Monday, April 21, 2014

Don’t Ya Love It When People Tell You How Wrong You Are?

You know the kind, nothing you do is right. They may be blatant about it, rude even.  But probably bold, letting you know you do not measure up to their standards. Or they may be more subtle, knit picking you to death, small, seemingly unimportant things that apparently grind on them and they need you to change. Talk this way. Act this way. If you say anything you are “moody, emotional”. I have had both used on me. How about you?
How does that work in everyday life?

The thing is you need to know is who you are in Christ. Who does He say you are? Nothing else really matters. Those little “irritants” to others may be things that need refining but are not a reflection on your value as a Christian. Paul addresses these problems within the church and therefore offering a guideline for your life.

Paul went through the same things.

1 Corinthians 1:26-2:8 (NIV)

26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”

And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.

God’s Wisdom Revealed by the Spirit

We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

The church stands corrected.

The Corinthians are worried about potential impending splits and Paul tells them to go back to the simplicity of the cross. Christ chose very simple things to glorify the Father. Do not complicate the simplicity of the cross.

Paul starts in I Corinthians 1:26 letting us know it doesn't matter how wise we are, how influential we are, or how wealthy we are—it is all fruitless.  Verse 31 of that same chapter lets us know that if we are going to boast we need to boast in the Lord.

Missionaries go into a lot of new areas. So do you. Work. School. Shopping. Friends’ homes. Intercession. When you go into a place the culture has to change to the word not the word to the culture. This is such a hard concept.

The church has tried to do it the other way for centuries. The church tries to appeal to the “sensibilities” and “traditions” of the local area. Did Jesus do that or did He show the purity of truth? Culture becomes more important than Christ. Don’t market the gospel for profit, just present the truth and watch it stand on its own. Don’t shove truth down people’s throats.  Live the love of Christ and let that love draw men. Present the gospel, pray, plant seed, water or cultivate and let the people decide. Let the love of Christ draw them.

Do not coerce them.
Do not ­manipulate.
Do not try to convince.
Present the Gospel and get out of the way.

Psalm 1
Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers.

You are not responsible to get people saved—so often we think “getting someone saved” is an act. It isn't, it is a process. Otherwise it would be like throwing a packet of seeds out in the yard and minutes later having a well cultivated fruit/veggie producing garden—not happening. Anyone who has ever gardened will tell you this is so not happening!

Bringing salvation is a process, a journey that many are involved in.

John 6:37 (NIV)

37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.

Keep the message of Christ in the forefront of you thought processes, your actions, your words. When people look at you they should see Christ—they should smell the fragrance of life. Your job is not to razzle-dazzle people, not to mesmerize them. They should not be looking at a show about the Christian walk but looking at the fruit. You should not be presenting a show but exhibiting the fruit in your life.

 Jeremiah 9:24 (NIV)

24 but let the one who boasts boast about this:
    that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, 
    justice and righteousness on earth,
    for in these I delight,”
declares the Lord.

The purpose of life is to bring people to Christ not entertain them. You may be able to put on a good show but how is the meat of your presentation?

What does all this have to do with intercession? We need to get back to the purity of the cross. We need to pray the distractions of personal agendas and "taught" methodologies along with intelligentsia and the pride of life be ripped away so the clarity of the cross can shine the love of Christ and draw men unto Him. 

Time to pray......

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