In our sermon yesterday, my Pastor was sharing about Jesus’s response in His tough times.
When Jesus first started His ministry, not everyone in his community accepted Him, some mocked him, some said He was from satan, some were ready to throw him off a cliff!
Yet, He Slipped Away.
But here’s the thing:
What was the next thing we read that He does?
He restores sight to a blind man.
He could have gotten down about life and said “no, I can’t heal you right now. I’m having a bad day.”
I think about us, and how we react to others when we’re having a bad day.
Lets go back to Jesus, Jesus was beaten, flogged, humiliated, whipped, His beard plucked out, mocked and placed on a cross. He could have said so many things but, he said “Father, forgive them”
So when we’re having a bad day,(not to compare our bad day with Jesus sacrifice)how do we respond to people? Is it with grace and humility or snippy, sarcastic, unkind words?
Are we being light bearers to those around us?
Are we giving hope even when all the pipes in our house are breaking, our kids have been arguing, finances suck and bills are behind?
Do we still offer love and forgiveness and through Christ Jesus to those around us?
Do we stop and pray with that person who is in need when we know we are in need as well?
We are not Christ, we are not perfect, but daily being perfected. If we follow after Him we strive to be holy as He is holy.
If we find ourselves weak in these areas, we do need to check our heart. Spend even more time with God. After all, our life is to reflect Christs. Always bringing glory to God, offering hope of salvation through Christ Jesus and leading others to Him.
Some say that no one can search for God on their own. Due to our sinful nature.
But Romans 1:20, 2:14-16 would say differently. We will be “without excuse” because He has “written” it on our hearts.
We have heard stories of when an athiest is in a fox hole and because of the trial and or near death experience, he cries out to God.
We have it in us to want to worship something, to have a moral law(though taught to us by society), and to want to believe in something bigger than us.
Why? Because it is written there by God. Do we always respond to Him when he speaks? No.
Helen Keller said(paraphrased), “I knew Him, but I didn’t know his name”.
Not everyone will actively search God out. Some do. They search for “the meaning of life” or “a higher being”. They feel in them, that there is more.
So, for us to say, “no wretched heart will seek God” is false.
We know scripture challenges us with this question “how will the know unless we tell them?” How will the ungodly know about salvation and who saves them unless we tell them.
Yes, God seeks us out. As a good shepard looking for a lost lamb. He does call to us. Unfortunately, not many listen and follow. Some, hear him but, may not know him. Then they find out about him because an individual comes along and explains who God is.
So, we as christians, DO need to be proactive in spreading the gospel and demonstrating Christ to all. That should never stop. After all, it is the Great Commission.
But, we need to realize too, that God speaks to hearts, and sometimes through what he has already placed in them. This does not mean they are saved and bound for glory becuase of what is written on their hearts. Scripture says their will be some who will deny his voice. (Romans 1:18-32)
If God is sovereign, and we agree He is, then we must believe and trust that He can guide one to the right church, the right person..etc..in order for that individual to flourish as a christain.
Pray for souls. Pray God uses you to share and disciple other to Christ. And…do not lose hope for that unbeliever you know. Keep praying and keep being a light in their life
I know many who have heard this song and have said to me, “WOW!!How beautiful!” and then others I have seen say, “reckless? Gods love is not reckless!”
So I thought I would share my thoughts on this song. I honestly do not see how this has caused such controversy through some denominations. I see some have issues because it was a Bethel Music product, (Some have issues because Bethel ministries has been accused of doing things that seem sketchy. What? I am uncertain of. )
Let us look at what Cory Asbury meant when he wrote this.
Cory Asbury explains in the video below:
“When I use the phrase, ‘the reckless love of God’, I’m not saying that God Himself is reckless. I am, however saying that the way He loves, is in many regards, quite so. His love bankrupted heaven for you. His love doesn’t consider Himself first. His loves isn’t selfish or self-serving. He doesn’t wonder what He’ll gain or lose by putting Himself out there. He simply gives Himself away on the off-chance that one of us might look back at him and offer ourselves in return. The recklessness of His love is seen most clearly in this- it gets Him hurt over and over. Make no mistake, our sin pains His heart. Yet, He opens up and allows us in every time. His love saw you when you hated Him- when all logic said , “They’ll reject me” He said, ‘I don’t care if it kills me. I’m laying my heart on the line”
Here is the thing,… for the first time today on the radio, I heard this song all the way through. As I listened to it, what I thought was exactly what Mr. Asbury said above. I thought, “Gods love wrecks my way of thinking. His love is not like what we experience with fellow man. God left heaven. Everything glorious, perfect and wonderful, because He wanted to make a way for me. He went out of His way for me! His love blows my mind!”
