Matthew 5:43-48 New King James Version (NKJV)
Love Your Enemies
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 [a]But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your [b]brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the [c]tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
This past Sunday morning I preached on being a disciplined soldier in the Army of the Lord. The Lord had me to share several characteristics of a disciplined soldier. Shortly before church Sunday morning the Holy Spirit gave me one more that I did not have in the message that the Lord had given me earlier in the week. That one was that where the Army of the Lord is different from every other Army that has ever existed is that we are to love our enemies. Well that probably got about as many Amens as Jesus probably did when He preached the Sermon On The Mount. I told the congregation that it was easier for me to preach it than to do it.
Can you imagine what it would have been like that day when He preached it. Romans soldiers all around. Roman soldiers that were known for their cruelty and mistreatment of the people that they conquered. Roman soldiers that had publicly crucified many of their fellow Jews. And here this man that would refer to Himself as the Messiah was telling them to love their enemies.
Jesus came to a culture that was in turmoil. We currently live in a culture that is in turmoil. As a person that is Pro-Life and believes that God created human beings male and female for each other I often find myself in opposition to what is being pushed down our throats in the culture today. And yet without compromising what I believe I am called by the Lord to love my enemy.
I believe that it is a major scheme of the devil to get Christians to respond in a hateful manner when people say hateful things about us. When we bless our enemies, we are responding as the Lord Jesus responded. And by the way He did this while preaching and teaching repentance from sin. When we do good to our enemy it is totally different than the way that the world treats its enemies.
Then Jesus said that we are to pray for our enemies. Do you pray for political leaders that you don’t agree with? Do you pray for the actors, actresses, and late-night TV shows that often mock Christians?
When Jesus was hanging on the cross, He was praying for those who hated Him. He prayed for those that were mocking Him. He prayed for those that were driving the nails into His hands and into His feet. His praying paid off a whole lot more than if He had been saying one of these days I will get you guys. : So when the centurion, who stood opposite Him, saw that [a]He cried out like this and breathed His last, he said, “Truly this Man was the Son of God!” Mark 15:39 New King James Version (NKJV)
We are told that we are to be perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect. That word perfect in the Greek is telios. It can mean going through the process to complete a goal. It also means maturity. It takes a mature Christian to pray for our enemies. Remember this God loves to turn His enemies into friends. Look at Saul of Tarsus a persecutor of the church who would become the Apostle Paul. When I go to Guatemala there is a very dedicated Pastor that God is using to do great and mighty things. At one time he worked for the drug lords. I wonder how many people chose to pray for him and to love him when he was in his lost estate. I am sure that many loved and prayed for us when we were lost and living in lifestyles of sin.
So, for all of us let’s do what Jesus said to do. Let’s love and pray for those who hate us. I know I have heard people say before that it is hard. Well Jesus can identify with us and help us. Remember what the Apostle Paul said in writing to the church at Philippi. Phi 2:5-8 “ Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it [b]robbery to be equal with God, but [c]made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
Let Us Pray
Lord Jesus we confess before You that it is not often that we pray for our enemies. It is hard to love our enemies. Lord we ask you to help us to see them as you see them. Help us to believe that as You rescued us from the Kingdom of darkness that You can do the same for them.
In Jesus Name
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GET TOGETHER- More On Heading In The Right Direction
Pr 4:14,15 Do not enter the path of the wicked, And do not walk in the way of evil.
Avoid it, do not travel on it; Turn away from it and pass on.
This past weekend as I was returning from Springfield, Missouri with our daughter Jessye and two of her children. I was trying to point out some key places to Jessye on the way back. There was one place where the highway splits in two different directions. I knew which direction to go in because one of the directions was South. The other direction was East. For some reason I got distracted and took the wrong highway. It didn’t take me but a few seconds to realize that we were on the wrong highway. We quickly turned around and got on the right highway that would take us home.
Sometimes in life we can get on the wrong road and be headed in the wrong direction. Sometimes it may happen because we get our eyes off Jesus and become distracted by other things. The writer in the Book of Hebrews tells us how to avoid that: “Heb 12:2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.(NKJV) We need to keep our eyes on Jesus and we will not get distracted and go down the wrong path.
Sometimes we may go down a wrong path because we have gotten the wrong directions. There are people that will try to convince us that there can be many different paths to God. This is called universalism. There may be others that will try to convince us that we as Christians are on the wrong path and that the god that they serve is the true god.
