GOD IS “ALL-WHERE”!
1 Timothy 4: 1-5
“The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron…”
Paul testifies that unmistakable witness has been given by the Holy Spirit that at some time in the future, on the part of some people in the church, there will be a turning away from the revealed truth of God’s Holy word.
It is also apparent that subsequent to the time this great Apostle recorded these words, there would be doctrines which would emanate from demons and stand against godliness and its mysteries.
Paul’s advice to the churches that the “turning away” will be due to the influence of evil spirits, and in the immediate, to the teaching of insincere men who will be used as instruments of these evil spirits.
Paul knew that these teachings, if left unchecked, would greatly distort the Christian faith.
The practice of Christianity is to advise and explain, to encourage and lead the hearer, to a full knowledge of biblical truth. The outpouring of our love for Him expressed in praise, worship and thanksgiving.
The practice of ascetism is of no value to the shepherd or the sheep. There is many a Christian teacher who may claim to be moral, appear self-disciplined and say he is speaking for God and yet does not discharge the truth of the gospel with all due diligence. Indeed all these apparent virtues can be misleading as I found to my cost.
It is of greater importance that we keep spiritually tuned up and tuned in. How do we achieve this level of spirituality?
Bible study, together with an intermate relationship with its Guide provides our necessary spiritual nourishment and protection from false teaching.. This can be very direct or extremely subtle. Like Timothy, we must guard against any teaching that causes believers to dilute or reject any aspect of their faith.
It is essential to compare what you hear with what the Bible says. Any one who seeks after the truth of God’s message will never contradict or provide an explanation that is of a contrary nature than that found in God’s Word. It is an awesome privilege to preach and teach the word of God and therefore questions should always be welcomed even from those who disagree. After all none of us are infallible.
The words within the Bible are spirit-breathed, living words and are powerful, mind renewing and life changing. Sometimes they are received by one person in a different way to another. There are significant dangers in taking Scripture out of context. It is important that we listen carefully to one another and be open to seeking after the truth. It is therefore important that we should feel free to discuss differences of interpretation and together we may arrive at the truth of what God is saying to his people.
18 yrs and 3 mths, My beloved (Brialla) Curtley Ambrose, Miniature Dachsund Brindle
Grandparents – British and Australian Champions.
All things to all men
The rise of post-modernism over the last twenty years has been deeply influenced by “Enlightenment” ideas. Modernist thinkers then decided that a certainty of knowledge was both desirable and attainable and that what they did not know then they soon will. Pride had/has the upper hand as advances of modern science only confirmed that truth was/is now open to every person.
The Christian gospel with its focus on the death and resurrection of Jesus, along with the offer of the forgiveness of sins, are rejected by modern men and women as being “mere speculation”.
To address this complex subject briefly: Postmodern advocates of the “new hermeneutic” think that in most areas of life it is meaningless to talk about objective truth. In the literary field there is no objective truth in a “text”. There is only interpreted text or in the mind of the author, who cannot be consulted anyway. The only meaning is what the reader sees or grasps. For the reader the text becomes an aid to understanding his or her present experience
In the religious sphere tolerance is now required of all. The creed of pluralism dictates tolerance is absolute.
Yet where error and ignorance abound anyone who challenges error are stopped by controlling techniques which only gives satisfaction to “the enemy”.
To the pagan all opinions are equally valid. No single position has a claim to being true and those who extol the virtues of being open-minded have indeed shut out open-mindedness. An openness that desires to come to a knowledge of the truth.
We may not know a complicated matter exhaustively but we may know it truly and this is the case generally, as well as in relation to the Christian gospel. Even a child may believe and understand the truth that God loves the world (John 3:16), when his or her knowledge of God the world or love is minimal. Post-modernism would dictate that as all opinions are equally valid it provides little opportunity to any single position as being truth. It silences those who would speak out the truth and if postmodernists are right, Christians should not being doing this. It renders communication impossible. This is found in the controlling atmosphere and limitations of the misnomer “Discussion Groups” sadly found in BSF International. The freedom of meaningful discussion is controlled.