How can we even fathom His love? Nothing can compare to the love of God. Nothing! We can come close in our earthly relationships but, it can not and will never, compare to Gods mind-blowing-reckless-perfect-unfailing love.
Many people want to nit pick (someone who searches for faults the way they might pick nits(lice) from someones hair) every single thing that comes out of ministries, theologians, other denominations, all so that they can “call them out” as false teachers/prophets etc. These same people nit pick the scriptures. Though this is good to study Gods word, some things do not need such a microscopic study. Some things are clear. Like this song, in my opinion.
How petty it was to have received such a backlash, all because of one word.
My questions is:
Did you not hear the rest of the lyrics!? I get we want to make sure everything lines up with Gods word. How does this song not?
Ephesians 3:14-19 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[h] in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that he may grant you in accord with the riches of his glory to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self, 17 and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Again, we can not fathom the Lords love for us? How deep it is. It truly “wrecks” my way of thinking of how Love should be. That He would leave the ninety nine for just one! That would seem “reckless”.
That He would love me before I even knew about Him? That seems reckless to me too!
On another note
A friend was sharing with me about the definition of “Prodigal”.
It is this: “having or giving something on a lavish scale, spending money or resources freely and r e c k l e s s l y, wastefully extravagant.” (Webster Dictionary)
Now, think about the Prodigal Son. His story is found in Luke 15:11-32. We know the Father gives his son all his inheritance. The older son see’s it as a reckless move of his father. But, nonetheless, the father gives it all. Giving him the best of everything.
God is like that to us. Knowing we don’t deserve his love, knowing we even may take His love for granted, knowing that not all will receive His love, knowing that we will keep screwing up looking to other things to fill us but, He gives it anyways. His ALL, for us! THAT seems reckless to my puny finite mind. We definitely do not know His ways.
SO, again, Why be so petty over one word? I challenge you to re-listen to that song with a different perspective. The perspective the writer was trying to imply.
Praise God His love is a Holy recklessness for us. Who else would give up everything beautiful and perfect for a wretched sinner like us?
If you feel God can not use a woman to teach men…then don’t follow me.
Don’t allow your men to have female sunday school teachers. Don’t read woman christian blogs or christian books written by woman. Don’t listen to your wives or mothers either. Don’t favorite or retweet any female that “has a point” about Gods word.
Avoid reading about Deborah or Phoebe too. Forget that God pours out on all flesh and he can use whomever he wants to reach/disciple/teach whomever he wants.
If they are willing God will use them. And if men are not stepping up then he will use those that will.
I’m not saying this to cause debate nor will I debate on this.
But it is sad to see so many ignore God using woman to teach and or lead men in the scriptures.
It is pride that man says, “No one can teach me spirutual truths, but a man.”
We all know that in the culture of the day women leadership with in the church was not common. But, when the holy spirit poured out, he poured out on all flesh. To equip all for leading, teaching, rebuking etc.
Thats why in Galatians 3:23-29 we read that those were the old ways. Now we are one in Christ. Their is no more hierachy of order. One is not above the other. But we are all equal in Christ. The only heirchy that remains is respecting one another within the individual homes. Men being the head of the home spiritually. In. The. Home. Ephesians 5:21-27
Paul is the only one who says men should teach men and woman woman only woman. Why? Because there is better understanding with the sexes. Men can relate more to men. But, we can not dismiss other scriptures too
We look at other examples were Paul encouraged those under Phoebe to help her in every way. Phoebe who is considered a spiritual leader within the church of Cenchreae.
Why also would our God, who could pick anyone to judge, after all he makes men rise and fall, pick Deborah, a prophetess to lead Israel? A woman. To kead isreal. Not only lead but be a prophetss and judge. Giving wisdom and teaching all who came to her. Let alone leading Israel into battle. If God so desires it a woman can teach men. Proof is in scripture.