But as we keep our eyes on Jesus and are reminded of what He has said in His word He will help us to know that He is the only way for us to get to our eternal home. Joh 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Joh 11:25,26 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. “And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
I mentioned that we had to turn around to get back on the right path. You may be reading this today and you feel like that path that you are on is headed to nowhere. It is time to turn around. It is time to get off the wrong road and get on the right one.
Maybe you are doing some things that are harmful to you and others on that road. Not only do we need to turn around and get off the wrong road. But when we get on the right road, we will need to change the way that we do things. This is called repentance. You see I could have turned around and gotten on the other road, but if I had been passing people on curves and had been driving with my eyes closed, we wouldn’t have made it home.
We had a great ride home and then after eight and one half hours we got home. God desires for us to have a great ride here on this earth. Jesus said it like this Joh 10:10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” Today if you are on the right road keep your eyes on Jesus and enjoy the journey. If you have taken a wrong turn no matter how far down that road that you have gone it is not to late to turn around and head for the home that Jesus has prepared for you. Joh 14:1 -3 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.” In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
Let Us Pray
Lord today we thank You that You are the only true path home. Thanks for getting those of us who were on the wrong path off it and putting us on the right path. Lord we pray for those that may be on the wrong path today that just as You intervened in our lives that You would do so in theirs.
In Jesus Name
Keep us in prayer as we transition in our lives. You guys are in our prayers as well.
Joh 17:19 “And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth. Ac 20:32 “So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified
Well a couple of weeks ago I shared with you guys about what a powerful time that I had with the Lord that they that I was trying to help J.J. by putting the Christmas tree up by myself. She didn’t have the same spiritual experience that I did when she saw it.
Instead she focused on a few things that I apparently didn’t pay quiet as much attention to. She asked me why there was one whole clump of lights at the bottom that were not burning. She didn’t buy that they represented the people that were still walking in darkness and that needed to come into the light of Christ. And by the way there are a whole lot of people like I was at one time still walking in the darkness and needing to come to Christ. Also there were a couple of ornaments that did not survive the one time that the tree almost fell over.
So, I must admit that J.J. did take some time and make the tree look a whole lot better. She put some red tinsel like stuff around it. That reminded me of the Blood of Jesus that was shed for the forgiveness of our sins. She also removed the clump of lights that were not burning and put some more in their place. That tree really looks good now.
This morning I felt like the Holy Spirit gave me an illustration from what has taken place with our Christmas tree. Before I put the tree up, we did not have a tree. But once I put the tree up although it was not perfect and had some dead spots it was still a Christmas Tree. Before we came to Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we were not people of God. But when we repent of our sins and put our faith in His shed blood we become children of God: “1Pe 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.
And yet just like our Christmas tree looked when I put it up there are still some places that need work in our lives. Just like some of our ornaments that got broke that day some of us have had our hearts broken. We all have some of those places that just like that clump of burned out lights that need some new light and new life in those places. We need God to remove the darkness of sins and to replace it with the light of Christ.
That is where the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit comes in. The Greek term in the passages that I opened up with is hagiazo, hag-ee-ad’-zo. It means to cause someone to have the quality of holiness. Sometimes holiness gets a bad rap. Holiness isn’t how big a frown that you can put on. It isn’t seeing how religious that you can look. It doesn’t mean that you can never laugh again or have a sense of humor.
I believe that holiness is God removing those dark sinful things in our lives that inhibit us from becoming more like Jesus. Holiness is being consecrated to God. Holiness is being salt and light as Jesus has called us to be.
It is sort of like that Christmas tree was. It the dark places being made to shine. It is the broken places being healed. And like the power that makes the lights shine on the tree. The power of the Holy Spirit enables our light to shine in a dark world that needs the light of Jesus Christ so much.
Lets Us Pray
Lord Jesus as we look at all the lights that shine this Christmas season, we pray that the Holy Spirit will work in our lives removing old sinful habits and attitudes. Lord Jesus please come and heal the damaged and wounded places in our lives in order that our lights shine in a more powerful way.
IN JESUS NAME
GET TOGETHER- THE BEST GIFT IS ETERNAL
Eph 2:8,9 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Well I must admit it. I have done only a tad of Christmas shopping so far. Shopping is not one of my favorite things to do. I have from time to time done well when buying for those that I love. And at other times I must admit I have made some bad mistakes in picking out a gift, or gifts that I thought would be a blessing to them.
One year I think that I bought J.J. a case of her favorite bottled honey flavored tea. I thought because she enjoyed that brand that it would make a good Christmas present. Wow! I was big time wrong on that one! Let’s just say that I am still doing some make up calls on that mistake.
