Who’s In Charge Here?

This message is FABULOUS!  I promise you it will step on your toes, but it will also be very refreshing and encouraging to you because not too many preachers will preach it like this!

Advertisements

Politically Correct

Politically Correct

“Politically correct” has become the new buzz word of the day.  It appears the concept of being politically correct has also infiltrated the mindset of many Christians.

I have seen people who profess to be Christians, yet believe there is nothing wrong with being gay.  There are even denominations which are ordaining homosexual ministers.  Yet God clearly condemns this sin.  The Word tells us that those who are homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. (I Corinthians 6:9-10)

I have heard numerous stories of men who profess to be Christians leaving their wives for another woman.  Often, they will say that it just feels right, so it must be of God for them to continue this adulterous relationship.  Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that our hearts are deceitful and desperately wicked.  Our hearts will easily lead us astray, so we must follow what the Word of God tells us.  His Word clearly denounces adultery in First Corinthians 6:9-10.

I see many professing Christians allowing witchcraft into their homes through a series of popular books.  The Lord makes it very clear in Leviticus 19:26 that we are to stay away from these things.  In Exodus 22:18, we see that anyone who practiced sorcery was to be put to death.  So why would a Christian allow any kind of witchcraft in their home?

As I have taken a stand against these very things, I have been verbally attacked.  I would expect this behavior from nonbelievers, but these vicious assaults came from people who profess to be Christians!

In a place of Christian fellowship, I was repeatedly bashed when I spoke out against a lesbian witch.  She would pretend to be a Christian, yet was active in circles that flaunted homosexuality and Wicca.  First Corinthians 5:9-11 tells us not to associate with one who professes to be a Christian, yet lives a lifestyle that says otherwise.  When I dared to speak the truth of God’s Word on this issue, I was accused of being on a witch-hunt.

I believe we are living in the days when the love of many will wax cold. (Matthew 24:12) We are living in a time when even the elect are being deceived into choosing to be politically correct, rather than standing firm on the Word of God. (Matthew 24:24)

I have struggled to understand why professing Christians have so blatantly attacked those who choose to speak the uncompromised Word of God.  I have finally come to realize that people who compromise on the principles in God’s Word can not stand the sight of excellence.  They are deeply convicted when someone takes a righteous stand on an issue, and it makes them feel uncomfortable.  The result is lashing out at those who speak the uncompromised truth.

Jesus faced this very thing many times with the religious leaders of His day.  They lashed out at Him, persecuted Him, called Him names, and planned to kill Him.  Jesus assured us that His followers will also be persecuted. (John 15:20)

As we get closer to the second coming of Jesus, things will only get worse.  We need to make a decision.  Will we choose to join the popular crowd and be politically correct?  Or, will we join the ranks of those who refuse to compromise, and be Biblically correct?
© 2006, Stacy R. Miller

Water

My friend Kathy sent her thoughts on this subject.  I thought it was very insightful, thought-provoking, and convicting.  She gave her permission to share it here.  (Thanks, my friend!  I love you!)

I’m doing a little reading and it presented an idea. While Moses was leading the people in the wilderness, remember they got thirsty? God provided water by the hand of Moses when he smote the rock in the wilderness.

 

The Scriptures tell us that Christ is that rock (1 Corinthians 10:4). and the waters that flowed from it represented the coming of the Holy Spirit.

 

Moses hit the rock before the water flowed… Jesus was beaten and died before the Holy Spirit came. Now that God’s temple is our body (1 Cor 6:19-20), if we believe in that Rock, rivers of living water should flow from our bellies. So as a priest in the New Testament temple (1 Peter 2:5), He commands us, His priests, to study how to keep our vessels in sanctification and honor. (1 Thess 4:4; compare 2 Tim 2:21).

 

Jesus expects the Holy Ghost to flow from our bellies like a river of living water.  Capture this vision:  If millions of believers, all over the world, each one the temple of God, and through whom the Holy Ghost will flow into the world, would live like their heart is the Holy of Holies, what would this world would like?  Problem is too many of us are like the sons of Eli in 1Samuel 1- 3.  They were belly-servers, feeding their own lusts.  For us, that would be quenching the Holy Ghost, being we are priests, working to maintain the temple of God.  If God destroyed the Old Testament priests for these things, of how much greater judgment do you suppose we will be worthy to receive?