The fact is any answer is not satisfactory. The desire of every Christian should be that the only satisfactory answer must lead, through discussion, to divide the Word correctly all seeking to grow to a mature man through sound teaching of His Word. It is indeed a challenge to true believers to engage in a meaningful witness of the Bible as it is written
There are significant dangers asking people to provide answers which may be outside Biblical record and believing answers are provided under direction by the Holy Spirit. Who can know, especially in these last days where there has been a “falling away from the revealed truth” that answers received in our minds are truly from the Holy Spirit. It may well be from another source – an unholy spirit.
Keeping in mind (Acts 17:11)
“Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul had said was true….”
How do you judge sermons and teachings? The Bereans examined the Scriptures for themselves and searched for truths to prove the message they heard.
In pursuance of religious experience the Biblical principles found in Acts 17:11 above or the command in Mark 12: 30 to
“love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”
How can we really know Him if we do not thirst for His Word and believe its truths instead of indulging in a frolic of our own. Surely the real fruits of the Spirit – peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control will be evidenced in us as biblical truth changes our minds to conform to the ways of God?.
Involvement in religious experiences has only succeeded in creating division between believers. If extra-biblical phenomenon has been a gift from the Lord then why is there division between those who have found it acceptable and those who stand on sound doctrine. How can we even associate with those who are participating in stuff they admit is outside of the Word.
The Bible should be the final word for illuminating our minds and influencing our judgment. This does not mean through an application of one verse, but usually through doctrinal principles revealed throughout the entirety of the Scriptures.
How are we to know when the Lord is speaking to us through Scripture? Can you detect what comes from the Holy Spirit or from your own mind and fleshly desires?
The only way to ensure you are safe from experiences which come from the evil one is to ensure that everything you are being encouraged to participate in is written in the Bible.
Satan can inject thoughts into your mind, and he knows “texts.” Satan dared to quote Scripture to Jesus so he surely can do that to you. Satan wanted our Lord to act on a “text” but he would not, for He always acted by principles indicated throughout the entirety of Scripture. Satan said to Jesus – “Make this stone into bread.” Jesus countered him with the words: “No, man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that utters from the mouth of God.”
May a desire to discover your Word through a study of doctrinal principles given by a sound teacher become a delight to you
Common name: Broadleaf grass tree
Botanical name: Xanthorrhoea arborea
The most unpleasant aspect I found in my Pentecostal involvement surrounded control and authority. The weight of abuse justified under the banners of “head covering”, “authority” and “submission to men” pushed me to explore the background to Pentecostalism.
How could one ignore the clamouring need for submission by members to leadership which actually encourages jostling for position, superiority and authority. I could not even begin to respect these people whom I found ill-mannered, vulgar and oafish. All my life I had worked alongside men and women who treated me, for the most part, with respect and kindness and appreciated me as a person, valuing my dignity and worth as a human being. Church was different they said when I made these observations. Well, it should be too. The trouble was it was outstandingly short of encouragement, courtesy, plain good manners and intelligence (even though God commands us to use our minds) they seemed to want me to lose mine and for all the clamouring to “put your arms around the person next to you and give them a hug” when it came to holding a civil conversation with me they just didn’t want to know – all very strange. If I dared – oh and I did dare to make these observations then I was a man-hating feminist. I had a spirit of feminism and it needed casting out following repentance. There was an acute awareness I would be viewed in a better light if I were to collapse in tears and beg forgiveness from Pastors and their leadership for daring to question. Then I needed to recognise I was a man-hater and a feminist – Oh! and a Jezebel and repent which actually meant humiliation of the offender, up the front on one’s knees bathed in lathers of nasal congestion and tears to be followed by total compliance to these abusers. As I found myself in a situation where I knew I was not a feminist and what was more had always enjoyed male company enormously I was simply not able to agree to “change my mind”. The word repentance to these controllers did not mean a change of mind but grovelling for my sin and admitting it before the assembly.
Just prior to the introduction of the Toronto Blessing I had the strangest thing happen to me. I attended Grace Christian Fellowship in Canberra one morning very early. We were “praying in revival” at 3 o’clock in the morning, there were about forty of us present out of a congregation which usually was approximately 250 strong. As I knelt sincerely seeking the Lord, I asked Him what he would like me to say and I truly believed I heard Him say to me – “talk about mateship”.
