Posts Tagged ‘disobedience’

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For the word of God is…a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews‬ ‭4‬:‭12‬ NKJV)

**WARNING: This Could Offend!**

The Bible is the most revered, most misunderstood, and the most underused book we have in our possession. A Pew Research poll in 2010 found that most Christians ranked only SLIGHTLY higher than Athiests in familiarity with New Testament scriptures and Jesus’ teachings! “Americans revere the Bible but, by and large, they don’t read it,” wrote George Gallup Jr. and Jim Castelli, whose poll research was focused on religion in America.

While the Bible does reveal who God is, it also reveals who we are, something we really don’t like. We shout about faith, comfort, and provision, but then shrug at forgiveness, tithing, and even church attendance! I’ve even seen people use scripture to viciously attack tattoos (Lev. 19:28), while ignoring the prohibition against an all-you-can-eat shrimp buffet (Lev. 11:9-12 & Prov. 23:20-21)! If we are a people of God’s word, we must read, accept, and live all of it, even the parts that hit us where we live.

Let the Bible do what is was made to do, bringing comfort and conviction that leads to godliness. It’s your best guide for a better life! You are loved!

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Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is useless for you to fight against my will.” (Acts 26‬:‭14‬ NLT)

In 2010, unintentional firearm injuries caused the deaths of 606 people. From 2005-2010, almost 3,800 people in the U.S. died from unintentional shootings. That’s almost as many victims as the number of American soldiers killed in the first seven years of the U.S.-Iraq War! And the greatest shame is the key word of this study: unintentional victims.

In the Christ Life, we reflect this same sad scenario. We “shoot ourselves in the foot” by trying to live for God on our own terms. Oswald Chambers says it this way: “Stubbornness and self-will will always stab Jesus Christ. It may hurt no one else, but it wounds His Spirit. Whenever we are obstinate and self-willed and set on our own ambitions, we are hurting Jesus.” To our shame, this is how many of us approach our spiritual walk and ministry.

When Jesus called out to Saul/Paul on the road to Damascus, Saul was serving God and disobeying Him at the same time. God calls to each of us to make sure we are doing this right. If the Spirit convicts you, please listen. The saddest casualties to see are those of self-destructing, self-willed, unintentional inflictors of spiritual harm. Live for God on His own terms! It’s much healthier for you! You are loved today!

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit…” (John 15:1, 2 NIV)

Growing up on a farm, I knew what it meant to “cull the herd”. Whatever cows couldn’t produce calves or produced non-ideal ones, those either got sold or went to the meat market to make room for better producing ones. Same aspect applied in deer hunting: save the good genetics, harvest those with less desirable traits to better supply the future generations. Culling even hits us in business, sports, and educational fields.

While this may sound heartless, it’s finding those areas of life that aren’t producing well and getting rid of it. God does that in your life, finding areas that keep you from growing in Him and pruning it out. Even those that come to a church but have no desire except to be toxic, God has to lead them out to protect the hearts of the rest. If people refuse grace and God’s gentle wooing, preferring to live wrong, then their choice is made and God must act accordingly.

As you get ready to come to church tomorrow, reflect on your own desire to change, whether or not you give God permission to help you be the best you can be. Do you bring toxicity and negative things that endanger the unity of the rest? God didn’t create you to be a cull, but to be a trophy of grace! Be a producer of good things in the kingdom! You are loved today!

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