Reading through the Old Testament can be enjoyable if you looks for the little lights of amusement here and there. :)
"But the rebels said 'How can this man save us?' So they despised him, and brought him no presents." --1 Samuel 10:27a
I love it. They hated him so much, they didn't get him a present. Ohh, the humanity!
"...as he was going up the road, some youths came from the city and mocked him, and said to him, 'Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!' So he turned around and looked at them, and pronounced a curse on them in the name of the Lord. And two female bears came out of the woods and mauled the youths." --2 Kings 2:23-24
“So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:16
It has come to my attention of late that we as Christians are of a rather disgusting sort. You are hard pressed to find someone who is ‘on fire’ for Christ, who is living it out in everything that they do. God has been challenging me and breaking me hard in the past while to be that person, to be bold, to speak up for Christ when it is called for, make no allowance for sin and to LIVE the Christian life.
I have noticed so many people who are in the church, in all areas, that are just Sunday Christians, they come Sunday morning, for service and Sunday school, some may even sing in the choir or help out in the children’s ministry’s. And that’s all they do. If you saw them at any other time of the week you wouldn’t know them from the world. God has convicted me of this in my own life and I am, with His strength and by His grace, learning this very hard lesson.
We are scum. (
1 Corinthians 4:11-13)There is no doubt about this. The ONLY thing we have on our side is Jesus. Thankfully, He is all we could ever need. Each and every one of us is a sinner (Romans 3:23), I am, you who is reading this are. Our saving grace is that Jesus chose to die for our sins. We are washed in His blood and it is our reasonable service to live a life DEVOTED to Him.(Romans 12:1)
I am so sick of lukewarm Christians, and just as Christ said in Revelation 3:16 He would rather that we be cold or hot. Either you live a life that glorifies God or you reject Him outright and make no excuse either way. But do NOT profess Him in words and deny Him in deeds.
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. 2 Timothy 3:1-5)
It does not matter who you are or what you do. If you run a huge mega corporation and make millions of dollars a year, you do it to God’s glory and be an example of Christ to all who you come in contact with. If you work at the local supermarket and make $6.35 an hour, you be a shining light to every person you see and who sees you.
Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity. 2 Timothy 2:19(b))
"Well," you might say, "I don’t want to be picked on, or seem weird." Well guess what, God has called us to be freaks. To stand out, stand up and speak out for Him. People should by all means know who the Christians are. When people talk about you they should be saying that there is something different about you. Might be bad, “So and so is SO irritating, always talking about Jesus, and always doing things for others, ecchhk.” Or it might be good, “There is just something different about so and so, they’re always so nice but they stand strong in their morals."
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.
Be bold, desire what is yet to come. This world is NOT our home. Even thought it may seem like it the things that so easily entangle us in this world are not the end all and be all of life.
No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. 2 Timothy 2:4)
We need to stand out. For what hope does the world have without Christ? A friend of mine said something very sobering to me the other night, “It’s like ‘Night of the living dead’, we’re walking around and we have Jesus living in us, and the rest of the world is walking around, but they don’t have Jesus, so basically they’re dead.” We are walking around in a world full a dead people and inside each of us is the only thing that can give them life.
God’s word will never return void (
So shall My word be that goes forth from my mouth; It shall not return to me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11) and it may seem as though that is an excuse. It’s not.
To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.
If all you ever do is talk about God and your actions never reflect Him, your deeds and words become detestable and worthless. We need to go out and as Titus 2:14 says be zealous for good works. Not just like ‘yeah, doing good works… nice idea’ we need to be ZEALOUS for doing good. Obsessively going out of our respective ways to do good. And not just holding the door open for somebody (though that is a start).
Included in this is not going out and actively and loudly judging people. And here is why:
For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.
But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God will be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men.
Here in lies the lesson of loving the sinner and hating the sin. We are all on an equal playing field, and this is not a team Jesus vs. team world sport. If you are on team Jesus (profess with your mouth and believe in your heart that He is Lord) then you know what the goal is. We at team Jesus do not play be the worlds rules. The most common issue in this particular category would be homosexuality. Everyone gets up in arms about this “They’re born that way”, “It’s not something they would choose, it’s just how they are…”. Wrong. It is not just ‘How they are’, homosexuality is an abomination in God’s sight. End of story. "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind it is abomination." Leviticus 18:22. That pretty much says it.
For God shows no partiality. Romans 2:11
That’s right! NO PARTIALITY. All sin (homosexuality, lying, impure thought, stealing) it doesn’t matter what your sin is, the world may view it as ‘lesser’ or ‘greater’ sin, but God doesn’t. Adultery is just as bad in God's sight as lying to your parents about how you were at Suzie’s house when you were really at Bob’s.
I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality.
1 Timothy 5:21
We also are not to act partially. This is by far one of the hardest things we are asked to do. Oh well, suck it up and do it. We are not to tolerate sin in our own lives, get people who will call you on your sin, who know you and will make no exceptions for you.
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness.
2 Timothy 2:15-16
We are cleansed by Christ's blood, bought and paid for by God, we are not our own and should act as such.
But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner -- not even to eat with such a person. 1 Corinthians 5:11-13
Do not tolerate sin in other believers lives, if you see it and it is your place to do so, correct them. And no matter if it is your place or not to approach them, you pray for them.
So at this time I really have nothing more to say. I can only give you the encouragement to go out and be bold for Christ, act in manner worthy of the calling with which you were called.
Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe. Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching.
1 Timothy 4:12-13