I said to God, “Lord, I know nothing about mateship you are going to have to put the words in my mouth” and immediately words I had not even determined to say of a subject I knew nothing of, poured forth. There was a powerful sense of terrible grief and of the Lord’s anger. After the event I struggled for memory of the words I had said and it seemed to be about the way women so long ago had been treated by men in this country. I remember beseeching Australian men to love and to nurture their wives and to give women love and respect and to ensure Jesus was at the centre of the home and much else that I am not now able to remember. Tears fell copiously upon my hands and my feet and knees just ached so much and I seemed as though I was attached to the floor.
Suddenly I was aware of a voice demanding harshly to “get her out”. Could this be my beloved Pastor? I had loved this man and admired him so much – yes put him on a pedestal – God was just about to fix this state of affairs up. At this stage I was still ignorant of the full extent of Pentecostal error.
Terribly shocked and covered in shame I stood up and my gaze met the eyes of a very angry man who was second in command who informed me that all I had said “was not of the Holy Spirit”.
Those present stood around gawping, like cows in a field. I apologised, and said rather weakly “I believed it was from God.” Like two gladiators we faced one another in the middle of a hall that seemed now like a football field complete with spectators. He followed me outside and with people coming and going pushed me hard towards my husband (who believed that this man was “to be a man who was a God-provided leader”) who pushed me back. Shortly after my husband was diagnosed with Cerebral Atrophy and Parkinsons with Lewy bodies. He had not “been right” for many years. Every time I tried to reach the safety of my car my two abusers pushed and shoved me backwards and forwards, this way and that, simultaneously commanding me to repent. Finally, I broke free, rolled up the windows and locked the doors, and sat in my little car and wept.
I resolved to see this Pastor and put to him the treatment both he and my abusers had extended to me. His terse comment – “if you do it again I will put you out again” and went his way. His attitude confirmed for me just how hated I really was in these churches.
A Christian lawyer I knew and to whom I told my story gave me a little book called “Currency Kids” by Mal Galvin. It certainly explained the background to all I believed I had received from the Lord and my lawyer just quietly said to me “Maureen – you were before your time”.
Six months later the Toronto Blessing arrived and the scenes I witnessed made my words and experience on “mateship” and what I believed to be “words of knowledge” in true Pentecostal fashion, seem nothing very much at all. Now anything was on the agenda – even sexually explicit thrustings, screaming, leg-kicking, floor bashing – just anything. The leadership of this church had attended Rodney Howard-Brown to bring back something to “liven the church up and put joy into peoples’ lives” and declared this man to be “the most important man in the world today as far as Christianity was concerned”.
In my deep reflections of that time I have considered so many explanations for my experience. Was God speaking to me? I truly believed He was. Or did my words come from the work of an unholy spirit, a familiar spirit which knew the happenings of past events as told in “Currency Kids” and was my experience a forerunner of things to come?
You may well ask “why did you persist in staying in the Pentecostal church?”
The answer to this is that I believed that I had a strong conviction that God wanted me to stay put for a period of time known only to Him. I trusted Him to let me know when He wanted me to leave and I obeyed Him. In so doing I learned a lot. If I had not been a victim of so much abuse, witnessed so much, grieved so much, experiencing people being delivered of demons and cried so much on my knees from one Sunday to the next asking God – “why” – this book would never have been written.
I remember very clearly the moment God told me to walk away. A visiting preacher came to preach on Nehemiah and it was an absolutely horrible twisting of the truth. He was so radically off the plumbline that other spirits entered and the degrading extravagances of unbiblical phenomena took over. I looked over to my friend and he beckoned me to leave immediately.
For six months from early morning until late at night I seemed supernaturally driven to spend my time researching past revivals and religious stirs. I was convinced that what I had been witnessing was all New Age and if this was right then Hinduism was the key to understanding these activities. I also appreciated the fact there was a real need for me to understand doctrinal truth and to explore the origins of Pentecostal thinking. From these standpoints I came to realise that I should then make comparisons between Pentecostalism, Anglicanism, Roman Catholicism and a few other “isms”. God really provided for my needs in a truly miraculous way. All those years in a job where I had been under pressure to perform with exactitude and to make quick analytical appraisals of so many varied matters proved now to be of great assistance. At the same time I urgently sought to attach biblical truth to everything I researched. In fact this exciting adventure proved to be God’s wonderful provision to a mind that needed to be filled with vitally interesting information.
