To Whom The Lord Is Speaking!

To Whom The Lord Is Speaking!

These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts; do not plot evil against each other, and do not love to swear falsely. I hate all this,” declares the LORD. Zechariah 8:16, 17

For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path.For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse,who have left the straight paths to walk in dark ways, who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil, whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways. Proverbs 2:6-15 NIV

Many people attempt to read the bible like a novel or documentary–totally dispassionate with no connection to the words they read, void of understanding. Reading the bible for understanding must be conducted with the ability to connect and align all of what is said, for no one verse of scripture is meant to be a stand-alone.

From the first book to the last and all in between the message from God to us is clear--we ought to obey Him, rather than man and in order to do that–we must love Him and love one another. If we have not the love of God residing within, we cannot have love for our fellow human beings. For God is love and the only thing He hates is sin–He does not hate people and never encourages evil–harm to another without cause. And the only cause we have for harming another is protection of self when attacked without reason or in the midst of wars.

We are to submit to God in all things, resist the devil and all the evil that’s afoot and he (the devil) will flee. Most people remember the “resist” part, but totally ignore the “submit” part that comes first.

With all the hatred demonstrated recently, we can see there is no submission to God–just evil from those with a dark heart and evil plots running through their minds. And the hatred and the haters feel empowered by the one they elected to lead a nation–that I refuse to believe–denounces love and propagates hate–of others simply because of differences. Even though it seems like all is lost–integrity, honor, love, and common sense–we have a Savior in Jesus Christ and we know He has not forgotten us. And we also know that judgment–will come–upon all who promote hatred and bigotry.

How do we recognize those who hate? By their lack of love for others who are different than them. We know those who hate by looking at what they promote and their desire to control others. We know those who hate when “reason” is not part of their intellectual toolbox. We know those who hate when  their actions towards others are instigated out of a sense of superiority rather than love. We know those who hate because their insecurities about self fuel hatred for others. We know who they are for The Word has given us insight and given us ample ammunition to fight back.

Our fight–begins with the love of God overflowing from within, seeking and receiving His Wisdom, refusing to engage in the foolishness on the terms of the foolish, and in obeying God in all things–totally submitted to His leading and thereby resisting the temptation to acts as the unrighteous act.

How do we know when we are fighting the good fight of faith? When we stay in The Word, understand who God is speaking to and why and determine to live our lives for Him who loves us, not in fear from those who hate us.

When we are admonished to speak out against injustice–we simply do so for The Lord is with us and He will not allow us to sit quietly and do nothing when people are treated callously and inhumanely. When we are told to speak truth in the face of the lies promoted by evil, we must speak truth based upon His Word, not our opinions. This is what we do when we are in the army of The Lord–we fight to combat hatred with love, and evil with love–never veering from the path of righteousness.

We stand on The Word of God allowing it to shine brightly into our lives and into the lives of those we meet and greet and we will not walk in darkness in order to appease the evil all around us. For the just (those living according to God’s Word) shall live by faith in God–not man! In Him alone, shall we trust for He is the only one who is worthy!

 

Can We Talk, Again?

Can We Talk, Again?

“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive.No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.  Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, for, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.” I am referring to the other person’s conscience, not yours. For why is my freedom being judged by another’s conscience? I Corinthians 10:223-26, 29 NIV

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Corinthians 3:17 NIV

A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold. Proverbs 22:1 NIV

I have been paying attention to probably far too many news items and commentaries, but what I’ve seen grieves my spirit. For in this country, we are supposed to have certain guaranteed rights, and as long as we don’t infringe upon the rights of others–those rights should be respected, not vilified.

We have freedom of speech–but that doesn’t mean we should have a foul mouth and express hateful rhetoric towards others or about others. So, when the QB of the San Francisco 49ers decides that he doesn’t want to stand while the National Anthem is playing, that is his right and since he is not infringing upon the rights of others–none of the rest of us should anything to say. Why is it that there are those who think they have a right to impose their consciences upon others in judging what we do?

Speaking of which–the imposition placed upon Black Americans–and how we’re labeled has become a topic of conflict. On more than one occasion and in more than one venue, I have seen people complain about the use of a hyphen in the African-American identity. One person went so far as to say, the use of the hyphen is the cause of all the racism in this country. I beg to differ with them. No hyphen was used when we were classified: slave, or colored or even the hated “nigger” or a number of other hateful terms, when referencing who we were. Racism has its roots in the hatred of people of color and the fact that White people have long held beliefs they are superior to any other race of people. We see that in the treatment of Natives of the Land, and with all other minorities–and other immigrants who came to this country. While there are many people of color who have a preference to what they are called or how they are identified, I simply choose to be a Black American until “we are all considered Americans.”

