Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Our Responses

Our Responses
by David Brenneman 

"Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you." Ephesians 4:31‭-‬32.

"Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; 16 that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal." Hebrews 12:14-16.

"Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity." Ephesians 4:26-27.

"This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does. If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless. Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world." James 1:19-27.

"Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much." James 5:16.

Our responses to life's situations, for as Dr. Charles Stanley used to say "there are no problems with God, only situations" reflect on our hearts before mankind. 

We either react our of selfishness or we react out of a life spent learning how to exemplify Christ Jesus in us.  

Our own will does not matter where growing in Christ is concerned.  If our own will mattered, we wouldn't be instructed directly from Jesus to take up our own cross and follow Him.

Bitterness is one of the biggest that Satan loves to get us to deny is happening within us.   Doesn't want us believing that it's possible, that we are simply trying to seek truth and justice!  

Bitterness and anger...did you read those passages on the way to this point in this post?  We rage over stupid things!  We would rather be right than show weakness or show mercy and grace!  

Grace and mercy from God are freely given to us, but more often than not we refuse to grant it to others. God does it because He chooses to within the scope of His love for us.  

Jesus jealously fights for His children...for His Church.  He does have a huge problem with Believers attacking Believers.  Has a huge problem with Believers who are backslidden, giving Him a bad name.  A huge problem with Believers who do not take a life in Christ Jesus seriously.  As the meme has said somethinglike: "You take this Jesus thing too seriously! I don't know, Jesus died on a cross to save me, I think He took it seriously!"

What are we doing as Believers if we aren't aligned with the growing in Christ that He's wanting to see in us?  

What are we doing when things like a covenant marriage are deemed disposable to Believers? 

What are we doing when a job is more important than a marriage?

What are we doing when a job is more important than family?

When we walk with Jesus, as His disciples, we are to willingly be setting aside our will in favor of His. We read in the Gospels of the will of each Disciple being molded to that of what Christ was teaching them.  

Are you allowing Satan to take ground in your heart?  Are you pursuing things of this world rather than seeking what the Spirit is wanting to do in you?  

Do we not realize that these same people who are Believers in Christ Jesus will be spending eternity with each other?  

If we are dying to self and are alive in Christ Jesus, self shouldn't matter. 

Read that again.

If we are dying to self and are alive in Christ Jesus, self shouldn't matter.

When we evaluate our lives in relationship to the world, there is SUPPOSED TO BE A DIFFERENCE!  Our lives shouldn't be about stepping on people going up a corporate ladder.  Shouldn't not be a life collecting stuff rather than serving others. Shouldn't be spent on ourselves the rest of the time we aren't in Church.  

Our sanctification is the Spirit's highest priority in our lives.  Our reflection should show Jesus more and more as each day passes.  

Proverbs 27:19..."As in water face reflects face, so a man's heart reveals the man. " NKJV Comments by Dr. David Jeremiah.

Are you one who's not putting your sanctification as a priority in your life? 

Are you one who's seeking Jesus or seeking what you want instead?

How we respond to life shows either Christ in us or it shows us.  How we as Believers treat other Believers reflects either a selfish spirit or a Christ-like spirit.  

As it was aptly shown in the movie "Fireproof" Believers should not leave Believers behind.  Matthew 18 points to being intentional about helping others back to a right relationship with Jesus. 

"All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17. 

Jesus isn't in any room of your heart. 
He occupies all of it if indeed you are saved.   He knows all of it. Every joy, every hurt. Every lie we tell ourselves. Every truth is found in Him.  

What does your life look like from Jesus's perspective?  Would He stand before you, rebuking you as He did to Peter?  Are you setting you mind on the interests of man and not on the interests of God?  

Are you quitting a relationship that He brought together rather than fighting for it on your knees?

There are no excuses before Him with whom we have to do.  None that will matter because cries to Jesus are always heard.  A selfish heart, a prideful heart, in the life of a Believer puts up a wall between that person and God.  An angry, unforgiving heart, puts up a wall between that Believer and His Savior.  

Wronged? Yeah and? You don't think Jesus was at His trial, scourgings and crucifixion? You don't think He went through all of that sacrifice to save because He really wanted a separation from His Father?  

We are to have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:16 "For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ."

Let go of what angers you. 
Let go of all bitterness and wrath.
Put on the love of Christ Jesus.
Pray on, pray over, pray through. 
Set your mind on things above and not on the things that are of this world.

All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. Lockman Foundation 

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