If we were all honest, we would all admit that we do enjoy the part of Christmas that is associated with giving and getting gifts. We also know that many of these gifts will be in a yard sale in a few years. I am not sure where my bicycle is that I got as a child. I am not sure where my little football suit is that I got as a child. And most of us probably can’t remember exactly what we got ten years ago.
There are some gifts that I remember giving. I remember in 1980 giving J.J. an engagement ring and a rabbit coat. I am thankful that she still has the engagement ring. I am thankful that the Lord has given us thirty-eight Christmas’s together. Well as far as the rabbit coat goes let me say this. They were really in style in the winter of 1980-81. But where that rabbit coat is today neither of us have any idea.
When Jesus came to earth over two thousand years ago, He came to give a gift to all humanity. It is the gift of salvation. It is the forgiveness of sins. It is the gift of eternal life The Bible tells us in Ro 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” There is only one way that a person can be saved from their sins. That is through repenting and placing our faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ to save us. Ro 5:8-10 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”
The Greek term for gift in Ephesians 2:8 is doron, do’-ron. It means a present, or an offering. This is a present that won’t be in the yard sale in a few years. This is a present that will never lose its value. This is a present that is given freely to those who will repent of their sins. And unlike the year that I made the mistake and purchased J.J. a case of her favorite tea it will never be the wrong present. And unlike the rabbit coat in won’t be in style one year and out of style the next.
Have you received this gift? If you have, I pray that you will celebrate His birth and remember the day that you received the precious gift of becoming a forgiven child of God. And that you will glorify Him in every area of your life If you haven’t, I pray that wherever you happen to be reading this that you will pray the following prayer.
Lord Jesus I confess that I am a sinner. I come today to repent of my sins. I come today to put my complete trust in Your precious blood to save me from my sins. I believe that by faith in Your blood is the only way that I can live eternally. I surrender my life to you now.
In Jesus Name
If you prayed to receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior today please let me know. I would like to give you some direction on how to live out your commitment to Him.
GET TOGETHER- Christmas: A Time To Celebrate And a Time To Remember Jos 4:7 “Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.” Lu 2:10,11 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
This past Saturday J.J. was at her Mom and Dad’s. And by the way we thank you for all your prayers for her Mom and Dad. So, I called her and told her that I would decorate the Christmas Tree this year. I got it done although there are a few spots in there that would keep us from winning this year’s the tree of the year award.
While I was getting it done, I really had a very worshipful time with the Lord. Rather than turning on a ballgame I decided to listen to Christian music while I was decorating. I had the music turned down a lot lower than I normally listen to it. And I really felt the Lord’s presence in the room with me.
Through the years J.J. has bought lots of ornaments with the different years on them. As I was hanging them on the tree, I saw the one that she bought in 1981. That was the first year that we were married. There were years that marked the years that our children were born. There were ones that marked the year that we gave our hearts to the Lord Jesus. Some of the ornaments were pictures of our children doing various activities at some point in our lives as a family together. There were years that marked the first year that we went into the Pastoral Ministry and that was also the Christmas that came just eleven days after my Daddy’s death.
There were other years that marked significant events in either our lives, friend’s lives, or the churches that we have had the blessing to be a part of. Some of those events were wonderful things. Some of the events were tough things such as someone in our congregation having a child leave this walk of life at an early age, or some other tragedy.
I must say that it was truly a worshipful time for me. No, I was not worshipping the tree. I only worship the Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
When Joshua was leading Israel into the promise land, he stressed how important it was for them to put down twelve stones and to remember what God had done for them. When I looked at those ornaments, they reminded me of how God has been with us in some very awesome and wonderful times. They also reminded me of how in some of those years we were going through some tough times and that He was with us then as well.
The angel told the shepherds that night that they had some good news for them. It was good news that they could delight in. The New Living Translation says it like this in Luke 2:11 “The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! The word Messiah means Rescuer, Deliverer, One who saves. Jesus is all of that.
This Christmas if you are a Christian take some time and thank Him for what He has saved you from. Take some time to thank Him for what He has done for you. Remember those twelve stone moments in your life.
Perhaps you are reading this, and you were like I was at one time. Christmas is a lonely time for you and you try to medicate it with drugs and alcohol. God has something better for you. He is ready to let 2018 be a year that you can buy an ornament and remember in the future that it was the year that you got saved from hell. My year was 1990. You can say this was the year that I met the Savior of the world. His name is Emmanuel. That means God is with us. When I looked at those ornaments, I knew that God had been, and was with us, and furthermore will always be with us. Let Him change your life this year. Then you will thank Him not just during the Christmas Season, but every day for the rest of your life.
