Tag Archives: right

Today’s Society Seeks Protection from Jesus

Today’s message summary of April 30, 2017 from Pastor Gus Brown:

We live in a society that values the right to vote for its pleasures.  Pleasures will win every time.  Society holds that the only place we are to find Jesus Christ is within the church.

In contrast with the message of Jesus Christ to “go into all the world and preach the gospel,” (Matthew 28:19) our societal focus is to prevent this from occurring.

What does our society value today?

  • Freedom of sexual expression and immorality
  • Freedom to use profanity
  • Freedom to use alcohol and drugs
  • Freedom to destroy that which is good for all

Karl Marx’s view on religion:

  • It’s irrational
  • Religion is a delusion and avoids reality
  • Religion negates all that is dignified in a human being by rendering them servile (like that of a slave or servant) and more amenable to accept the status quo

The church, and Christians, have moved to a place of acceptance of the status quo in America.  It is not really challenged even within some of our own behaviors and actions.

God’s standards and principles have never changed.  He still challenges believers with His standards of obedience and living according to His will.

Have we reached a point in which there is no room for the teaching of Jesus?

John 8:37

I know you are descendants of Abraham, but you are trying to kill Me because My word is not welcome among you.

Why is it that society today deems the use of the words of Jesus as being an attack?  Simply, the truth of the message of Jesus Christ has the power to set people free from bondage.  (There is virtually no opposition to any other religious practice.)

Proverbs notes that “out of the heart comes the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23).  Satan does not care whether or not you go to church, but he is concerned over whether or not you are focused on the Word of God.  The constant focus on God’s Word is what refines you in your practice of following Jesus Christ.  God’s Word challenges your way of thinking, and often provides guidance with correction.  You need to have the desire to seek Him for yourself.

Acts 17:11

The people here were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, since they welcomed the message with eagerness and examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.

Because of society desiring to exclude Jesus Christ, have we lost our blessing?

Psalm 33:10-12

The Lord frustrates the counsel of the nations; He thwarts the plans of the peoples. The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart from generation to generation. Happy is the nation whose God is Yahweh–the people He has chosen to be His own possession!

Jesus was warning Jesus to “leave this place” of Jerusalem (Luke 13:31).  He was warned by the people about Herod (who represents the government), but Jesus told them that He would continue His work.

Luke 13:32-33

He said to them, “Go tell that fox, ‘Look! I’m driving out demons and performing healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will complete My work. Yet I must travel today, tomorrow, and the next day, because it is not possible for a prophet to perish outside of Jerusalem!

As the kingdom of God tries to go forth, there are those who are trying to keep it at bay.  Society has tried to put limits on the things of Christianity.  What you are to see here is the determination that is needed to keep moving the church of God forward.  We are not to give up easily, and we are not to accept what society tells us.  At some point, someone has to stand up and tells others about Jesus Christ, no matter what others may say.

It is either following human authority, or God’s authority.

Acts 5:29

But Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than men.”

Everyday there are people who want to push back against the teachings of Christ (Mark 3:6; Luke 19:47).  It is little wonder that the church is dying in America.

What are we facing today?  A downward trend in society, because we refuse to accept the truth, which comes from the words of Jesus Christ.

John 14:6

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

People are in need of ministry and healing, no matter what society tries to dictate.  There will always be a need for people to experience your love and compassion, and as a result, the love of Jesus Christ.

It is the kindness of the people that draws them to the love of Jesus Christ.  We are to keep going today, tomorrow and the next day, and then watch God open the doors of the hearts of many.  It is what we must do for the glory of God.

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Just Do It!

Message transcript of September 6, 2015 from Melvin Gaines:

The mission of Nike, Inc., a renowned international athletic shoe and apparel company, is to “bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world,” and they quickly add, “if you have a body, you are an athlete.”

Nike started from humble beginnings where employees were selling shoes out of their cars to become the world’s leader with global revenues of over $27 billion dollars.

The name “Nike,” originating from the Greek goddess of the same name standing for “victory,” has been around for over forty years, and over that time it has defined and redefined the sports fitness industry, but not without its own missteps. The company misjudged the popularity of the aerobics and fitness movement in the mid 1980s and veered off into the casual shoe market. Its growth also outpaced its management and effective decision-making, and it had slipped from its position as the top-selling shoe.

