Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Those who build and those who tear down

10/10/11 Monday
It’s past time to give you all an update. Those of you who care want to know how things are going and those who want to keep tabs on us want to know as well. Our fake Ricardo sure wants to do that, but his/her motives are far from pure. But that’s ok, our God reigns and those who wish for us to fail will be constantly disappointed.

There is an old song I remember that says “Two kinds of people in this world, winners, losers”. While there is some truth to that I understand that things are more complex than this. There are in this world those who build up and those who tear down, the encouragers and the ones who enjoy pointing out all the failures in ones life. We understand that well, and have seen much of it. It’s so sad when those who strive to tear down are the ones who also proudly wear that “Christian” label. God is real clear about what He thinks of them, and it’s not good. A problem is that those who are so proud and arrogant about who they are in the church are also blind to themselves, unable to see or even recognize their hypocrisy.

We had a wonderful visit by Mark Case yesterday. Mark is a man of God who has traveled the world and has a message for the church of today. It’s a message that many don’t want to hear but those who don’t want to hear it are the ones who need to hear it the most. We’ve known Mark for a couple of years now and were so happy when he called to say he’d stop by. He had given a message at that little church in Stanton, the one we used to attend, so was close by.

We talked for quite a while, discussing issues in the church, the world, and our lives. We did a little bible study as Mark revealed some deep things he has been shown. Unfortunately he has a busy schedule and needed to get to Dallas so we had to cut the visit short and send him on his way. There are great needs in our area for accurate teaching of the bible, to counteract the many false teachings that circulate around, so Mark encouraged us to continue seeking avenues to do so. He understands our desire to not cause problems with another church, the one that rejected us, but said that we can’t let that get in the way of what God wants. Thus I am encouraged to start a bible study in the area and will look for avenues to do so. If others feel that this is done out of spite that is their problem, for my heart is pure in my reasons for doing this. I don’t see our faith as a form of competition, but so many others do. Jesus was clear when He, after being told that there were others doing things in His name, said “If they are not against me then they are for me”.

It is so sad when we see discord in the church. Don’t all these people understand that we are on the same side? Why don’t they all join in together to help each other achieve the goals that Jesus set before us all, to love. For our morning devotional I read again out of John 13, where Jesus washed the disciples feet. After He did that they all observed the Passover dinner, where Jesus broke the bread and explained that this was His body, broken for us. When they had all eaten Jesus said “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another”.

How is this a new commandment? It’s the same one that has been around for ages, a principle of the faith found in the old testament, where it says “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself”. So what makes it new? Jesus said we should love one another as HE loved us. That’s what makes it new, the example Jesus gave through His life, where He even died for us all.

But make careful note of what else He said “By this all men will know that you are my disciples”. Understand that when we fail to love each other, especially in the church, that the world will also know that we ARE NOT His disciples. The world is watching and sees every act, both good and bad, and you can bet it sees the bad quicker than the good. So when we get angry, spiteful, resentful, jealous, or any other thing against those who are in the family of God, and all others too, the world watches in disgust, saying “Look at those hypocrites” and many doubt God because of it.

Jesus said “Whoever causes the least of my little ones to stumble, it would be better for him that a millstone were hung around his neck and that he was thrown into the deepest part of the sea”. There is a judgment we all must face, so we should always walk carefully. In Mathew 7 Jesus said “"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23 Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

Enough of that. I’ve got things to do. Will go to the prison tonight and teach some of the guys there.

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