I had such an overwhelming desire to know the truth of the Word and always present within me was a powerful witness by the Spirit that what I was hearing and observing was “not right”. There was a sense of “not rightness” and I desperately needed to find out – why?
Over my years in Pentecostalism I came to dislike intensely the endless parade of gyrating posers clamouring for attention and for all the world behaving like “ground marshallers”spilling forth false prophesies? Prophesies of whirlwinds that never came, and revivals that never were and never touched those dying for want of knowledge.
In these atmospheres it was quite evident that using forceful expression and emotional abuse in a variety of subtle ways, and sometimes not so subtle, people came to believe that only pastors and leaders had the truth. I knew this was indicative of the workings within the cults.
It seemed quite evident to me that where leadership resorts to excessive control demonic spirits must be present. They even admitted there were spirits of witchcraft present and justified this to be satisfactory on the basis that “God was in it too”. What a totally unsatisfactory situation this is!
How can the love of God exist where such extra-biblical happenings are present?
There were efforts made to bring a sense of togetherness and love into the congregation and so “love-ins” (as I named them) were encouraged – Christians under the command to give one another “brotherly hugs.” How superficial! Loving by command – how shallow! No one ever cared about anyone else in those moments or afterwards?
If only those who “would be if they could be” Pastors and leaders understood the supreme importance of providing God’s doctrinal and scriptural truth to those they seek to have in their care. Then surely the joy of the Lord would overflow among His people and His love would overflow to others in abundance. Then surely the only experience of joy thirsty needy souls would ever seek is the satisfaction of knowing Jesus more through His Word.
I longed to find acceptance and yet I just could not be a “follower on” or be a “yes man”. I refused to allow myself to appear to be intimidated or crushed by the cruel comments and all else I experienced within the Pentecostal church. Privately, I was left with the burden of feeling absolutely traumatised. It has taken a long time to recover from all the hatred poured over me with such unrelenting ferocity and I can honestly say that prayer, daily study of the Word and support from biblically literate friends outside of the church environment saw me through.
For some eight years now I have been a very real part of Manna International and Ariel Ministries and I am so very grateful to the Lord for the way He has directed my paths. My questions have now been answered and I am at peace because I have discovered the freeing truth of His precious Holy Word and I am in a Ministry which can and does provide answers joyfully and willingly.
Praise God for His abundant mercy towards this struggling saint. I thank Him for my dearest friend who has stood by me so resolutely over the years and for the wonderful comfort of my miniature dachshund Curtley who has been a perpetual baby in my arms. All the instruction and wisdom and loving care provided by three precious sisters in Christ – and it should be noted that together we all share the same studies, and are grounded in the Word.
Floriade – Canberra
Have you forgotten your first love? Perhaps you have never known the incredible rush of joy and love when you first embraced Jesus as your Saviour. I was hardly fit for anything on this earth. I just seemed to live in the heavenlies for weeks.
We in Him and He in us this just too wonderful and incredible to really comprehend. We must see this demands our love of Him. We are altogether part of Him. He is our Bridegroom and the Church the Bride. We are in the One true Church of the Living God. In the modicum of time we believe in the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) He indwells our hearts by His Holy Spirit. We have had a heart change and immediately received the 32 things of our positional truth.
Surely we should be able to love one another. It seems to me that this involves two directions – horizontal and vertical. Unless we are wholly involved with our love for God in gratitude for the great blessing He has already imparted to us – our salvation – then how can we reach out to others around us. Sometimes we are still struggling to shed the effects of our own sin and that perpetrated against us. We lack the capacity to love as we know we should. We must place our eyes upon Jesus.
What is the love of Jesus?
The excellence of Christ’s love for us is described so well in (1 Corinthians 13: 1 – 13).
v …..”If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
v And if I have the gift of prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains but do not have love, I am nothing.
v And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
v Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant; does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,
v does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
v bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
v Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.
v For we know in part. And we prophecy in part; but when the perfect comes the partial will be done away.
v When I was a child, I used to speak as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.
v For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I also have been fully known.
v But now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
Like so many before me who have meditated on these matchless words of rhythmic beauty I am aghast at my sin of “not loving.”