To reverse this trend, Nike hired Weiden+Kennedy, a well-known advertising agency, and they came up with the one of the top slogans of the 20th Century, “Just Do It,” which made its debut for the company in 1988. The words “just do it” propelled Nike’s popularity to its top position in the industry. Three years after the debut of “Just Do It,” the company had tripled its revenue to over $3 billion dollars, and has not looked back since.

“Just do it” may be a catchy slogan with staying power, but it is readily acknowledged as the language of today’s lifestyle that inspires people to get up and move. It is associated with good health, getting and staying in shape, and remaining active in all parts of life. This also has application within our faith.

Consider that the words “just do it” for Jesus Christ reflect a healthy relationship in service for Him. James expresses this very clearly as he addressed believers in Christ with the importance of a working faith:

James 2:14-17 ESV

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

A servant of Jesus Christ absolutely needs to live under the premise of “just do it” in order to live as Christ provided His life as an example for us. We are to live as servants of Christ in a world where servanthood is more of the exception than the rule. Chuck Swindoll notes, “we live in a world where many have adopted “an independent, self-sufficient, survival-of-the-fittest mentality.” God has called us to be distinct in a positive way in the world, and to make a difference. The difference is living the “just do it” way as Jesus did:

Mark 10:45

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life-—a ransom for many.

Jesus provided a demonstration of what it is to be a servant by washing the feet of the apostles. He provided an explanation for them when He was finished:

John 13:12-17

When Jesus had washed their feet and put on His robe, He reclined again and said to them, “Do you know what I have done for you? You call Me Teacher and Lord. This is well said, for I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example that you also should do just as I have done for you. I assure you: A slave is not greater than his master, and a messenger is not greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.”

Jesus showed them the power of servanthood, which is the essence of living a Christlike existence. To be in service for Christ is to live for Christ. He assures those who are living for Him that He will always be present in whatever is being done in His name:

John 12:26 ESV

If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.

You can see how “just do it” can be a launching point for a person who is eager to serve Jesus Christ. Being a servant requires a willingness to do it and it takes practice to begin to master it. But what if you don’t know where to begin this process? In this instance, the best place to begin is the beginning.

  1. Just do it (now)!

Being a servant begins with a willingness to do something that will bring a positive change in someone’s life. It does not necessarily require that you need to use any special talent or ability. It may be moving furniture to reorganize a room or to help someone move from an apartment to a new home. It may be standing at the church doorway and greeting people while handing out the week’s church bulletin. Sometimes, it means buying a meal or even some groceries for a family who is in need. In a world where people are more often self-focused then not, the ability to step out and simply do something for someone is refreshingly distinctive. It’s the beginning step in a life of servanthood.

  1. Just do it without expecting anything in return

There is a way to treat people, and being a servant is no exception to this. A servant in Christ is to live in such a way that it is natural to do the right thing for someone, and to not expect anything in return or create a burden of obligation for the other person.

First, the essence of “doing what is right” is the foundation of what Jesus Christ represents:

Matthew 7:12 HCSB

Therefore, whatever you want others to do for you, do also the same for them—-this is the Law and the Prophets.

The ways of the world normally see acts of compassion with suspicion. For some people, it is difficult to accept a person’s help because it is a societal norm that the help is to be reciprocated. As a servant of Jesus Christ, your acts of service are performed with a heart for Jesus and without any need or expectation for the person to do anything in return. The moment that the burden of returning the favor is left in place, that is when Christ’s presence is less visible, and when He is less likely to be glorified as you serve. We serve Christ freely and without any burden for ourselves and for others. People need to see the light and airy love of Christ in everything that you do in service for Him:

Matthew 11:28-30 HCSB

“Come to Me (Jesus), all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Our service for Christ, as we develop our heart for service, should also be an expression of what it is to live a life of freedom for Him (John 8:36).

  1. Just do it…and put some heart into it!

A servant for Christ not only demonstrates the example of Christlike behavior to others, but also learns the perspective of servanthood with the heart and mind of Jesus. As you learn more about Jesus through His Word and live in obedience to Him, He will most certainly transform you as you live as His example before others. Being refreshingly distinctive from the world means being set apart in a positive way. People will see your heart for Christ in what you do. To be set apart involves changing from your old self to not only become a new creature, but a creature that becomes more and more Christ-like every day.”

Romans 12:1-2 HCSB

Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.

