word. Lots of Word today since I know most reading this blog won’t read the entire chapter for themselves, but I’ll try to make it as concise as I can, without distorting the intent.

John 5:19-26 (some paraphrased for brevity)

v.19 The Son can do nothing by himself; he can only what He sees his father doing, because whatever the Father does, the Son also does (or says).

v.20 The Father loves the Son and has shown Him all He does…

v.21  Just like the Father raises the dead as gives them life, the Son gives life to whom He pleases.

v.22 The Father judges no one, but trusts all judgement to the Son.

v.23 So all may honor the Son as much as they honor The Father. If they don’t honor the Son, they don’t honor the Father who sent Him.

v.24 Whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.

v.25 A time will come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live (for eternity).

v.26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself.

In a nutshell, Jesus was responding to the religious group once again, who were trying to kill Him because He dared to heal on the Sabbath. He told them that they shouldn’t be amazed at the things He did because He was only doing what The Father said do. If they believed God the Father, then they should believe The Son whom the Father had sent to give people a choice for eternal life.

Basically, what He was saying is that if you believe God, then believe me because I don’t do anything of my own accord, but have been given authority by the Father to say and do what must be done–even to the point of judging who receives eternal life and who is not.

He goes to talk about those who will be judged–those rising after death to live and those rising after death to be condemned.

v. 30 By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear (what the Father says), and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but Him to who sent me.

The most important lesson we can learn from Jesus is saying is that, if we believe God the Father, then we should believe God the Son and if we don’t believe the Son, we can’t believe the Father. Instead of doing all we can to please ourselves (and pacify people), we should be more concerned about pleasing God and in doing so, assuring our eternal resting place in heaven.

It’s not rocket science and we don’t need academic degrees to understand this. We simply need to have a right relationship with God and allow Him to speak to our hearts so we’ll understand–by faith–all He says in His Word. That requires having an experience with God so He can reveal Himself to us and convict us of sin, so our desire will be to please Him.

It is not having a religious affiliation with any group that will save us. We are saved from eternal condemnation by receiving Jesus Christ as the Lord of our lives and understanding the work on the cross–His blood shed for us–the ultimate sacrifice and demonstration of love, by Love.

If we claim to know God without knowing and understanding His Word, we lie. If we claim to know what Jesus said and meant without knowing God, we lie. When we know Him–Father and Son–we understand how He wants us to live by understanding His Word, and we will not promote sin as right–nor will we live in sin, expecting not to be judged.

More about what Jesus said and why, next time!

Why Jesus Said, “Judge Not!”

“Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” John 7:24 KJV

The NIV version states, “Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.”

In order to understand what He was referencing, we must know to whom He was speaking and why. If we read (with understanding) the verses “before” this one, we know that it is the religious leaders of that time who were seeking Him to kill Him because they did not understand who He was.

Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me. (John 7:16)
This is His response who wondered how He could know so much when He was taught in the Jewish synagogues.

Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. John 7:17

Here, He lets them know they can choose to examine the scrolls used for teaching and determine whether He was saying what God said or whether He was speaking on His own. Jesus never said anything that His Father had not said, because He is God, the Son. Why would He oppose Himself? This is part of the mantra and rhetoric used by those who “want to believe in half of the Bible, but not all of it.”

In order to get a right understanding of Scriptures–we have to study them and know why things were being said and to whom and when it was said. When some “cherry-pick” what they choose to quote, they are misleading others and of course, we who know God’s Word, know that it is a trick of the devil to deceive. Remember this–a half-truth is a whole lie as far as God is concerned. When we know God, we know we cannot selectively choose which parts of His Word to believe and which to ignore.

Wherever Jesus went while He was preaching, He addressed the situation confronting Him and He related His teaching to the people on a level they could understand.

Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him. Has not Moses given you the law? Yet not one of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?” “You are demon-possessed,” the crowd answered. “Who is trying to kill you?” Jesus said to them, “I did one miracle, and you are all amazed.Yet, because Moses gave you circumcision (though actually it did not come from Moses, but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a boy on the Sabbath. Now if a boy can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing a man’s whole body on the Sabbath? John 7:18-23

Now this is the conversation Jesus had with the Jewish leaders BEFORE He said, don’t judge. From all who recorded what He said, in Matthew, Luke, and Mark–The intent of His conversation, never changes God’s Word.

As I’ve said before, Jesus said a lot more than, “don’t judge,” or just for people to “love.” He also preached about sin, hypocrites, lying, fornicators, murderers, and much more. More than anything, He talked about the need for Him to be here and how a person can be saved and the benefits of salvation. He prayed for us (who Believe) in the Garden of Gethsemane before His arrest and it was His love for us, that kept Him from coming down off that cross. His bloodshed on the cross was for those who “choose” to Believe Him as the Son, and God the Father and obey His Word.