We Can’t Love Both Christ and This World

This was a GREAT article!

We Can’t Love Both Christ and This World

This paragraph really stood out to me:

On a closing note, carnality not only affects the pew, but the pulpit as well. A carnal pastor still offers motivating sermons, but he will lose unction, boldness, and spiritual insight. The world, and carnal Christians, will love him, but Spirit-filled believers will leave the service starving for more of God. Pastors, if we would make it our goal to know Christ more personally we would preach Christ more powerfully. Are we calling people out of the cultural mindset or are we encouraging it by our silence?

Judging Versus Judging Fruit (part 2)

Good trees don't bear bad fruit.

Judging (continued)

When Jesus tells us that a good tree cannot bear bad fruit and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit, what does that mean for me?  How do I live that out?

As I pointed out in the last devotion, it takes a lot of discernment.  It also requires us to be wise as serpents, but harmless as doves. (Matthew 10:16)  I want to share some examples that would easily fit our society today, in hopes of helping you to understand what it means to judge fruit.

Suppose you see a man who faithfully attends church, often gives testimonies, and prays out loud at prayer meetings.  He seems like a very spiritual man, yet when you observe him around the women, you notice that he touches them in ways that do not seem to be appropriate.  As you watch his eyes when a lady walks passed him, you see that he is looking at certain places on her anatomy that a truly godly man should refrain from viewing.  Are you judging him by thinking that he is after more than just hearing the Pastor’s sermon?  No.  You are judging the fruit of his life, and it tells you to avoid him at all costs.

Suppose a lady starts coming to the women’s Bible study and she is very vibrant and expressive in her worship.  She appears to really be in love with Jesus.  After several weeks of attending Bible study, it becomes apparent that she has a serious problem with respecting her husband and submitting to him.  She can never talk about him in a good light. Many of the stories she shares show that she is very manipulative in her relationships.  If you choose not to befriend her, are you judging her?  No, you are simply being cautious in friendship. (Proverbs 12:26)  You want to choose a friend who is like iron sharpening iron. (Proverbs 27:17)

Perhaps there is a woman who attends your church who seems to thrive on attention.  During worship, you cannot help but see her because she is making such an expressive display of emotion.  In fact, she almost seems out of control.  This lady is involved in so many activities in the church that she appears to be quite disorganized.  Yet she continues to faithfully attend every activity at church, spending more time at church than she does home.  You decide to stop by her house one day, only to find that her house is so filled with clutter that you would not be able to safely maneuver through the living room.  Piles upon piles of disarray, and they are everywhere!  Are you judging her if you decide that you do not want to spend much time with her?  No, you have judged her fruit against Proverbs 31:12, which says that she brings her husband good and not harm.  You see that she is not the faithful manager of the home that a virtuous woman should be. (Proverbs 31:27)

I firmly believe that we are living in the latter days.  Because of that, Jesus told us that the love of many will wax cold. (Matthew 24:12)  People will want to hear only preaching that will tickle their itching ears. (Second Timothy 4:3)  While it may be easier to just keep our mouth shut and refuse to speak the truth of God’s Word, I want to encourage you to keep your eyes fixed on Jesus.  Keep running the race He has marked out for you.  Even in the midst of persecution, know that your Father is closely watching you, and He is pleased when you stand up for righteousness. (Hebrews 12:1-2)

© 2006, Stacy R. Miller

Judging Versus Judging Fruit

Judging

We live in a society where people push so hard to get us to be tolerant of their sin.  Because of this, the scripture that tells us not to judge often gets taken out of context.