Chuck Swindoll notes that a servant for Christ must change to avoid the world’s reasoning and conform to the thoughts of Jesus:

“How? By a radical transformation within. By a renewed thought pattern that demonstrates authentic godlikeness. Living differently begins with thinking differently.”

Living for Christ in this renewed mind will allow you to see the compassion of Christ in everything that you do for others.

Your servanthood with a heart for Jesus will be seen by people who don’t know Him personally as a wonderful introduction (and perhaps an invitation) to who He is. A servant for Christ truly is a light in a very dark world:

Matthew 5:14-16 HCSB

“You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”

Chuck Swindoll noted that the opportunities to reach the lost, through servanthood, are limitless, and in your service, you personally receive joy in your accomplishments through your fellowship with Jesus Christ:

“In every town, every neighborhood, and on every block there are lonely and sometimes unlovely men and women who need to experience the love of Jesus. In every city there are children who have never known a gentle touch or a loving smile.” “There are acts of love and mercy that God has already prepared for you, so that you might share in His joy–so that you might grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”

A life of servanthood for Jesus Christ is a life that embodies ministry in fulfillment of His Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). Your obedience and faithfulness to Him will be a witness for Him in everything that you do. Now, all that you need to do is “just do it.”

 

For references, refer to Just Do It! research paper here.

Copyright © Melvin Gaines


Guest Speaker LuAnne Baker – The Story of Esther in Dramatic Narrative

Today’s guest speaker for August 30, 2015 was LuAnne Baker.

LuAnne performed a dramatization of the Book of Esther as told by one of her maidservants.

LuAnne is the Western Pennsylvania District Director for the Alliance Women Ministries of the Christian & Missionary Alliance.

LuAnne Baker

LuAnne Baker

Audio for today’s message is available on our Audio tab or select this link.

 


Your Mind and Thoughts

A continuing study on the impact of sin.

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:

Galatians 5:16-17

The Spirit versus the Flesh

16 I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want.

God gives each one of us a mind. While God wants you to use your mind for the purpose of serving God and glorifying Him, it is up to you to determine whether you will follow God or follow the ruler of this world, Satan.

Romans 7:21-23

21 So I discover this principle: When I want to do what is good, evil is with me. 22 For in my inner self I joyfully agree with God’s law. 23 But I see a different law in the parts of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and taking me prisoner to the law of sin in the parts of my body.

Sin is never eradicated or destroyed.

God deals with sin in two ways:

1. He frees us from sin, for we are slaves of sin.

2. He delivers us from sin.  He rescues us from the perils of sin.

Note that once you are in sin, you alone cannot walk away from it on your own power or ability.

Proverbs 16:1-2

1 The reflections of the heart belong to man,

but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.

2 All a man’s ways seem right to him,

but the Lord evaluates the motives.

Your thought process is affected by many different factors (your friends, worldly influences, and even demonic influences). You can experience conflict in your thought process, especially in your own flesh.  God has to be a part of your thought life in order that He can reason with you.  He helps you to sort out any voices that conflict with Him.  It’s up to you to listen to God’s voice and allow for His reasoning.  He is the voice that keeps you away from sin.

If we follow a principle to guard our thoughts and hearts, we will be receptive to God’s voice.

Philippians 4:8

Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.

1.  Is it true?  (speaking the truth, truthful)

2.  Is it noble?  (honest character, honorable; showing high moral qualities, ideals or deeds)

3.  Is it right?  Is it just?

4.  Is it pure?  (avoid carnality; free from every fault, clean)

5.  Is it lovely?  (acceptable, pleasing)

6.  Is it admirable?  (well spoken, repeatable, good report)

7.  Is it excellent?  (virtue, moral goodness)

8.  Is it praiseworthy?  (a commendable thing)

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth.  He will give you what is best for you if you listen to Him, but you have to trust Him and believe in His Word.  The enemy will try to discourage you with thoughts that God does not want the best for you.  It is important for you to distinguish God’s truth from Satan’s deception.  When your thoughts are weighed against God’s reasoning and His truth.  He helps us with our thoughts and leads us to truth.

Proverbs 16:20

The one who understands a matter finds success,

and the one who trusts in the Lord will be happy.

You have a choice to make.  God makes known His will through His Word.  It should be a matter of prayer for each of us as we seek the truth and His will in our life.  We must choose to do God’s will or we will be outside of it.

John 7:17

If anyone wants to do His will, he will understand whether the teaching is from God or if I am speaking on My own.

