Monday, December 11, 2023

It's Not About the Parts You Like

It's Not About the Parts You Like 
by David Brenneman 

Our world is increasingly becoming that which treats all knowledge on a pick-and-choose mentality.  Use this artificial intelligence program to create what you want to see, to hear, to live out.  School systems use digital textbooks so they can alter history to suit whomever is in office's politics.  In social media people pick-and-choose what they want to see or block from being seen.  Our culture promotes canceling people who disagree with their views.  Making it impossible for such to engage others or in some cases even buying or selling their wares.  

The Bible is not to be one of those things that we pick apart to only take in what we want and discard the rest.

Jesus is the Author of the Bible.  Read the beginning of the book of John.  

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it." John 1:1-5.

The Spirit's job, among other things, is to protect the integrity of the Word of God.  Satan's been trying to ban, to burn, to remove, to rewrite, to prevent, the Word of God from impacting himself or human history.   When people, regardless of reasoning, engage in modification of the Bible they are aiding and abetting the enemy of God.  When people make excuses to explain away their behavior in regards to setting aside what they believe for even something as petty as their behavior at a sporting event they are aiding and abetting the enemy of God.  

When you use words to attack someone else. When you use behavior of any kind to berate, belittle, tear down another human being, who are you being like? It's certainly not Jesus Christ.  

Jesus Christ came to fulfill his Father's will for mankind.  To fulfill the Scriptures in a way no one ever could.  To make a way where there was no way to save humanity who would call on Him to be saved.   Not everyone will be saved but everyone will acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord. 

As the picture says, the Bible isn't a bag of trail mix.  It's not a bowl of Chex Mix. It's not a buffet where you choose what you want to consume and ignore the rest. 

The Jewish leaders of Jesus's day wanted Him dead out of jealousy.  Wanted Him dead because they had totally lost their connection to God.  What was written about them in the Old Testament became reality.  They indeed "The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught." Isaiah 29:13.

They had been so far removed from true worship that they didn't recognize fulfilled Scripture.  You can be the same way if you're only accepting what you want from the Word of God and are dismissing the rest.

If you're being all "Christian-like" on Sunday Mornings yet a football game comes on and you lose all of your control of your mouth.  You yell at the television. You judge others whom you don't know. You berate, belittle, someone who just might be a brother in Christ.  The Scriptures are a life or death level of seriousness.  When in public and Christians are forgetting who they are in Christ and their behavior is like that of the world...will God be glorified by that?

We have indeed a time in human history to view and enjoy God's creation.  We should not use our freedom in Christ as a reason to set it aside because we can. 

"For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.  But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.  Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality,  idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another." Galatians 5:13-26.

Obviously Paul said it well "But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another."  The spiritual forces are not "joking" about the intentional damage they are out to inflict.  Note that never once do we read about taking the truth that we battle not against flesh and blood lightly.  Paul was very very clear on that front.  

Sports is but one venue.  It doesn't take much to add those of the entertainment industry. Nor political views.  If it's of this world it will be a weapon against the truth of God's Word.  Sports just happens to be the most obvious venue. Trash talk is an integral part of it.  

To be honest it nauseates me to no end to watch people who are Christians join in with cut downs, berating others in the name of a team.  

When people use words intentionally to harm others they are not doing the work of the Spirit of God in this world.  As many a child used to be taught...if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. 

Some other have pointed out that God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason.  Listen twice as much as you speak. 

Take in the whole Bible.  Not only the parts you like.  Someone once said that the Bible is Jesus's love letter to mankind.  If you received a love letter would you want to see black marks over obvious words to you?  See words cut out of the paper that now you'll never know?

The Word of God was written to you and I. 
Is it not reason enough to read the whole thing?
Is that not reason enough to believe the whole thing?

Nobody will have any defense before Jesus for why they picked and chose what they wanted to believe or live out from the Word of God.  Nobody. 

Nobody will have an excuse for their intentional careless words when the Spirit teaches to guards your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  When the Bible teaches to edify one another. To lift one another up in Christ.  To love one another as Christ Jesus loved you.  

Take time to read the whole love letter written to you from Jesus Christ.  If more people claiming to be Christians did this, maybe more people would perhaps live it. Then the world would see their good works and glorify our Father in Heaven.  

If you aren't doing life to glorify your Father in Heaven, who are you glorifying?  Because if it isn't Him, it certainly is something or someone else. 

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

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