My daily prayer is that everything about me will tell the truth about Jesus to whomever and wherever.
I am not talking about prejudice against people of a different nationality or skin colour or religion. That is not only sin against them but horribly defiant sin against their glorious Creator. And it will not go unpunished. God has made of one blood (Genesis 9:1, Genesis 9:7, Genesis 9:19, Acts 17:26-28) all nations of the world. I’m not talking about personal preference for a certain class or type of people. That sin brings the repulsive stench of pride and the fall (Proverbs 16:18) will come with a terrific crash.
No, I ‘m talking about those who give us no reason to like them. They are unpleasant – complaining – rude – nasty – nosey – selfish – demanding. Holy Scriptures does not order us to like everyone but it does (Matthew 5:44, 1 John 4:16-17) command us to live in love. As I was discussing this with the Lord, He dropped this sentence into my mind. “To show love to a person you don’t like – deliberately choose to treat them exactly the same as you treat people you do like”. Ouch – ouch – I know but I’m learning.
We have to be careful not to generalize so much that we can cut corners and still quiet our conscience. I need to hone in on a person I not only love but also really like and truly admire. How I treat that special person is my pattern – my guideline – my order from H.Q. on how to treat others – no matter their reaction to me. This does not mean that we do the same things for everybody. But it does mean that our attitude is such that the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5) can shed abroad to others the Love of God from our hearts. We would be wise to remember that anyone with any need which we can help to meet (Luke 10:29) is our neighbour.
I know of a man who was a deceiver – manipulator – thief. If any opportunity came along that he could manipulate for personal advantage he availed himself of it and greedily twisted it for profit. You know him too – his name was Judas. Do you like him? How did Jesus treat him? Just the same as He treated the other disciples.
Was Jesus stupid or actually deceived by Judas? Of course not – Jesus saw right through Judas. Then why did Jesus not expose him and get rid of him? Because – are you listening? BECAUSE God had placed Judas in the life of Jesus for GOD’S PURPOSE!!!
Let us examine our hearts and motives. Do we truly – really – deep down – every part of us – believe that God works (Romans 8:28-29) in all things for the good of HIS PURPOSE? Would God allow anything in our lives that would hinder God’s purpose? The only one who can hinder God’s purpose in my life is me or I can choose to co-operate with His purpose. If I am living in obedience to the Lord, I am well equipped by the indwelling Life of Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit to show love to unlikeable people. Now – here’s the freeing part. We don’t show them love – because they deserve it – but because of Whom we represent! Get it? What a difference a focus makes. If God has placed us with people who make us feel like we’re on a bed of nails – it may not be for them at all but for our refining. Maybe those people are just plain nasty or maybe they have inner wounds. One thing for sure – we’ll never be guilty of harming them by showing them God’s love.
If we don’t show love we can be guilty of hurting Jesus. Do we deny Him by our words – tone of voice – attitude? What about bystanders who see/hear us dealing with such people? Jesus talked about (Matthew 10:32-33, Luke 12:8-9) confess/deny Him. My daily prayer is that everything about me will tell the truth about Jesus to whomever and wherever.
God is love (1 John 4:16) and he who dwells in love dwells in God! Can you think of a more palatial residence? Don’t we want to live there? I was meditating on Colossians 3 and VS.17 particularly impacted me – whatever you do in word and deed, do all in the Name of the Lord Jesus. From those words a haunting question leaped off the page and struck my heart. Does every word I speak have the approval signature of Jesus - - could he put His Name to it?
Here is a truth I found amazingly helpful. We all know that God is our Creator and therefore He is the source of our wills. My will and my conscience always agrees with God – but? – so how? – so why? - - -
“Will is the essential element in God’s creation of man. Sin is a perverse disposition which entered into man. In a regenerated man the source of will is almighty – for it is God (Philippians 2:13) Who works in you to will and to do. Obstinacy is an unintelligent WEDGE that refuses to be enlightened. The only thing for it is to be blown up with dynamite – AND - - the dynamite is OBEDIENCE to the Holy Spirit.”
I am discovering that I enjoy working with dynamite. The blowing-up blast is almost as great as my gratitude.
Would you like to hear my dynamite choice? (I’ll tell you anyway). I’ve decided to stockpile dynamite and keep blasting until there is nothing left to blow up – - -
B E C A U S E
God not only expects me to do His will – He is in me to do it.
WARNING - - - Obedience always brings more light/discernment. Disobedience turns light we already have (Matthew 6:23) into darkness.
None of these quotes originated with me but I think they are very worthwhile to pass along.
The hot iron of affliction burns God’s Truth deep in our hearts (Psalms 119:67)
Some folks prefer to dwell within the sound of a chapel bell
I prefer to run a rescue mission within a yard of hell.
Dr. David Jeremiah -
Temptation is a knock at your door. That is not sin (Hebrews 4:15). SIN is when you open the door and invite it in.
Chuck Swindol –
When we receive Jesus as our Saviour we don’t receive a detour around our problems, we receive a guided tour through them.
Pain plants the flag of reality in the fortress of a rebel heart.
Years wrinkle the skin but a loss of wonder wrinkles the soul.
Dr. Adrian Rogers –
Bitterness is the acid which destroys its own container.
Just one from me as I continue to learn - - -
As long as I know WHO I don’t need to know why.