Luke 10:38-42

Martha and Mary

38 While they were traveling, He entered a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. 39 She had a sister named Mary, who also sat at the Lord’s feet and was listening to what He said. 40 But Martha was distracted by her many tasks, and she came up and asked, “Lord, don’t You care that my sister has left me to serve alone? So tell her to give me a hand.”

41 The Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken away from her.”

It is important for each of us to listen to God speak in order to process our thoughts with the proper care and consideration.

After God has replied to our prayers and petitions and weighed our plans and thoughts, we still need to commit to the Lord’s plans.  This is an important step in trusting The Lord.  Your success is in the Lord’s hand.  It all has to work out according to His will.

Proverbs 16:3-4

3 Commit your activities to the Lord,

and your plans will be achieved.

4 The Lord has prepared everything for His purpose—

even the wicked for the day of disaster.

Proverbs 16:9

A man’s heart plans his way,

but the Lord determines his steps.

If you commit your plans and thoughts to God, His promise is that He will direct your steps.  He is faithful.  He wants you to succeed.


Truth and the Reality of Life

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:

Father, we thank you for making Yourself real to each of us. The world portrays a different message to your truth. We pray that You reach those who are living in darkness and that You will draw them near to You. Thank you for your truth and your blessings, and we give you praise in Jesus’ name–Amen.

We live in a culture today that does not want to hear or accept truth. The truth is not to please us; in fact, it is to convict us. For believers, we need to read God’s Word daily and be reinforced by its truth. Truth is something that we need to be willing to acknowledge. We need God’s favor in order to accept His truth.

John 1:17
…for the law was given through Moses,
grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

We often don’t want to acknowledge truth because we deny God. We cannot worship God in Spirit and in truth if we do not accept His message. We can be deceived by thinking that following God’s truth is keeping us away from something that would deny us of what we want or need.

God is not one who lies (Numbers 23:19). For this reason alone, He is worthy of our trust. In the world, deception and skepticism is rampant.

Skepticism comes from the doctrine of Ancient Greek skeptics. They questioned the truth of all knowledge and promoted doubt of what was accepted as truth. A skeptic will question God’s truth, for example, as to whether there is eternity or if He keeps His promises. This, in turn, leads to a philosophy of doubting fundamental religious doctrines. Many people who believe the Bible can be questioned by a skeptic:
1. Don’t be so sure about the Bible
2. Don’t be dogmatic
3. You may be wrong about it
4. You need to be more tolerant and have an open mind

Agnosticism is a Greek term that represents characterizing something as being unknown, unknowable or without knowledge. This is more of a position of ignorance rather than a position of positive denial of valid knowledge. Agnosticism implies man’s ignorance of the real nature of matter, mind and God.

2 Peter 1:5-6
5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, 6 knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness.

Pragmatist: Test of truth–is it workable? Will it bring about satisfactory consequences? A pragmatist claims there is no such thing as absolute truth; therefore, truth is made in the process of human adjustments in life. One set of truths for an older generation may differ with those for a younger generation.

We have come to a place in our society where what was deemed to be right is now seen as being wrong, and what was previously seen as wrong now becomes what is right. Our churches today–in their indecision over truth–has strengthened the hand of those who oppose the truth or are behaving contrary to God’s Word. God’s people must always seek and stand on His truth.

Jesus gives us truth for us to use within our value system. This value system leads us into a greater wholeness of life that allows for a proper life and a life of restoration, and freedom from sin.

Isaiah 1:17
Learn to do what is good.
Seek justice.
Correct the oppressor.
Defend the rights of the fatherless.
Plead the widow’s cause.

Isaiah 5:20
Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who substitute darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who substitute bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter.

Jeremiah 23:14
Among the prophets of Jerusalem also
I saw a horrible thing:
They commit adultery and walk in lies.
They strengthen the hands of evildoers,
and none turns his back on evil.
They are all like Sodom to Me;
Jerusalem’s residents are like Gomorrah.

Truth has a positive effect on the following:
A. Our emotional makeup
B. Our moral life (our behavior)
C. Our expectations of life

Truth loosens a person from burdens that the world will impose and gives freedom from these difficulties and restraints.

John 8:32
You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

We are God’s workmanship. He is working with us to make us complete in Him and in His truth.

We often judge a statement to be true or false on the grounds that it is or is not in harmony with what we have already decided is true.