What is astounding to me is that while people are clamoring about other people coming into this country to “take jobs,” not many are saying anything about those who came into this country and “took land” from those who were already living here. Who were those who came here–European immigrants–the colonists–who established themselves as the only right-living group of people and called those who were already here–savages–because they did not do things they way they did them.

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

The inscription on Lady Liberty–our gift from France–across the Atlantic from which many came was a recognition that many would come and we should welcome them, not debase them. And the only group of people that have been denied this liberty expressed are those who were “forcefully brought to this land” without having a choice in the matter.

And with all of the hateful rhetoric being stoked right now–by those who proclaim to be Christians, where exactly is the “spirit of The Lord” dwelling? Certainly not in the hearts of all those who hate and promote hatred. Not in the hearts of those who manufacture lies to make themselves look better. Not in the hearts of those who manipulate others into buying into their lies. Not in the hearts of those who crave attention and will do anything to get it.

How do we know? For where the Spirit of The Lord dwells–there is liberty and love–no hatred. Whatever abides in our heart will come forth like a mighty rushing river and pour into our immediacy and people will see and hear what is hidden in our heart–whether it is the Love of God or evil.

If we never learn to live God’s Word the way He intended us to live–loving all unconditionally, we don’t deserve to be called Christians. In fact, if we are not living The Word, we make a mockery out of being Christians because we are not following Christ when we choose to impose our consciences, our way of doing things upon others–negating their right to do things their own way. This is the “religious way of doing things” and Jesus called out the Pharisees for doing this.

I believe it’s reckoning time. We need to look at ourselves in the mirror and ask God to show us who we really are, accept it and be willing to allow Him to change us–being who He wants us to be, not what we have constructed ourselves to be with all of our built-in hate and animosity.

Until we get to this one point–there is only one race of people–the human race and like I said to someone yesterday who claimed the use of a hyphen is keeping us separated, it is not. “Until America accepts Black Americans as Americans, we will be always be a separate class of people. It is not the Black American who is creating a racial divide, but the White race who lives out their superiority complex and treats us as second class citizens.

My commentary today is not an indictment against all White people or all Black people or any other group of people, but it is a warning about where our country is headed if we don’t realize what we’re doing to one another. As a nation, we cannot afford to be divided in our purposes and intent for all Americans to be treated with equality. And if we exist as a divided nation rather than a nation unified with common goals, we will be captured by the evil that exist–inside and outside–our borders.

History has a way of repeating itself–especially if we refuse to learn from it. I suggest we all review the history of the land, recognize the wrongs committed and determine not to repeat them–again, and again, and again.

We don’t need a nation of people who are religious; we need a nation of people who are in relationship with God, living His Word,  and following His lead in all things.

Forgive–And Be Forgiven!

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you” (Matthew 6:14 NKJV).

Right after Jesus taught His disciples “how” to pray (not what to pray), He reminded them of the things they should “do” in order to please God. The very first thing He said to them was, “forgive others so our Father will forgive us.”

There are so many people walking around with unforgiveness in their hearts that it changes their attitudes and even their facial expressions.  We have all seen these people. They are envious and jealous. They seldom smile because they think frowning and appearing to be mad makes them holier than others. They are far more likely to criticize others than to pray for them. They always “see” the shortcomings of others, but never acknowledge their own. They think because of where they live or whose religion they bought into makes them superior to other people. And then they think–they are pleasing God and the rest of us are–“simple Christians.”

When the “joy of the Lord” rises up in us, we should be able to smile and laugh as well as pray and forgive others for their shortcomings and be thankful that God does not hold our shortcomings against us.

When the “joy of the Lord” rises up in us, we should be able to speak a Word of Life, enjoining others to please God and to draw them into a knowledge of Christ with loving-kindness.

But then again–The Word tells us that God will use the foolish things to confound the wise (those that are wise in their own sight). We should be careful about the things we say with regards to others so that we will not stand in the position of being judged–more harshly–by God than the judgment we use against others.

We should make every effort to seek God first–in all things–before we open our mouths or allow our fingers to hit the keyboard of a computer (or typewriter) so that what we say or write, brings glory and honor to Him through us. We will never win people to Christ with an unforgiving heart, a harsh tongue, or unrelenting fingers that constantly accuse rather than praise or encourage.

Father, in the name of Jesus, help us to be more like You every day. Help us to open our spiritual ears and hear what You say. Guard our tongues and allow us to only speak what You would have us to say. Tangle our fingers until we are only to type what You would have us to type–with love in every letter–drawing others closer to You and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Change our attitudes so our hearts sing with praises and our faces shine with the acknowledgement that we know who You are and there is always a smile for others. These things we thank You for in Jesus’ name, Amen!

We are Forgiven when we forgive! Hallelujah!