Love Speaks Truth

Sometimes love can be harsh.  As parents we don’t want our kids to run out in the street.  We don’t want them too close to the fire.  We don’t want them to make poor choices.  As we grow older, we still hope that our loved ones make right choices.  If we sit by and watch, and say “that’s ok” while they make bad life choices that can affect the rest of their life or even eternity, is that love?  We need to not only set the example, but tell them the truth, show them the right way.  Share our faith and share who Jesus is and what He has done for us.

Ephesians 4:15

…”but speaking the truth in love may grow up in all things into Him who is the head – Christ”

(Feel free to read the complete paragraph or the chapter…it is always good to get the full context of any verse you may read)

Hebrews 3:13

…”but exhort one another daily, while it is still called ‘Today,’ lest any of you become hardened through deceitfulness of sin.”

Galatians 6:1-2

Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

James 5:19-20

Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.

I have often been accused of being judgmental. Sometimes it is that people don’t want to hear the truth, but many times they are right. I forget to speak the truth IN LOVE and it comes across as I want to show them they are wrong and I am right. My intent is to build them up and steer them in the right direction but I don’t always say it in the right way. Please pray for me that I always speak the truth IN LOVE and in a way that will be bold but gentle.

Other times, as I have said, it is that people don’t want their sin exposed or don’t want to hear the truth. Matthew 7:1 is often quoted, without the rest of the passage or ignoring those above and others. It says,

“Judge not, that you not be judged. For what judgement you judge, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 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 in your eye”; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! FIRST remove the plank from you own eye, and THEN you will see clearly to remove the speck in your brother’s eye.”

So, when leading others and telling them the truth, be sure the truth is in you and you are following Christ in a way that honors Him. Realize your own flaws and sin. Pray, and speak in the Spirit. Above all else, LOVE. Remember, though, not only is love gentle, but sometimes love needs to be stern and up front. If you love someone, you want what is best for them, and the best for them is Jesus Christ.  More on this next time.

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The Tongue is a Powerful Tool

Words can be powerful.  They can be used to get important points across.  They can be used to bless.  They are often used to hurt and sometimes they hurt unintentionally.  On one hand people need to know the truth even when it hurts.  But also it must always be in love.  Sometimes we need to think of others’ feeling with what we say.  The devil uses the tactic of twisting words so that we say things we don’t mean or the words are misinterpreted, and both can cause relationship breakdowns.  Continue reading “The Tongue is a Powerful Tool”

The High Priest Who offered Himself

The author of Hebrews writes to them reminding them that there is no longer a need for blood sacrifice for their sins each year.  Jesus is our High Priest, to Jews and Gentiles alike, who offered Himself, who is perfect, who is sinless, who is without spot or blemish, as a sacrifice once for all.  Those of us who believe, who follow Jesus Christ have been given a promise, that of eternal inheritance in the kingdom.  Salvation through our Lord, Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.  Thank God for the richness of His mercy, whose love endures forever.

Hebrews 9:11-28

But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives. Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood. For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.” Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry. And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.

Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another — He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

The 3 sins of this World

What are ways we can live that reflect we are a child of God? How are we to live our lives? We have talked about “carrying your cross daily” and reading 1 John to know if we are truly saved.  This is one thing 1 John says:

1 John 2:15-17

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

John uses the sins that Adam and Eve were seduced by causing The Fall, separating them from God and cursing all of us.  Thanks God He sent His one and only Son to take our sins upon His shoulders and nail them to the cross to redeem us from our sins.  How blessed we are to have a loving God and savior to do that for us. Continue reading “The 3 sins of this World”

The devil is Real, Resist him!

So, I have just returned from a mission trip to Haiti.  God is doing wonderful things there and I am so honored and blesses to be able to experience some of that in the little time I was able to.  Praise God for all He has done!

The devil is very active in Haiti with more than half the people here practicing voodoo of one form or another. In preparing for this trip, I have encountered obstacles and distractions, opposition and even doubt.  But I needed to stay strong in the Lord and pray often.  I also noticed that during this week, I was often distracted while praying or skipped my morning prayers.  I did make sure to read my Bible every day which encouraged me to pray.  I had to keep my mind on God and pray as often as I can for the mission, for the kids, and for what I am doing while I am here.  James said to resist the devil and I did just that as much as I could.  Seeking God’s word and asking him for protection and guidance always works, even when things get tough.  God wasn’t necessarily visible this trip, but I know He was there and I can see the work He is doing at the mission.

Anyways, we all go through struggles in life and wonder if we are doing the right thing or does God really hear us and things like that at one time or another.  The devil likes to put lies in your head, but remember that his desire is to destroy your faith and keep you from sharing God’s love and grace and prevent others from a saving relationship in Jesus Christ. Continue reading “The devil is Real, Resist him!”