Mark 3:22
The scribes who had come down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebul in Him!” and, “He drives out demons by the ruler of the demons!”

John 14:6
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

God’s nature is in truth (John 14:6). Without truth, there can be no authority.

Matthew 5:18
For I assure you: Until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or one stroke of a letter will pass from the law until all things are accomplished.

Truth is what is necessary to distinguish between right and wrong.

Truth gives us:
1. A sense of reality (truth “keeps it real!”)
2. A stability to a person’s life
3. Security and confidence
4. A healing of the mind of all wrong thoughts

Jesus didn’t say “I teach the truth.” Jesus said, “I am the truth.”


The Moment of Truth

Today’s message from Melvin Gaines:

Each one of us has had an experience with what we would characterize as a moment of truth.  A moment of truth is the time when you have to make a decision or take an action because there are no other options under the circumstances.  The moment of truth is the ultimate enemy of one who procrastinates, or the person who has trouble with commitment.  It is when the person who normally puts things off realizes there is nothing else to do but to finally take action.

The word “truth” is relevant in “moment of truth” because it stands for something that is factual and is undeniable—it is the ultimate reality.  Remember what Pontius Pilate said when Jesus stood before Him…

John 18:37-38

37 “You are a king then?” Pilate asked.

“You say that I’m a king,” Jesus replied. “I was born for this, and I have come into the world for this: to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice.”

38 “What is truth?” said Pilate.

There are moments when we may have asked that same question—“What is truth?”  When we reflect upon moments like this, we may have denied that the truth was right in front of us all along, but it doesn’t change the reality.  Aldous Huxley, a famous writer, was quoted in his writing of Complete Essays, “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”

Author Flannery O’Connor stated, “The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.”  Many people choose to ignore the truth or just flat out can’t deal with it.

A moment of truth can bring out the best in a person, or the worst in someone.  It is often accompanied with some degree of pressure, and it is usually at a very high level at this point.  Some people can handle pressure very well, while others seem to shrink when things get tough.  The best response to these moments is when the right decision is made.  But what if the wrong decision, or even no decision is made at that time?  Pontius Pilate also had his moment of truth when Jesus was brought before Him.

John 19:1-16

1 Then Pilate took Jesus and had Him flogged. The soldiers also twisted together a crown of thorns, put it on His head, and threw a purple robe around Him. And they repeatedly came up to Him and said, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and were slapping His face.

Pilate went outside again and said to them, “Look, I’m bringing Him outside to you to let you know I find no grounds for charging Him.”

Then Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!”

When the chief priests and the temple police saw Him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!”

Pilate responded, “Take Him and crucify Him yourselves, for I find no grounds for charging Him.”

“We have a law,” the Jews replied to him, “and according to that law He must die, because He made Himself the Son of God.”

When Pilate heard this statement, he was more afraid than ever. He went back into the headquarters and asked Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus did not give him an answer. 10 So Pilate said to Him, “You’re not talking to me? Don’t You know that I have the authority to release You and the authority to crucify You?”

11 “You would have no authority over Me at all,” Jesus answered him, “if it hadn’t been given you from above. This is why the one who handed Me over to you has the greater sin.”

12 From that moment Pilate made every effort to release Him. But the Jews shouted, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Anyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar!”

13 When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus outside. He sat down on the judge’s bench in a place called the Stone Pavement (but in Hebrew Gabbatha). 14 It was the preparation day for the Passover, and it was about six in the morning. Then he told the Jews, “Here is your king!”

15 But they shouted, “Take Him away! Take Him away! Crucify Him!”

Pilate said to them, “Should I crucify your king?”

“We have no king but Caesar!” the chief priests answered.

16 So then, because of them, he handed Him over to be crucified.

Think about what it means to make a critical error at the moment of truth.  There is often not the opportunity to get a do-over or to correct any mistakes.  The stakes are high, and the consequences can be devastating and regrettable.

Life is a series of decisions, and life progression is a part of our decision-making.  On the surface, it is fair to conclude that a person who makes good choices can benefit from those choices, but we should also remember that one bad decision could undermine a lifetime of good decisions.  That one bad decision may be the “moment of truth” that comes down to a test where you will either pass or fail.  While there’s no changing the past, we can learn lessons from our previous life experiences to help us to be able to handle these situations better.

