Gasping at the fast track of time, here I am another year older, not necessarily wiser. The noise of a very real war gets pounded into my ears and my waking hours are well spent preparing for battle. True or Truth? 2018 arrived with a quiver full of arrows to AIM at the right or the left. Tantamount shifts in the weather occurred along with seismic movements among the peoples of this world. Bereft of Truth, perceptions pour out that do not help out. In the first two months of 2018, many families bravely mourn lost loved ones in several evil massacres. What once was a given, is now being taken, and what freedoms we took for granted, we now find contrary to the onslaught of endless, empty commentary. Highly paid folks read teleprompters with a motive to stir unrest that puts us all to the test. The popular moral compass of many countries has obviously collided with a pervading evil. Voted in voices sound off in wild ways, while our personal narratives are dared to be silent or suffer. Do we blast the jailer for our confinement, or do we side with the saints and pray for the entire lot? Nuclear weapons are readied, borders are guarded, as our planet promotes hate. History proves that more rules and more laws did not remedy justice. Need we slide through loopholes in order to survive or can we just relax and trust God at His Word? Must we scrape, claw and attack, or just point people to the Truth, to Jesus Christ as the only way to be saved from the certain destruction of a world gone mad! The Holy Spirit dwells within each believer. He is just waiting to be asked to take hold of our tongues so that we can speak more blessings! “Are you listening to what the Spirit is saying?” We are exhorted to “LISTEN” many times in God’s Word. Examine yourself: Does the content of your mind and heart show up on your face as a smile or a scowl? Do people seek to be around you? Are you a light? Are ye proclaiming “Praise God in all things?” Tickle the speaker’s ear with “what a marvelous idea!” Increase joy and comment “what fun!” Fascinate others by your sincere interest. Show that you are tuned in and listening and remark “What a blessing that must have been!” We have two ears, and one mouth….let us listen more, and speak more about “their” positive impact, “their” value, and less about me, me, me. Why not ask questions, and listen intently? What did God say at the Transfiguration?
3 thoughts on “A Bridge For All”
“There are some very confused Christians in the world. Faced with hurtful and uninformed remarks from a TV personality, they seem to think their proper response is to hurl back hatred and insults. Yeah, I could just see Jesus responding that way. (Not.) The proper response? Show her love. Pray for her. Give her kindness. Not snarky and sarcastic; the genuine article.Calling ourselves Christians comes with a responsibility to act like Him.” Pastor Ken Armstrong posted Feb 15, 2018 – Someone defended snarky remarks with “But John The Baptist confronted HEROD straight on about his sin. No politeness involved…and Jesus called him the greatest of all prophets. There is a balance between the two sides of this issue. Hatred is not of GOD but compromising is not either…both views have something to offer here. JESUS commended John for his boldness and courage as a true prophet of Yahweh.” To this Pastor Ken replied:
1. What John the Baptizer accused Herod of was illegally divorcing his wife and marrying his brother’s wife. Let’s just be clear on that.
2. The event was Old Testament, so let’s be clear what covenant John was under when he took that action.
3. Just because Jesus called him greatest of all prophets (good idea to understand the Hebrew concept of what Jesus was saying there, by the way), does NOT imply that everything John did was perfect. In fact, we know that’s not true. And noplace in the Bible are we told to become followers of John the Baptizer and emulate him. Exactly the opposite is true.
4. But having said all of that, we don’t have to grasp at conjecture about an Old Testament prophet. Jesus told us exactly how to handle these situations, and it is Jesus, not John, who sets the standard. Jesus said show kindness to those who hate you. He said love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
Absolutely the ONLY people we see Jesus reacting to with anger are religious hypocrites.
So, no, I don’t think we need to justify our behavior by using a flawed human as our standard, when the One who is perfect has already told us how to handle the situation.
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Reading a great book called “The Forty Day Word Fast” by Tim Cameron. Just gotta share this…mostly to replenish me and train my my brain and control my tongue. Quote: “Complaining is like emotional pollution; it pollutes the air that all breathe around us…it spreads to infect others much like sneezing. We murmur, disapprove, whine, blame, snivel, gripe and most importantly depreciate all that the Lord has done. Whiners look and find many who will chime in to validate their discontent. Difficult circumstances and negative people will come our way. When we complain we repel the presence of the Lord, we quench the Spirit of the Lord and He does not hear our prayers. Like the example of the children of Israel, they felt entitled and they were ungrateful for what they had and believed they deserved more. We need to put to death the negative spirit within us, and stop agreeing with the Liar, and start speaking kingdom language of thanksgiving in all things. In the “six things the Lord hates….a proud look, a lying tongue…and he who sows discord among the brethren.” When it comes to judgments, criticism, sarcasm, negativity, complaining, and gossiping, most people live live in deception and they are blinded to whom they are serving by them. IF we are to be authentic followers of Christ, there is little room for innocent sarcastic remarks. “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless” James 1:26 — As Christians we must REFUSE to be offended by those who are weak, broken, hurting and who spew negativity. But the Lord does not want us to dismiss, or disassociate with a negative person, although we must use wisdom in what we share with them. Negative, broken spirited people are loved by God and we must choose the higher Way, His Way and forgive and issue mercy, patience and love as we pray for them. When we encourage the negative person, we do NOT speak of their behavior, but we call them up to being a renewed, changed, new creation in Christ. The Lord wants us us rejoicing always, and speaking words of life, hope and NOT judgement, criticism, sarcasm and complaining. Negative people are narrow-minded and therefore unteachable. They look for “what is wrong” and gladly give voice to it. Every time we have a bad experience, when all that is within our flesh wants to complain, we must STOP and pray asking “What would You Lord show me about myself in this? Give me wisdom, give me words to think, allow me to see the good, control my tongue and use it for Your glory in this situation.” Praising God in all things, in every circumstance, causes us to look through the eyes of Jesus and expect good! “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones”…. ahhh, “Sweeter than honey to my mouth” …savoring truth “I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food”… I am celebrating the good news with my seat belt still fastened “Your word became to me joy and rejoicing in my heart”. Yet learning the King’s language, “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the teaching of kindness”….positive words that cause my spirit to swell ..what I spread around….goes around, and comes back to me…a blessing or a curse….I wisely choose to speak blessings!
Classic Billy Graham ““For as [man] thinketh in his heart, so is he.”
The word heart is used in different ways all the way through the Scriptures. I want you to see tonight the meaning of the word heart from the Biblical point of view.
The Bible says that “Man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). When God looks at a man, He doesn’t look to see the color of his skin. He doesn’t look to see the kind of clothes he wears. Nor does He consider his social position. The Bible says that God looks upon the heart to see what you are on the inside—the thoughts, motives and intents of the heart.
The question I want to ask every one of you tonight is this: Is your heart right with God? And if it’s not right, before you leave here tonight I hope you’ll allow God to make it right.
The Bible indicates a great deal about the condition of the average person’s heart. In Proverbs 6:18, the Bible speaks of a “heart that deviseth wicked imaginations.” In other words, the Bible says that your heart is full of evil imaginations. And the Bible says, in Jeremiah 17:9, that “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Your heart is deceitful. You can’t trust it, if you’re outside of Jesus Christ.”