Let Us Pray
Lord Jesus we thank You for coming to the earth to die for our sins. We remember the awesome things that you have done for us. We thank You that You allow us to celebrate Your birth in such a great and glorious way. For any reading this that have not accepted You as their Lord and Savior we pray that just as those shepherds went to see You in Bethlehem that these would seek You and find You as well.
In Jesus Name
I did have one little accident when the tree fell over. But the Lord sure did a good job from keeping those ornaments that were so special from breaking! God is good!
GET TOGETHER- JOY TO THE WORLD
Lu 2:8-11¶ Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
Well one of my favorite times of the year is here. It is a time when many Christians focus on, celebrate and give special significance to the Virgin Birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As I was listening to the Holy Spirit for direction on this week’s Get Together in my spirit, I heard the words from that great Hymn Joy to the World.
It would be nice if I could say that we are now entering a time of year where everything was perfect. But I know that is not true. In our family we have had love ones to go to Heaven during this time of year. As a Pastor I have been with other families when they have experienced that, or their first Christmas without someone that they loved. And while we rejoiced for those that had passed away being in Heaven we missed them and still do at this time of the year.
There are currently wars going on all over the world where there is mass loss of human life. We have also seen several serious natural disasters in our own country that people are still recovering from. Christians in many places are imprisoned for their faith. Some people have loved ones that are incarcerated. Some people have just been laid off from their jobs. I could go on and on about how Christmas is not a time in which there are no challenging situations. But I would like to share with you that because the Lord Jesus Christ came to earth, born of a virgin, lived, died for the atonement for our sins, rose from the dead, and poured out the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost we can rejoice in all situations and circumstances.
The Greek term for joy that the Bible uses for joy in the above passage is chara, khar-ah’. It can mean a state of joy and gladness. It can also mean that which is cause for joy and gladness.
The joy that Jesus the Savior of the world brings is that no matter whether we are experiencing something tough in our lives or whether we are in a season where we are not experiencing some of those things we can rejoice. We can rejoice that we serve a Savior that has conquered death, hell, and the grave! We can rejoice that we serve a Savior that is saving the souls of men and women and delivering them from sinful lifestyles. We can rejoice that Jesus still heals people today. We can rejoice that although we may not remember what we got for Christmas a few years ago we can remember the day that we met the Savior of the world! We can rejoice that He is still filling people with the Holy Spirit today. We can rejoice that He is still answering prayers today. Now that is glad tidings of great joy! I could make a lot longer list of things that we can rejoice about than I could the adverse things that I mentioned early.
I am hearing the refrain from another great hymn now; O Come O Come Emanuel :
Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.
After that I thought that this verse from the same song would give us reason to rejoice in this season no matter what the circumstance.
O come, O Bright and Morning Star,
and bring us comfort from afar!
Dispel the shadows of the night
and turn our darkness into light.
Let Us Pray
Lord Jesus as we move into this special season help us to worship You and experience You in such a way that no matter the situation, or circumstance we can rejoice remembering the words that You spoke while you were here on this earth Joh 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”. We rejoice in that promise O King of Glory! We give You praise Blessed Messiah, Living Word!
In Jesus Name
Please keep J.J.’s dad in your prayers. He had a heart attack on Thanksgiving night. He is at home recovering. Also keep her mom in your prayers as she is still recovering from a fall back in September.
GET TOGETHER- Always Giving Thanks
1Th 5:18 In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
This past Sunday morning during our service we had four of our women take just a short time and share some things that they were thankful for. One shared that she was thankful for the Holy Spirit. I am thankful for the Holy Spirit as well. Others shared how God had brought them through some very challenging times. And some of the things that God had brought them through were very challenging situations.
I guess that it was in 1991 when a good friend gave me a copy of the book Prison to Praise by Merlin Carruthers that I first became acquainted with 1Th 5:18 In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. The book really stressed how important that it was to give thanks in all situations. Now I am not one that believes that God predetermines people to go out and to live in sin. I don’t believe that God is in the business of causing people to be sick. As a New Covenant believer, I believe that Jesus came that we might have life and life more abundantly. On the other hand, we do face adversity in this fallen world. We do face situations and circumstances that are a result of the fall. And we do face some situations that we might find it hard to give thanks in. But we are called to give thanks to God in all situations.
There are many things that we can thank God for while we are going through a tough situation. First, we can thank God that He is in the situation with us. He has promised us that He will not leave us: Heb 13:5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”(NKJV)
We can be thankful that we are His children and that He loves us. 1Jo 3:1 ¶ Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore, the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
(NKJV) We can be thankful for the blood of Jesus Christ that has washed away our sins. Ro 5:9 “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.”