1.  Be calm, cool and collected.  The best decisions come from those who don’t lose their cool and get panicked.  Notice in this passage where the true focus is:

Psalm 131:1-3

Lord, my heart is not proud;
my eyes are not haughty.
I do not get involved with things
too great or too difficult for me.
Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself
like a little weaned child with its mother;
I am like a little child.

Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
both now and forever.

The person who is calm is able to focus on and draw their energy upon Jesus Christ in the midst of a difficult situation.

2.  Be patient.  Your patience prevents you from making a hasty decision, and it also allows you to see how God is working in the situation.  He does not want you to miss his blessing and how He receives the glory from a great outcome.

Psalm 40:1-3

I waited patiently for the Lord,
and He turned to me and heard my cry for help.
He brought me up from a desolate pit,
out of the muddy clay,
and set my feet on a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the Lord.

Proverbs 14:29

A patient person shows great understanding,
but a quick-tempered one promotes foolishness.

Isaiah 30:18

Therefore the Lord is waiting to show you mercy,
and is rising up to show you compassion,
for the Lord is a just God.
All who wait patiently for Him are happy.

3.  Be humble.  Humility is the key to being open to good suggestions, wisdom and knowledge, and the realization that God may be speaking to you in your time of need.

Proverbs 11:2

When pride comes, disgrace follows,
but with humility comes wisdom.

Philippians 2:1-3

If then there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by thinking the same way, having the same love, sharing the same feelings, focusing on one goal. Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves.

Your exercise of calmness, patience and humility will help you to perform at the optimal level when it is time to make an important decision in your moment of truth.  Don’t miss the fact that calmness, patience and humility are all godly attributes.  In order to exercise these godly attributes, you need to rely upon the One who provides each of these things for us—Jesus Christ.  Without the Holy Spirit operating as the Helper for Jesus Christ, we are incapable of success in the moment of truth.

Relying upon Jesus Christ leads to the one moment of truth that has a direct impact on where you will spend eternity.  In your moment of truth, will you make a decision for Him, or will you put it off?

In order to live for Jesus Christ, it is necessary to acknowledge the following:

Luke 10:27

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.

John 3:16-17

16 “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

2 Corinthians 5:15

 And He died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the One who died for them and was raised.

When you make a decision for Jesus Christ today, it is the beginning of a beautiful, rewarding relationship that will help you to grow and develop your life for today and into eternity.  Make today your moment of truth.

Copyright © Melvin Gaines. All rights reserved.


Church Discipline (Part 2)

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:
When you hear the words “church discipline,” is your response “I don’t want the church in my business!” If it is, consider that church discipline is not intended to embarrass a person–in reality, it is a necessary part of maintaining order within the church and a recognition of authority of Jesus Christ. As Christ is the head of the church and the head of the body of Christ, there is a structure within the church that requires recognizing the need for correction when necessary, but it also requires that you care about the spiritual well-being of the person who is being corrected (1 Corinthians 12:25; Galatians 6:1; Psalm 142:4). Even pastors are subject to church discipline. Church discipline, in its proper use, prevents a person or persons from getting puffed up.

1 Corinthians 5:6-7
6 Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast permeates the whole batch of dough? 7 Clean out the old yeast so that you may be a new batch. You are indeed unleavened, for Christ our Passover has been sacrificed.

We need to understand that discipline is necessary to not allow sin to be permissible through the body because its ongoing presence is destructive not just to one, but to the entire body of Christ. It is important to be cautious of any sin in our midst, for it will spread if it is not checked.

Through grace, God has joined Himself to us. He comes in holiness and demands the reflection of His character within His church (Psalm 93:5; 1 Peter 1:16). Discipline is a tool that God uses to train us to move in the right direction.

Hebrews 12:11
No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the fruit of peace and righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Discipline is commanded by Jesus.

Matthew 18:17-18
17 If he pays no attention to them, tell the church. But if he doesn’t pay attention even to the church, let him be like an unbeliever and a tax collector to you. 18 I assure you: Whatever you bind on earth is already bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth is already loosed in heaven.

The church should always be involved in discipline as it shares with the person who is being counseled what Scripture has to say about the issue. Jesus Christ is always part of the process. The church is an assembly of the body of Christ, and Jesus is in the midst of the group. Everyone present is to seek wisdom from God in prayer.

1 Corinthians 5:4-5
When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus with my spirit and with the power of our Lord Jesus, turn that one over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the Day of the Lord.