But, so many are stubbornly blind when any woman rises up with spiritual truths and quickly dismisses her because “she can not teach men”
What if it was through her words your brother learned a truth that spurred him on into deeper relationship with Christ? Would we reject her as being ungodly becuase she taught a man?
Again satan comes to divide us. “Let them not hear from God through a woman, because after all they will not lower themselves to listen and be taught by a woman”
2 timothy 2:3-4 “Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.”
I found this interesting. “entangled in civilian pursuit” We who are Christians are set apart from the world. we are called to serve in the “Lords army”. So the thing we do are not the same as the things the world does.
What does a soldier do? Trains, Protects, Rescues, Never leaves a man behind. Apply that to our christian walk.
I feel that many of our brothers and sisters forget that we are in this together. We are to help each other out. Not be selfish and to ourselves or indulge in our flesh(the things the world indulges in)
We are different because we have been bought at a price. We are NOT our own. We are His(Gods),that is what it means to be a Christian.
Thankfully we are not on this journey(mission) alone. We do have each other and God, to strengthen us and to encourage us.
SO next time we you see a fellow soldier diwn..trapped..entangled in the world, struggles, sin, depression, etc..lift them up. Encourage them. You see them falling back…run to them! Help them. Pray for them on your own. Pray with them too.
We are a unit, fellow laborers, the Body of Christ.
Emotions and feeling are a part of who we are as christians. We can not deny them. But, we can not be ruled by them. It is a part of how God created us.
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control, should be in line with Gods spirit.
When we become a christian our heart, as part of our walk with the Lord, will mature in Christ. In wisdom and knowledge of Him but also, our fruits being part of that maturing, as well. So, our feelings will not be motivated by the flesh but, by the Spirit of the Lord.
When we respond to things it will be in wisdom, not foolishness, In love, not anger, in patience, not prideful arrogance or selfish gain.
We will want to love how God loves
Therefore, we can discern between spirits.
We can correct wrong teaching.
We can evangelize.
We can be a testimony of who God is.
And the biggest thing, We will not act like the world.
We do not know too much about the disciples personal life.
We know they followed the Lord for at least three years. They seen his miracles, death, resurrection and ascension. We know some wrote letters to the churches for encouragment, correction, and wisdom. We know some of them died horrible deaths.
However, we are all forever changed by these things. Their legacy and their teachings they left behind.
They were just simple followers of Christ.
So, what are we leaving behind?
What legacy will be remembered about us by those who come after us?
We are but a vapor.
But, I want this vapor to leave a wake…
I had someone say to me…
“Women are always referenced in the bible when it comes to bad things…thats why they can’t lead/preach/teach”
True..but who are the ones being led astray by the women? Men. They fall too.
I’m not feminist nor sexist but, I do want to give account that God can use anyone to lead/teach/preach.
Who qualifies a person? GOD or man?
Deborah, Miriam, Mary Magdelene, Phoebe, Tabitha, the 7 daughters who prophesied. All are examples of God using woman in ministry and leadership. Even today we see such great pillars of faith Corrie Ten Boom, Elisabeth Elliot, Amy Carmichael are just a few as well.
In that day, yes, men typically led. But as the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Day of Pentacost, as prophesied in Joel, things changed.
Do I think a woman can be a leader? If no man is willing to step up, sure, women can lead. They are not in sin for leading. No where in scripture does it say that they are in sin if they lead over men.
In fact, Paul on one occasion tells the people(men) to help their sister Phoebe. (Romans 16:1-2)
Why do you suppose? Because the men had the same mind set as today, “I’m not listening to a woman”. Yet, here Paul is saying to help..in other words..do what she says.
To tell a woman she can’t do things for the Lord is telling her God can not use her.
Has their been false teachers that are women? Yes!! But, men too.
My personal opinion: True it is difficult to take the authority of a woman over a man. Women get emotional. Yes. It can make it difficult at times if we(anybody)leads by emotions. But men sometimes lead by emotions too. (Led by pride and stubborness).
If God gives a woman authority in Christ , (as an example Deborah in the book of Judges) then we should be willing to listen.
In a spiritual setting, it seems more accepted for a man to be a head or senior pastor. But here is where it is misquoted, a lot, “a man should be head of his house” (spiritual leaders)
1. that means men should be in right relationship with God to lead.