Matthew 7:1-5 warns us not to judge others.  Yet, when you read it in context, it is referring to people who judge others for every little thing they do wrong, yet they refuse to see the planks in their own eye.  Some examples of this would be if I judge you because you smoke, yet I overeat frequently.  Another instance would be if I judge you for having books with occultic themes in them, yet I have a whole bookcase of steamy, romance novels in my own home.  Another case in point would be if I judge someone for committing adultery, yet I daily struggle with lust and fantasizing.  Jesus points out that when we even look upon another person with lust, we have already committed adultery in our heart. (Matthew 5:28)

Going back to the scripture in Matthew 7, it seems as if Jesus is negating what He said earlier in the chapter.  In verses 15-23, He gives a clear warning to watch out for false prophets.  In order to help us understand how to watch out for them, He tells us to look at the fruit in their lives.  He points out that a bad tree cannot bear good fruit and vice versa.  He even cautions us that not all who prophecy, cast out demons, and perform miracles will enter the kingdom of heaven.  Wouldn’t this be considered judging?  No – it is judging fruit, and that is entirely different.

Obviously, it takes a discerning heart to tell if someone’s fruit is good.  As a new Christian, I was naïve enough to believe that if someone could ‘talk the talk’ then they were a good, strong Christian.  After walking with the Lord for over twenty years now, I know that is not always true.

For instance, the Pharisees and teachers of the law knew the Word very well.  They followed it as closely as they possibly could.  Yet Jesus said they were full of dead men’s bones. (Matthew 23:27)  Was Jesus judging them?  No, He was judging their fruit, or the lack thereof.

In Acts 16:16-18, Paul and Silas were being followed by a slave girl who predicted the future.  When Paul turned and commanded an evil spirit to come out of her, was he judging her?  No, he was judging the fruit in her life.  He was able to discern that while she did speak the truth about them, saying that they were servants of the Most High God, it was actually the spirit in her that was speaking, seeking attention for itself.

We find another example in Matthew 14:3-12 when John the Baptist spoke out and told Herod that it was wrong for him to have his brother’s wife.  Was John judging Herod when he spoke this?  No, he was preaching the uncompromised truth of God’s Word.  Obviously, it infuriated Herod because he had John arrested, and later consented to have him beheaded.

It is the same with us when we dare to stand firm on the Word.  We may also infuriate people.  Besides facing persecution from my unsaved family members, I have received some of the most hateful, derogatory emails when I have dared to speak God’s truth.  Unfortunately, there are many carnal Christians who want to be holy enough to make it to heaven, but they do not want to be holy enough where it causes a major disruption to their lifestyle.  Speaking the uncompromised truth of God’s Word can bring conviction to those who do not want to be convicted.  Their response is to lash out at us – the messenger.  Second Timothy 3:12 tells us that if we live godly lives, we will face persecution.  Just as Jesus was persecuted and even called a lunatic from his own family members, it is no different with us.  We will also be persecuted.

It is understandable when the unsaved persecute us, but it can really hurt when we are persecuted by those who claim to be our brothers and sisters in Christ.  The one thing that has helped me in those times is to remember that when I face persecution, God’s spirit and His glory rest on me.  (First Peter 4:14)

Next time I will give some more examples of what it means to judge fruit.
© 2006, Stacy R. Miller

How Do I Look?

How do I Look?

Have you ever gotten dressed for a special occasion, then asked your husband,  “How do I look?”  We like to be assured that we look nice.

In I Peter 3:4, it mentions a meek and quiet spirit.  Meekness is often looked upon by the world as being weakness.  How wrong they are!  Jesus was certainly meek, but He was definitely not weak!  Meekness means that we aren’t easily irritated or provoked.  (I know, some of you are wanting to stop reading right now, aren’t you?  Believe me, I’m speaking this to myself, even as I sit here typing it.)  Quiet refers to being peaceful, at rest, not troubled.

When someone offends you, or does something which really irritates you, do you keep your mouth shut?  Even if you manage to keep your mouth shut, are you inwardly fuming?  Were your thoughts less than holy?  If so, while it ‘appears’ that you are being meek, reality tells a different story.  It says that you are just a very good actress.  In other words, you are really good at ‘faking it.’

So, how is your appearance?  Do you appear before others as one who is meek?  How do you appear before the Lord?  Remember, He sees what our inward thoughts and attitudes are, even when others can’t.

Father, help me not to be easily provoked, whether outwardly or internally.  Help me to respond, rather than react.  Help me to give a calm response in those situations which try my patience.  Amen.

© 2003, Stacy R Miller

Previous Older Entries