Friday, December 16, 2011

Confusing Behavior

Romans 13:13
13Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.

The apostle Paul addressed the Roman church on the practical application of righteousness. The followers of Christ are called righteous because of the cleansing power of the blood of Christ. What God finds detestable is detestable indeed. But there are some who have different sides to them in daylight then at night. The 80s hip hop group known as Whodini had a song called "The Freaks Come Out at Night". The song emphasized many of the behaviors mentioned in Paul's letter to the Romans. In the daytime, many act with decency and order but when the sun goes down the evil twin comes out. Everything not done in the daytime is what's done at night. If one really knew that God sees everything, then doing something not of God would strike the conscience.  As a matter of fact, when one knows this, then it's a willful choice to sin, not because one can't help it but because one chooses to do so. For it is in darkness that sin hides. But as the apostle Paul said, let us behave decently, not just in the daytime but anytime. That means jealousy and dissension are to be cast down just as drunkenness and orgies. Sin is sin. For everywhere we go in the earth, we are considered ambassadors for Christ. But what is one to think who knows not of Christ accept what they see from you and me? If the behaviors differ, does that not cause confusion? We know that wherever there is confusion, God is not the author of it. Having fun doesn't have to cause confusion to those who need to see an example.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

You're Just Like...

Ezekiel 16:44
44"Everyone who quotes proverbs will quote this proverb about you: "Like mother, like daughter.

We hear this saying all the time but what the Lord gave to the prophet Ezekiel was not to be meant as a compliment. Jerusalem was considered to be following in the footsteps of the countries before it. Just like children born to their natural parents, children easily take on characteristics of their parents outside of their facial and body features. Children can even take on the facial expressions or mannerisms of their parents without their parents being present. It's known as hereditary or "in the blood".  Jerusalem continued its pattern of following evil much like the countries it ran after. Jerusalem often made its bed with countries that were not pleasing to the Lord and whenever it did, it took the characteristics of that country. Whether it was worshipping the false gods of that country or even intermarriage, Jerusalem continued to corrupt itself by associating with those that the Lord deemed detestable. Taking on characteristics of those the Lord finds detestable makes us detestable in His sight as well. We become more and more like them with what we do and say. We morph into whatever it is we consume ourselves with. Anything not of the Lord isn't pleasing to Him. Next time someone says you're just like ______, ask God if it's compliment. If it's not, ask Him how you need to detach from that behavior or mannerism.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Before the Bell Tolls

Mark 5:19
19Jesus did not let him but said, "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you."

Jesus healed a man who was possessed by a legion of demons. The man had been considered uncontrollable and lived among the tombs. The man had been written off as unable to be helped. Oh but a word from Jesus changed it all! The man who was considered incurable was cured. He was so grateful that he wanted to go where Jesus was going. But instead, Jesus gave him another charge. The man was to go back to his family and tell of what the Lord had done for him. Now family can be those considered of blood lineage or those thought to be in close relation to. But in either case because the man was a Gentile he was urged to tell his story of healing. What has Jesus done for you and with whom have you shared it? If it was shared with strangers and passerbys, that's wonderful! But what about those that you consider to be blood related or ones you consider to be your family? Do they know what the Lord has done for you? Do you even know the spiritual state of those whom you consider to be your family? When the bell tolls for you and you have a face to face encounter with Jesus, will He ask you why you didn't share the good news with your family? We can easily take for granted or assume that everyone knows Jesus but there are people who sit on the pews Sunday after Sunday who still don't know Jesus. Jesus isn't real for them because they've never had an encounter. But sharing your own encounter with Jesus such as the one that the once demon possessed man had could easily bring an encounter to life. Do as Jesus commands before the bell tolls.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Don't Get Distracted

2Kings  19:10
10"Say to Hezekiah king of Judah: Do not let the god you depend on deceive you when he says, 'Jerusalem will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.'

Judah had been fighting Assyria for some time. Hezekiah had been told by the prophet Isaiah that the king of Assyria would be murdered for the blasphemy he committed against God. But the Assyrian king continued to threaten Judah that their god, our God, was not only wrong but a deceiver. The king of Assyria awoke some time later to see some hundred and eighty-five thousand men put to death by the angel of the Lord. The Assyrian king fled but couldn't flee death. Blasphemy against God's Holy Spirit is a serious offense. It's the offense that leads to death. God is not a man that he should lie. So to call Him a liar brings death to things. Maybe you've heard a false word before that out right contradicts God. What do you do? As Isaiah said to Hezekiah, do not be afraid. Never fear the enemy. Our God is greater than any weapon formed against us. Our God is the maker of heaven and earth and everything in it. Therefore, God has ALL power to destroy anything that comes against us. The Assyrian king attempted to escape a fate that God pronounced over him. One can run but there is no where to hide from God who sees all and knows all. He is omnipresent (always and ever present). But again, God made a promise to Hezekiah and though he was told to disregard that promise, God prevailed. The trick of the enemy is always to get us to believe a lie. If we believe the lie, then we are distracted from the truth. And we will begin to believe the lie as our actions will take on that outcome as well. The enemy is known for mind games or smoke and mirrors. And mind games do what? Mind games cause confusion. We know that God is not the author of confusion. Confusion is the trick of the enemy. Confusion keeps truth hidden from the very ones who seek it. Sorting through confusion is like digging through hay to find a needle. It's very difficult to do. So the best thing is to keep the eye of the mind focused on where it belongs- on God and His word alone.