2. A Woman should love, support, and listen to that leading.
(If both have a right relationship with God this is possible. It takes two to tango. But the flesh..entangles us and causes problems)
This is in reference to the homes..not church settings.
In old testament days, yes, it was men in the temple. But if we read new testament we find out we are all the temple. So, if we think men should be leading all the time, as it were in the temple days, then we think also that means woman are not Light bearers of Christ. No. This is wrong thinking. Again we must go back to Joel 2:28 (Acts 2:17)
We need to stop saying these things to fellow workers in Christ. We need to support each other as co-heirs.
Keep each other accountable in doing so. Should God open a door to have a woman leader then we, in a godly way, judge by her fruits to see if she is an appropriate leader in that setting. But, if you are a woman leader, you must not be so stubborn to not take the instruction when or if, you say something that could have been misinterpreted and ofcourse, this applies for both male leaders or female.
“All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” 2 Timothy 3:16
Scripture only points to Jesus, It is not Jesus. We worship Jesus. Not the book.
Yes, it is inspired by God. “God breathed” but it is not the trinity.
We shouldn’t treat Gods word like it is God. We can go to Jesus directly in prayer with hope of hearing His voice to obey His command.
After all the veil was torn that we could.
“Therefore Brothers since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus” Hebrews 10:19
Don’t get me wrong..the scriptures bring life & instructions. It aids us on how to live & all about Jesus life. But, some put more importance on the bible rather then seeking God himself.
We should do both. Certainly.
However, some do not have a bible. The early church didnt, those in tribal communities do not, or what about those who can’t afford one? Are they unable to hear from God? No. God spoke to many without the pages of the bible.
All that these individuals have… is Jesus.
I read stories about people only having one page of the Bible. Did God not speak to them because all they had was one page?
This is the very reason God sent His spirit. So to speak to us through His spirit. ( Galatians 4:6, John 16:13)
Now, I am not trying to bash anyones theology. I am just trying to share that if you happen to be lost on a desert island without your bible or you are traveling in car seeking God, or you are asking for direction for your next sermon or bible study or direction in life, God will still be able to speak to you.
Yes, He can/does use His word…but He Can speak to you too.
Deep calls to deep.
And of course it will line up with scripture and who He is.
A few years back my pastor had a situation with some members of the church. There was a couple of board members who were immature in their faith, who started accusing the pastor falsely. They ran his name through the ground. They accused him of many things like misusing funds and brainwashing.
How it works in our fellowship is, if something of this nature happens we can go to the District leaders and they are supposed to investigate. Get the full story and bring it before the council if there us enough incriminating evidence. So, the district leaders investigated and they found that my pastor was clear. He was innocent. They told the church board members to not talk about this situation and to move on. Go on with life don’t worry about it. Was what they told them.
Well, the board members, being immature and prideful continued to threaten the pastor. This situation ran this pastor off out of the church. The pastor felt “why should I continue to preach at this church if my members are against me?”
This is why I am so leery of calling someone a false teacher. We may not know the full details of everything. I’m not going to just go with the flow with everyone about it. I might pinpoint there inaccuratcy or their misinterpretion of the scriptures. But if everything else seems to be sound who am I to call them a false teacher for one misinterpretation scripture?
Yes they need to be corrected on that. But I’m not going to just write him off as being a heretic. The just need Correction. I know not everyone believes the same. And I know there are certain topics that or preached that is false. We do need to address those and continue to address those. But if their Ministry is leading people to the Lord, if they’re Ministries preaching Christ crucified, Then how are they a false teacher?
The whole point of this blog is because I’ve seen the hurt and damage calling someone a false teacher firsthand. I know many are so quick to point out a preachers flaws. We must be patient with them. Because they’re still learning too. They are imperfect too. But calling someone a false teacher or heretic not only ruins them but it ruins their family. It ruins their credibility all around. That’s why we have to be sure that they are a false prophet or false teacher or a heretic. And how we know this is the completely twist scripture to give credit not to God. They promised good things but but cannot follow through. And it doesn’t ever line up with scripture.
If we see a preacher or teacher teaching things that are not scriptural then we need to correct them. But, Correct them in the appropriate Godly and scriptural way. According to Matthew 18:15-20