Judge not pic

More of what Jesus said coming in the next week or two on a daily basis. We need to know so we can counter Satan’s lies.

How Are Your Angels Performing?

“The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.” (Psalm 34:7 NIV)

Before the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we see “angels” discussed as being the messengers of God. After the resurrection, especially in Revelation, we see the angels are still referencing the messengers of God in the church–those in leadership. I say this for clarity only simply because of the misrepresentation of angels in the entertainment industry. There are angels (spirit beings) who have been assigned to every Believer and in the end, we shall judge their abilities pertaining to us.

The bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:3 that we shall judge our angels as well as those things that pertain to this life. Contrary to what many think and say, those who believe God shall judge what people do–according to the Word--not their opinions or bias. Whatever God says, we say. And we shall judge those angels (in the spirit realm) who have been assigned to us to protect us.

While many may not believe in angels, I know that my angels have been on duty and because of them, I am still here today. They have warned me about impending danger and cushioned me from being harmed, irreparably in two accidents that should have killed me. In both accidents, cars were totalled and my physical injuries were superficial at best. I walked away from both of them without a scratch, but suffered delayed reactions due to the impact. As a result, my vision was impaired from the last accident and at one point, I was told I’d be blind before long. That accident occurred in 1994. Though I strain at times to see words clearly, I can still see. My angel(s) took the brunt of that impact and I am here to tell the story.

Now, let me move on to the gist of this passage. Those who reference (not be afraid of) The Lord, obey Him out of that obedience, can expect their angels to be encamped around them and delivered from dangerous situations. This does not mean we should be foolish and try to tempt the devil. We are to be wise as a serpent–moving cautiously in life–aware of the tricks of the enemy–never intentionally jeopardizing our lives or the lives of others.

In those instances in which we are not responsible for any danger to ourselves or others, we are protected and delivered from harm, Satan’s plans cancelled and they sizzle out with the interference of our angels. I tend to liken the darts Satan flings at us like a tennis game. We see what he does and lob the ball back into his court and he never stands a chance at winning in his attempt to defeat us when we know how to keep the ball in play.

Today, thank God for the angels who have been assigned to protect you and remember to always be willing to hear Holy Spirit when He speaks a word of caution to keep us safe.

For All The Judges!

Who are you to judge me?

So what if I don’t know the songs you know.

Do you know the song that I sing continually in my heart in praise of Him?

So what if I don’t go to the church you attend.

Do you know what time the Holy Spirit and I meet every morning?

So what if I don’t shop where you shop.

Do you not see the righteousness that He has clothed me with?

So what if I don’t give as much as you do.

Did you not know that obedience is better than sacrifice?

Before you attempt to judge me—get to know me—and know, what I do—has nothing to do with you, but everything to do with Him.

Now, judge that!

Straight from the heart of this child of the Most High!

Examine Yourself!

“For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged” (I Corinthians 11:31 NIV).

The tiny word “if” can make such a huge difference in the outcome or results of what we do or seek.  I’m finding that to be true more each day.  “If” I had not been so anxious and adrenaline driven to finish what I started, I would have caught errors in my writing.  “If” I had paid more attention to what I was doing along the way of life, I would have made better choices. The list of “ifs” could go on for a long time, but my purpose here is not to beat up on myself or anyone else.  My purpose is simply to encourage all to slow down, and think–judge for ourselves what we’re doing and the outcome we wish to see, so others won’t judge us prematurely.

The adage that first impressions are lasting impressions is true. We cannot turn back the hands of time to correct some of the things we did, some quite unintentionally, but we can make sure we are paying attention to what we are doing and try not to make the same mistakes. Take the blinders off our eyes and be willing to see ourselves, objectively, as the world sees us. What needs to change?  We are the only ones who can determine the changes that need to be made after giving ourselves a thorough examination–willing to see what is there, not oblivious to what is not there.  We cannot afford to fool ourselves if we are to make a lasting impression upon those who do not know Jesus, to come to know Him!

Lord, help us all to take more care with the things we do understanding the outcome represents who we are–in a positive or negative light.  Help us to see ourselves clearly in the mirror, examining every aspect and changing what we can so others will not judge us.  Help us to hear You, when You correct us and warn us so we don’t have to think about the “ifs” that could happen. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen!

Through Whose Lens?

Through whose lens are you seeing life?  Calmly, reflect and think about that.  What we cannot see, we should not judge!  After all, our life’s lens are our own and no one could possibly see through them.