We received eternal security because of God’s infinite love reaching out to us. Romans 5: 7-10 tells us that if God sent His Son to die for us when we were His enemies, He would keep us now that we are His friends.
What wonderful love is this?
The love of God was surely evidenced by sending His Son to die for our sin while we were His enemies and what is more Ephesians 1:4 tells us that we have been chosen in His love to keep us safe forever.
Are you able to say to God: “I am patient. I am kind. I do not brag and I am not arrogant and further God I do not act unbecomingly and am not provoked, nor do I take into account wrongs suffered.” Our sins are brought sharply into focus by this wonderful passage of Scripture.
I fail so very much to be the person God wants me to be and ask Him to provide to me His patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control and the ability to love and forgive those who have wounded me. Oh, blessed freedom to do away with my elephantine characteristics of “remembering”. That I may truly forgive as I have heard my Christian brothers and sisters do. Do they?
“Dear Jesus give me the ability to love as you love. How wide and how deep is your loving of me oh God. How much do I need your love abundantly that I might love even those who do not love me.”
What is the manner of the love of Jesus who can fill us to over-flowing with His Holy Spirit and by his grace enable us to become more like him?
God has provided us with a sure guarantee that by His work of sanctification He will change us and make us into the person He wants for us to be.
We responded to His free offer of salvation and in doing so inherited the power of His love. We have God’s love power indwelling us. Under the New Covenant the Holy Spirit indwells the believer permanently that means forever right through eternity. It is not a temporary deposit otherwise it would not be a guarantee. Nothing can separate the believer from being in the Beloved not even our own sin. At our baptism by the Spirit we become a member of His Body (1 Corinthians 12:13, we are eternally secure and can rest in the assurance that God will complete the work He has begun within us.
Jesus chose to obey His Heavenly Father and poured out His love on that terrible cross for sinful humanity. This is the love power of Almighty God for the unlovely. Jesus reflects a sacrificial love – perfect love – Agape love.
Do we feel able to completely and unreservedly surrender ourselves to Him in every area of our lives as a living sacrifice? I made the decision a number of years ago now to dedicate my body as a living sacrifice to Jesus and yet there have been so many fear-filled years over which time I have discovered there is always something I have not really given up to God. It seems their is always something of myself I try to hold onto. Just when I have believed I have totally surrendered my all to Him I discover I am holding on to something else that does not fit to His Kingdom purposes for my life.
(Romans 12:1-2) “I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God which is your spiritual service of worship and do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what the will of God is that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
What a merciful and patient and loving Heavenly Father He is towards each one of His children. His convicting love power will work within us to will and to do and so we must wait patiently for others to be changed too and this may take years. We must come alongside our brothers and sisters in their struggles without criticism and condemnation. Seek to be sensitive to know when we should step back as God’s love power does his work.
Jesus provides the capacity for us to love. Our highest experience of what we consider love to be usually involves our own self-interest. At our spiritual rebirth we received a divine life that can enable us to rise above the knowledge and experience of our incomplete way of loving.
If we are to be active, effective Christians we need to come alongside our struggling brothers and sisters with genuine support as they battle to overcome their bag of sin and lack. Remember it is God’s work that brings the change within a person.
If you do not feel able to provide the mercy and compassion of Jesus – not judgment and condemnation to those who fall into sin – please ask God to provide you with the ability to see that your lack of mercy and love is sin.
“Not very creative Maureen” when I shared a family dilemma with a kind and wisdom-filled Pastor. I had been pressured by some zealous Christians to discipline my son by putting him out of our home. I am so grateful to this wise man who counselled me for it would not have been very creative at all to put my darling son out of his home. It was his home as well as mine. The outcome was totally satisfactory for all parties concerned. God was definitely in it and I received so many blessings from the Lord for the way in which the situation was handled.
It is not creative to waste valuable time making judgments about people when the deeper issues still lie within the mind of God and have yet to be revealed to the parties concerned. It is extremely cruel, ineffectual and unsatisfactory to spend time gossiping about the apparent sins of another. No one except God can really understand the motivations of a person’s heart.
