Sunday, August 27, 2023

What? How? Really???

What? How? Really???
by David Brenneman 

"Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."
Romans 12:9‭-‬21 

It can be very discouraging to live in this world that we have today.   More times than I have admitted to others I have been very discouraged.  

How we shine is how we're seen by others.  In many times and places some see me as being angry or maybe too distant.  I am, more often than not, deep in thought.  Sometimes am just waiting for thoughts to make sense.  

How I treat others is not a reflection on them but a reflection on me.  Social skills are absolutely not at the top nor even in the top 10 of the list of my abilities.  Even as an adult I am still struggling with how to be around others. 

In recent days I have heard, in response to how I had been praying in regards to someone, "I will not curse whom I have blessed. I will not bless whom is under a curse." 

I write whatever I am directed to write and in many cases, in many ways, it's not just to address something or perhaps someone who might be reading it, it's for me as well. 

We can put up walls between us and God by our disobedience. As Dr. Stanley said, even if it's in one area, one thing, it's a hindrance between you and Jesus. He goes on to say "You know exactly what I mean. Exactly what I am talking about because whatever it was popped into your mind right as I said that."

Hindrances can be anything. It doesn't matter how many "Godly" things we do. Doesn't matter how much we give.  That one or two things we refuse to acknowledge before Jesus are going to hinder your growth in Christ Jesus. 

Jesus had it written as well that he who hates his brother who he does see cannot love God whom he hasn't seen.  

The reality of living is we are going to run into people we aren't going to like.  

Jesus ran into many in His ministry called Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes, lawyers.  He still loved them.
Jesus ran into those whom arrested Him. 
He still loved them.
Jesus ran into those who beat Him, scorned Him, nailed Him to the cross. 
He still loved them.

We are told, commanded, to have the mind of Christ.  In that whole "you shouldn't judge" thought, get it right.  You are not to be in the place of God, deciding who is worthy of Heaven and who should go to Hell.  You ARE to use Spiritual discernment in judging the fruits of others and especially yourself.  Being a Christian does not exclude you from being scrutinized. Quite the contrary, the Spirit says that by what YOU do, what YOU say, what you DON'T do or DON'T say, that people will know and see your works and glorify your Father who is in Heaven.  

Hate breeds bitterness. A little leaven leavens the whole thing as the Bible also says.  Get rid of it. Put on love, not just what the world calls it, which is always conditional, but the love of Christ Jesus. 

Our holding on to bitterness rather than giving such things to Jesus to deal with, is our doing the work of Satan for him.

Our mistreatment of others is our doing Satan's work for him.

Our thinking of ourselves before others is our doing Satan's work for him.

Our living for self preservation in light of obedience to Jesus is our doing Satan's work for him.

Trust God, obey God, leave the consequences to God. 

I said earlier that I struggle with social skills.  I will often rather go off by myself than deal with social issues.  If I engage most people in a social setting it's primarily a God thing.  I am thankful to be used by Him whether it's as a vessel for common use or for a specific, special, use.

How will you justify how you held onto anything that the Spirit has pointed to that must leave your life? 

Satan's wanting to destroy the identity of those in the human race, are you helping in this?
Satan's wanting to destroy marriages, families, are you helping in this?
Satan's wanting to stifle Christian life, are you in your impatience and choices helping in this?

These are some of the kinds of things that cross my mind when people wonder if I am angry, when I am not. 

We are either running God's race or we are running our own.  Believers are to be growing in Christ Jesus as their first priority. Not growing in regards to self.

Look at your life.  When that quote was mentioned earlier, was there something that even for a moment popped into your head?  Deal with it now because you will not go any farther in your life until you do. 

Does what concern Jesus matter to you?
I was watching an old video of the Statler Brothers and another gospel quartet together on "Just a Little Talk With Jesus".

Stop running from what the Spirit is trying to teach you.  Until you do, your prayers will likely be hindered if not met with crickets. Silence.  

If you are disobedient in even 1 area that the Spiritis still pointing to, stop. Until you obey, again, your prayers will be hindered if not met with crickets.  Silence. 

If you find yourself being divisive, stop. You're doing the work of Satan, not Jesus. 

If you're putting yourself before others...need it be said again what this post's passage said?  

The answer, always, to the Spirit is "Ok God, I'll do it..."  Not..."But God!! Did you...Do you...Are you..."  The answer is always obedience.  

My prayer for all is obedience, including myself.  I do indeed struggle in the area of preferring others above myself.  Some of those I deal with daily often don't make it easy.  I struggle with how to deal with both Believers and the unbelieving.  Of how to deal with the unbelieving who are seriously Hell-bent on disobedience to salvation through Jesus Christ. Who are altering themselves in ways that are nothing short of full defiance to the Word of God.  

Praying and petitions are to be made on behalf of all in Christ Jesus.  No excuses. 

So pray for me as I pray for you. 

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

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