I don’t know about you, but I am thankful that I am not going to Hell. Jesus spoke about Hell quiet often. He described Hell in this way as a place “Mr 9:44 “where ‘Their worm does not die, And the fire is not quenched.’ There is only one way to not go there. It comes by repenting of your sins and putting your faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ to save you.
I am thankful also that I know that I will live forever. Jesus said it like this in Joh 11:25,26 “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. “And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” I can remember some Thanksgivings when I didn’t believe and didn’t know where that I would spend eternity. You or someone that you know may be there today. You may be like I was think that you had committed too many and too terrible of sins to be forgiven. Jesus wants you to know whether it is you, or someone that you are praying for that there aren’t too many and that they aren’t too bad for the blood to cleanse.
I think the key to being able to give thanks in all situations is being born again and knowing that God is with you. If you have been born again give Him thanks not just this weekend, but all the time. And remember what the Apostle Paul said in Col 3:17 “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
Let Us Pray
Lord Jesus there is not enough room to list all that we could thank You for. We do thank You that you have positioned us to be a people of Thanksgiving. On this Thanksgiving weekend help us to give You thanks and praise for who You are, what You have done and what You will do in the future.
In Jesus Name
GET TOGETHER- BE A HELPER AND NOT A PLANKER
Mt 7:3-5 “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye?” Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
This passage comes from the Sermon on the Mount the most famous sermon that Jesus ever preached. I have said on more that one occasion it could have been the sermon that got the least amens ,or come on preach it brother of any sermon that was ever preached. And yes, I amen preachers and other brothers and sisters in Christ. But in this sermon, there is a whole lot of introspection of the heart going on.
Sometimes in leading a Bible study or small group one of the biggest challenges that I have faced is getting the group to allow the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts and not so much to get to talking about how bad everyone else is out there. And yes, there is a lot of real, real bad stuff out there.
J.J. and I are currently in our prayer life using a resource called Pray The Word 90 Prayers That Touch the Heart of God. Each day has a theme and scriptures that support the theme that we are praying about. We pray through those scriptures and then we pray the prayer that the author Tiece L. King has written based on those scriptures.
One of the things that has come out of this is that the Holy Spirit has been at work showing me areas of my heart that He desires to work in. Let me give you an example. Last week I was at a store in our area and the cashier made a mistake when the cashier gave me my change. It was a grand total of 82 cents. My first thoughts were that this is what happens when kids aren’t taught how to add and subtract without a calculator, or computer. The cashier shared with me that it was her first day. After I left out of there the Holy Spirit convicted me of the judgmental critical thoughts that I had about this young person. I asked the Lord to forgive me and to give me another chance to show the love of Jesus Christ to this person. Today He answered my prayer and allowed me to encourage this person in some way.
When we are planking other people, it hinders us from allowing the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts. I am not talking about speaking truth about what is right and what is wrong. But we are living in a culture that is constantly critical of someone, or something.
This morning I was listening to a message entitled what happens when Jesus Comes To Town. The first place that He will go to is to the people that are called by His Name. 1Pe 4:17 “For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? “(NKJV)
As believers that have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us I believe that the Holy Spirit desires to get those planks out of our eyes so that we are in position to be used to bring people into the Kingdom. What if Jesus had a plank in His eyes when the woman was caught in adultery? What if He had a plank in His eyes when He saw Matthew at the Tax Booth, Zacchaeus in the sycamore tree, and Peter on the night that Peter denied Him?
Well we know that the Lord Jesus was the sinless Son of God. We know also He desires for us to be a people that can look at hurting people, not be critical, and to point them to Him. Because to be honest He does want us to be in position to help people to get the speck out of their own eye. But, if we have the plank in our own eyes, we won’t be able to be used by the Holy Spirit to remove that speck.
So today let’s be counter cultural. In a finger pointing, critical, war of words culture let’s be salt and light. Don’t compromise truth. But trust the Holy Spirit to not only work in you, but as you pray believe that He will work in those that we may be most critical of.
Let Us Pray
Lord Jesus we live in a sinful rebellious world. It can be very hard not to let our hearts get as calloused as the hearts of those who are in the world. We know that the healing for the calloused heart, the broken heart, the wounded heart comes through a Spirit filled relationship with You. Help us to get the planks out of our own eyes. Help us to be used by You to point others to You the Remover not only of the speck, but the plank as well.
In Jesus Name
Tell someone this week what Jesus has done for you.