What earthly use is there in challenging the struggling sinner, exposing their sin, if you are not prepared to offer genuine love and care as well as spiritual guidance. If you are unable to cope with such a one, then just pray for them and accept them where they are at until the Lord deals with the situation – and I can assure you He will. Are you so right in your life? All sin is sin before a Holy God there is no hierarchy of sin. It can take years sometimes for someone to deal with all the complexities of their situation and this can only be done in the Lord’s timing.
The character of God is made known to us through Christ Jesus – the heartbeat of God revealed to us. The Word becoming Words. How can we understand with our finite minds God’s Omnipotence and His Omnipresence? How can we comprehend He is everywhere at the same time.
A niece, aged four of my dear friend said one day, “He is allwhere.” This is too wonderful for me to understand!
God in all the diversity and fullness of his nature cannot be contained or seen because He is Spirit. It is with a sense of wonder and perhaps exciting too as we await a time when we will see Him in all the fullness of His glory. Now we have glimpses of Him through the beautiful teachings within His Word. We see as though through a glass darkly, we are provided with enough to nourish our spirits, sufficient for us to have relationship with Him and to change our minds from our worldly thinking. No man has seen God at any time. (1John 4:12) We know that if anyone claims He has seen Jesus he has been deceived.
( John 1 14-18) ….”God has been unfolded by the divine One, the only Son, who lies upon the Father’s breast”
But now today His love extended to us clamours for our decision – to choose to love others as He has loved us
Love or die
We are all so different.
Like the poem of “I have a little shadow” by R.L. Stevenson. “Sometimes we grow so slowly there is none of us at all and sometimes shoot up taller like an india-rubber ball.”
To the casual observer there sometimes seems to be little change in us. We may still have the same old irritating habits. Still be just as short-tempered.
God makes everything beautiful in his time.
Two of God’s precious promises are that He will never leave us or forsake us. Nothing will ever separate us from his love. We are sealed for God’s heavenly places and assured that He has always known us and watches our coming in and going out. How blessedly comforting that knowledge is.
The outworking of God’s sanctification in the re-born Christian results in the continuity of His convicting love power. He will make us and mould us nearer to His heart’s desire whether we humbly submit or not. God will destroy the pride-filled, rebellious areas of our hearts and bring all our striving for success in the material world to dependency upon Him.
Studying His word and receiving its mind-changing revelations is vital to understanding our blessed Saviour. In time, as we grow to a mature man in Him we should reflect His love. If we find we remain as dry as dust, joyless and spiritually defunct, are we really making every attempt to study His Word, put in place sound doctrine, plumb its spiritual depths and spending enough time in relationship with Him?
Scientists have proven in denying animals contact with their own they die. If we do not have daily contact with God and share the exciting truths of His Word with at least one fellow Christian we will not know the joy of belonging to Jesus and we will have nothing to give out by way of biblical truth and love.
To become effective as Christians we need to really know His Word, receive its spiritual benefits, know the love of Christ and give it away to others.
There are thousands of churchless Christians, enough to fill cathedrals, who are a living testimony to our immaturity in Christ Jesus. Dying for God’s love, dying for our love. Needing so desperately to be loved and to be nurtured and to mature in their faith yet not knowing how and not finding where.
We can only reach out satisfactorily when we have truly learned to love God. We must choose to love by obedience to His life transforming Word.
We have been provided with a guide book whose Spirit breathed, life-giving words are given a Guide – Jesus. It is by both of these, not one without the other that we must receive our direction from the Lord.
(John 6:63) The words I have spoken to you they are Spirit they are life.
Let us observe the tender love of a mother who disciplines her child with a firm rebuke or the strident, passionless tones of a magistrate who hands down a sentence (hopefully, commensurate with the deed) upon a petty criminal rather than let him continue on in his life of crime.
We can have compassion for the sinner but answers that provide lasting healing and freedom from sin are found within the Word
(Mark 3: 1-5) Jesus looked at the “letter of the law Pharisees” with anger. He was deeply distressed at their uncaring attitudes. He demonstrated that we should forgive those who insult and abuse us. However, we should not let affronts to God and others go unchallenged.
Letter of the law Christians are as deserving of censure as the Pharisees in Jesus day. We can obey God’s commands to us precisely yet miss the original intent or the spirit that should motivate us. We can correct our brother or sister with a kindly spirit that will be received comfortably because our sincerity will be discerned.
Let us pray to be a heartbeat for Jesus today.