Titus 3:10-11
10 Reject a divisive person after a first and second warning, 11 knowing that such a person is perverted and sins, being self-condemned.

Heresy (a heretic) manifests itself in three different ways:
1. An unbeliever who has his or her own opinion.
2. The professional, “Sunday morning” believer.
3. The practical disbeliever…insincere and has own perception of life and spirituality.

All are divisive persons who cause division and disagreement within the church. A body of believers, after prayer, consideration of the fellowship, and counsel with the offender, can conclude that it is best for the heretic to depart from the church to avoid any further disruption if there is no reconciliation.

2 Thessalonians 3:6-15
6 Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to keep away from every brother who walks irresponsibly and not according to the tradition received from us. 7 For you yourselves know how you must imitate us: We were not irresponsible among you; 8 we did not eat anyone’s food free of charge; instead, we labored and struggled, working night and day, so that we would not be a burden to any of you. 9 It is not that we don’t have the right to support, but we did it to make ourselves an example to you so that you would imitate us. 10 In fact, when we were with you, this is what we commanded you: “If anyone isn’t willing to work, he should not eat.” 11 For we hear that there are some among you who walk irresponsibly, not working at all, but interfering with the work of others. 12 Now we command and exhort such people by the Lord Jesus Christ that quietly working, they may eat their own food. 13 Brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.

14 And if anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take note of that person; don’t associate with him, so that he may be ashamed. 15 Yet don’t treat him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.

Discipline is also important in the life of the believer. Do not live according to the teaching of those who are moving in the wrong direction. Staying busy in your work or vocation keeps you put of trouble. In all of this, the most important lesson is to never get tired of doing what is right.

Discipline is to always be carried out in love and humility. God still deals with all of His people with love and grace and seeks to heal and to restore them (2 Samuel 12; Jonah 1:17; 2 Timothy 3:16). The purpose of all discipline is to win back the person in sin (Galatians 6:1).

The Holy Spirit will manifest the fruit of the Spirit…with love, long-suffering, and gentleness (2 Corinthians 2:4-8).

The church congregation is to express this love and to stand firm in its conviction (1 Corinthians 2:9, 5:4).

The discipline on on the individual is to gain a brother or a sister (2 Thessalonians 3:15) and that spirits can be saved (1 Corinthians 5:5).

1 Timothy 1:20
Hymenaeus and Alexander are among them, and I have delivered them to Satan, so that they may be taught not to blaspheme.

2 Timothy 2:25
…instructing his opponents with gentleness. Perhaps God will grant them repentance leading them to the knowledge of the truth.

Disciplines effect upon the church: sin is dealt with in an appropriate manner in order that others may know it.

Joshua 7:19-25
19 So Joshua said to Achan, “My son, give glory to the Lord, the God of Israel, and make a confession to Him. I urge you, tell me what you have done. Don’t hide anything from me.”

20 Achan replied to Joshua, “It is true. I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel. This is what I did: 21 When I saw among the spoils a beautiful cloak from Babylon, 200 silver shekels, and a bar of gold weighing 50 shekels, I coveted them and took them. You can see for yourself. They are concealed in the ground inside my tent, with the money under the cloak.” 22 So Joshua sent messengers who ran to the tent, and there was the cloak, concealed in his tent, with the money underneath. 23 They took the things from inside the tent, brought them to Joshua and all the Israelites, and spread them out in the Lord’s presence.

24 Then Joshua and all Israel with him took Achan son of Zerah, the silver, the cloak, and the bar of gold, his sons and daughters, his ox, donkey, and sheep, his tent, and all that he had, and brought them up to the Valley of Achor. 25 Joshua said, “Why have you troubled us? Today the Lord will trouble you!” So all Israel stoned them to death. They burned their bodies, threw stones on them.

Romans 2:24
For, as it is written: The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.

1 Timothy 6:1
All who are under the yoke as slaves must regard their own masters to be worthy of all respect, so that God’s name and His teaching will not be blasphemed.

1 Timothy 5:20
Publicly rebuke those who sin, so that the rest will also be afraid.

Discipline is necessary in that it is not about causing anyone embarrassment; instead, the result is that justice is done.

2 Corinthians 7:11
For consider how much diligence this very thing—this grieving as God wills—has produced in you: what a desire to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what deep longing, what zeal, what justice! In every way you showed yourselves to be pure in this matter.